Unmarried partner visas

As an unmarried partner of a person settled or living in the UK you may be able to apply for a visa to join them either temporarily or permanently.

We can explain everything you need to know about applying for your visa and UK residence as an unmarried partner, and help you process your application smoothly.

Are you looking to marry in the UK?

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Applying for a family visa when you do not want to get married

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.

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Apply to settle in the UK with your partner

If your partner is already 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 advice and guidance to get you started.

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General requirements

You can be invited to join your unmarried partner in the UK if they:

  • Are present and settled in the UK, or
  • Have limited leave to remain in the UK – this excludes students and other short-term visa categories

You and your 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

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Financial requirements

As part of the application process as an unmarried partner, 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.

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How long you can stay

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 for 30 months, after which you would need to apply for another 30 months’ leave to complete the required five years.

If while you are here you and your partner decide to get married, you can apply for leave as a spouse. This could then give you a further 2.5 years’ leave to remain.

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Documents you need to provide

You’ll need to provide a range of documents to demonstrate that you can meet your financial requirements. For instance:

  • 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.

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Get the help you need to apply

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 solicitors, we’ll make sure you have the best chance of a swift approval.

Get in touch today to find out more about how we can help, or request a call back.

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Starting the process couldn’t be more simple!

  • Contact us Contact us Get in touch however suits you best and arrange a consulation with one of our solicitors
  • Meet an expert Meet an expert You’ll meet the expert solicitor assigned to your case and discuss all the necessary details
  • Authorise 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 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
We’re with you, every step of the way

What our clients are saying about us

We received an average 9.1 out 10 based on 249 reviews.

excellent service kept fully informed through every step of the claim . would recommend these people 1st class


I first contacted AWH in december and booked my consulation with Shayeda. I didn’t wait long for an appointment and was given very professional advice and the appointment was thorough. Shayeda brought me the print outs and showed me everything I needed for my application. Both Shayeda and Cathryn were very helpful throughout my application. I received a very professional service from AWH and they have alot of knowledge & would recommend them for your immigration matters.


My wife and I were both very pleased with the service we received.Very professional and knowledgeable staff. A superb result all round. Many thanks to all the staff who helped us, especially Shayheda and Cathryn


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