Immigration – UK Unmarried Partner Visa

What is an Unmarried Partner visa?

An Unmarried Partner visa allows British citizens and individuals who are settled in the UK to bring their unmarried partner to live with them in the UK in order that they can establish their relationship as a couple.

The unmarried couple must have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for at least 2 years and be able to provide robust documentary evidence of this as part of the application.

Once the visa is granted, you will be able to work in the UK without restriction.

What criteria must I meet to be eligible for an Unmarried Partner visa?

All of the following criteria must be met in order to successfully qualify for an Unmarried Partner visa:

Eligibility criteria as set out in the Immigration Rules:

  • Both partners must be aged 18 years or over
  • Both partners must have met in person
  • Both partners must have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for at least two years and be able to provide documentary evidence of this
  • The relationship must be genuine and subsisting
  • The couple must intend to live together permanently in the UK
  • Any previous relationship of either partner must have broken down permanently
  • The British citizen or settled individual or the applicant (if they are in the UK with permission to work) must have a gross annual income of at least £18,600 or have adequate cash savings to support his or her spouse. If there are children, the gross annual income or savings requirement is increased.
  • The couple must have adequate accommodation for themselves and their dependants in the UK
  • The applicant must satisfy a basic English language requirement in speaking and listening to at least level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

Suitability criteria as set out in the Immigration Rules:

  • The applicant must not be the subject of a deportation order
  • The exclusion of the applicant from the UK is conducive to the public good (for example, because he/she has been convicted of an offence for which he/she has been sentenced to a period of imprisonment or because their conduct, character or associations make it undesirable to grant them entry clearance)
  • The applicant must not have submitted false information, representations or documents in relation to the application or have failed to disclose material facts in relation to the application
  • Within the period of 12 months prior to the date on which the application is submitted, the applicant must not have been convicted of or admitted an offence for which he/she has received a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record
  • The applicant must not have failed to pay litigation costs awarded to the Home Office or have failed to pay charges in accordance with the relevant NHS regulations

Exemption from the £18,600 financial requirement:

If your British citizen or settled partner is in receipt of one of the following benefits, then you do not need to satisfy the £18,600 financial requirement:

  • Attendance allowance
  • Carer’s allowance
  • Disability living allowance
  • Personal independence payment
  • Armed forces independence payment or guaranteed income payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
  • Constant attendance allowance, mobility supplement or a war disablement pension under the War Pensions Scheme
  • Severe disablement allowance
  • Industrial injury disablement benefit
  • Police injury pension

Should this apply, the applicant must also provide evidence that their British citizen or settled partner is able to maintain and accommodate themselves, the applicant and any dependants adequately in the UK without recourse to public funds.

How long is an Unmarried Partner visa valid for?

The visa will be granted for an initial period not exceeding 33 months after which you will be eligible to apply for an extension for 30 months. After the five-year period, you will be eligible to apply for settlement in the UK.

How long will my Unmarried Partner visa application take to process – outside of the UK?

If you apply from outside of the UK, the application can take several months to process due to the complexity of the supporting documentation required.

However, if you pay for the Priority visa for settlement service which is £573, your application will be placed at the front of the queue for priority processing and most people get a decision within 15-30 working days.

How long will my Unmarried Partner visa application take to process – inside of the UK?

If you apply from within the UK, the application can take several months to process due to the complexity of the supporting documentation required.

However, if you pay for the Super Priority visa for settlement service which is £800, you can get a next working day decision for your application.

How can Setfords help you with your Unmarried Partner visa application?

For further information, please get in touch below.

Discuss your Unmarried Partner visa with our Immigration Experts now

Nicola Anne Wilkins

Senior Consultant Solicitor – UK Immigration Law


Direct dial: 020 8103 2006
Head office: 0330 058 4012 then dial ext 2752
Email: nwilkins@setfords.co.uk
Form: Complete form now
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Quotes from previous clients

“Nicola assisted my partner and I with renewing our UK spouse and work visas respectively. Not only was Nicola extremely meticulous, prompt and professional, but she is also a very effective communicator. There was never any scope for misunderstanding as Nicola was always on top of the details, extremely organised, and very clear and concise, going to the extent of thoughtfully preparing extra documentation to support our applications. Nicola also diligently kept us updated of the progress throughout the entire process. We had our visas processed and returned to us in record time. Overall, we were very impressed and it was a pleasure dealing with Nicola”.

“We had the pleasure of working with Nicola in 2014 when we needed visas for my American family to move to the UK. Nicola paid lots of attention to detail, prepared everything perfectly, came up with creative ways to overcome some hurdles and had great knowledge of UK immigration law. She was always very personable and happy to explain any issues that came up. It all went seamlessly and now we are all happily living in the UK. Happy clients!”.