Applying for a UK partner visa when you do not want to get married
Your legal rights as an unmarried partner
If you and your partner have been living together in a ‘relationship akin to marriage’ for at least two years, then you qualify as having an unmarried partner relationship.
If you are classed as being in an unmarried partner relationship, you will have the same rights as a spouse under UK immigration rules. That means you can apply for a UK unmarried partner visa that allows you to live in the UK with your partner for an initial period of 33 months, after which you can apply for a further 30 months’ extension. Under the immigration rules you can then apply to live together permanently on indefinite leave to remain, as long as you meet all the requirements including the English language requirements.
Apply to settle in the UK with your partner
If your partner is a British citizen, on indefinite leave to remain in the UK, have the right of abode or if they are on a long term visa, and they are settled in the UK, our expert immigration solicitors can help you join them and settle in the UK with them as their unmarried partner.
Get in touch today for personalised immigration advice and guidance to get you started.
General requirements of an unmarried partner visa
You are eligible to apply for an unmarried partner visa for the UK if your partner:
- Is present and settled in the UK, or
- Has limited leave to remain in the UK – this excludes students and other short-term visa categories
You and your unmarried partner must meet the below requirements:
- Both you and your partner must be over 18 at the time of applying
- Your partner must be ‘present and settled in the UK’. This means physically present in the UK at the time of the application, unless they are accompanying the applicant. If so, they need to hold either indefinite leave to remain, a permanent right of residence, British citizenship or the right of abode in the UK
- Both of you must intend to live together permanently
- You need to provide evidence that you have arranged appropriate accommodation
- You need to meet the English language requirements – level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference
When you apply for indefinite leave to remain once you have been in the country for the minimum qualifying period you may need to meet different requirements.
As part of the application process for your unmarried partner visa, you’ll need to prove that you can meet the minimum financial requirements.
If your partner in the UK wishes to sponsor you, then they will have to prove they can meet them instead. To sponsor a spouse, fiancé, partner or civil partner for settlement in the UK, sponsors need to earn a minimum of £18,600.
If a child is also being sponsored, the minimum earning threshold is £22,400 with an additional £2,400 for each further child.
How long you can stay in the UK
If your application for entry clearance is successful you will be able to live in the UK for up to 33 months. After this you will need to apply for a further 30 months extension visa before you are eligible to settle indefinitely. All partners, civil partners and spouses must have been in the UK for a minimum of five years before they can do this.
If you are already in the UK when you apply you would be allowed to stay in the UK for 30 months, after which you would need to apply for another 30 months’ leave to complete the required five years. Once you do we can help you to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
If while you are here you and your partner decide to get married, you can apply for a spouse visa instead of an unmarried partner visa. This could then give you a further 2.5 years’ leave to remain.
Documents you need to provide for your visa application
You’ll need to provide a range of documents to demonstrate that you can meet the financial requirements for the unmarried partner visa as set out by the Home Office. These include:
- Income from employment or self-employment of yourself, or your partner if they have permission to work in the UK
- A specified non-employment income of either you or your partner
- Proof of a pension that you or your partner receives. This can be either a state pension, UK or foreign, or private
- Any maternity allowance or bereavement benefits that you or your partner receive in the UK
You can also prove your exemption from the financial requirement if your partner receives a specified disability-related benefit or carer’s allowance in the UK.
Remember, your partner must be what is called ‘present and settled in the UK’. They must be physically present in the UK at the time of the application, unless they are accompanying you. If so, they need to hold either indefinite leave to remain, a permanent right of residence, British citizenship or the right of abode in the UK.
Apply for your unmarried partner visa with AWH
Get the help you need to apply for your unmarried partner visa
Are you ready to join your partner and apply for settlement in the UK? We can help make sure you understand the process in full before you begin, and guide you through each stage to the end. Thanks to the expertise of our immigration solicitors, we’ll make sure you have the best chance of a swift approval, so you can start your life in the UK.
We assess your eligibility to apply before guiding you through the unmarried partner visa UK application process.
Please note: A 30-minute consultation with one of our immigration experts can be held in our offices or over the phone or Skype. Please be aware that we do not offer free advice and will charge a non-refundable fee of £95 per consultation.
Starting the process couldn’t be more simple!
- Contact us Get in touch however suits you best and arrange a consulation with one of our solicitors
- Meet an expert You’ll meet the expert solicitor assigned to your case and discuss all the necessary details
- Authorise Once we’ve got all the details of your case and you’re happy to proceed, just give us the go-ahead
- We get to work It’s time for us to get to work! We’ll set up your file on our system and get to work right away
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