What is an Unmarried Partner Visa?
This visa type is designed for those who wish to settle with their British partner in the UK. In order to be eligible for this visa, you must be able to demonstrate that your relationship is both genuine and subsisting. The visa is also frequently referred to as the De Facto visa. It can be applied for in the case of both heterosexual and homosexual relationships.
The requirements for this visa state that you and your sponsoring partner must both be over the age of 18. You must intend to live together permanently, and it is important that you have adequate accommodation in place. You need to demonstrate that you have been in a committed relationship for at least two years.
This visa is perfect for those who are in a long-term relationship and intend to live together in the UK, but are not ready for marriage. The Home Office will require evidence of your life together in order to grant you your visa.
What documentation will I need to submit alongside my Unmarried Partner Visa application?
There are a number of different documents that need to be submitted when you apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa. Their purpose is to provide evidence that you meet the requirements for this specific visa type.
The documents that you require are:
- A valid passport and two recent passport-sized photographs
- Evidence to show that your relationship has been genuine and continuous for a minimum of two years
- Evidence to show that any previous relationships you were involved in have come to an end
- Evidence to show that you and your partner live together on a permanent basis
- A certificate that shows you meet the necessary English language requirements for this visa type
- Financial documentation to show that you meet the requirements. This can take the form of documents pertaining to your income and any savings you have.
- Evidence that proves you have adequate accommodation available to both you and your partner
What are the eligibility requirements for the Unmarried Partner Visa?
In order to successfully obtain an Unmarried Partner Visa, there a number of criteria that must first be satisfied. These are:
- Yourself and your partner must be at least 18 years of age.
- You must intend to stay together on a permanent basis.
- Any previous relationships pertaining to yourself or your UK sponsor must have come to an end.
- There must be suitable accommodation/living arrangements in place for both yourself and your partner.
- You and your partner must be able to support yourselves (and any dependants) financially without having to rely on public funds.
- As a couple, you must meet the income threshold of £18,600 per year. This is also the income requirement for the main Spouse Visa category for those sponsoring a non-EU national. The threshold increases to £22,400 for those also sponsoring a child, and increases by a further £2,400 for each additional child.
- You must have lived together for a minimum of two years prior to commencing your Unmarried Partner Visa application.
How long will it take to receive a decision on my Unmarried Partner Visa application?
For those applying for an Unmarried Partner Visa from outside of the UK, the Home Office aims to process applications within 12 weeks. For those applying from within the UK, you ought to receive a decision within eight weeks.
If you are applying from outside of the UK and need your application to be processed quickly, most visa application centres offer a Settlement Priority Visa Service. If you opt for this service, you ought to receive a decision in no more than 30 days.
For those applying to extend their Unmarried Partner Visa or switch onto it from a different visa type, you will have two different processing times to choose from. This only pertains to those applying from within the UK. If you opt for the Standard Service, you should receive a verdict on your application within eight weeks of its submission to the Home Office. For those that opt for the Premium Service, you should receive a decision within as little as one working day. This is dependent on having submitted your biometric information.
How long will my Unmarried Partner Visa be valid for?
If your visa application is successful, it will be valid for an initial 33 months. This differs quite substantially from Fiance Visas, as these are valid for six months. Once this period of time, those on a Fiance Visa will then have to extend their stay by switching to a Spouse Visa.
The 33 months afforded to successful Unmarried Partner Visa applicants constitutes a form of time-limited leave.
In order to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), an individual must have been lawfully and continuously resident in the UK for five years.
When the two and a half years comes to an end, it is possible to apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa extension. This constitutes an additional two and a half years.
Once this comes to an end, an individual will be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
What can I use as evidence that I meet the financial requirements for the Unmarried Partner Visa?
As touched upon, meeting the financial requirements is a hugely important part of a successful Unmarried Partner Visa application.
In order for your application to be approved, you must be able to demonstrate that you meet the income threshold of £18,600. Evidence must be provided to the Home Office alongside your application to show that you have these funds available to you.
This evidence can take the form of:
- Wages gained through either employment or self-employment or a combination of both (this is only relevant to those based in the UK).
- A pension held in a UK-based pension scheme
- Personal savings that are equivalent to the annual wage threshold
- Adoption pay, maternity, paternity or sick pay
- Alternative means of income such as rent, investment or shares
What can I do if my Unmarried Partner Visa is refused?
There are a number of different reasons why an Unmarried Partner Visa application can be refused. These include supplying incorrect documentation, completing the application form to a sub-par standard and failing to inform the Home Office of previous immigration offences.
In situations where your application is met with a refusal, there are a number of options available to you.
It is possible to appeal the decision. However, this is a complex and long-winded process. With this in mind, we would not recommend attempting it alone.
Our London immigration lawyers have a fantastic track record of getting refusals overturned. We’re to help, every step of the way.
If your appeal is unsuccessful, you can then pursue an Administrative Review or a Judicial Review.
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With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
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By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.
Biometric Residence Permits are required for anyone who intends to spend more than six months in the UK. A BRP is essentially a piece of digital information that contains various pieces of information. This includes:
- Personal details, such as your name and date of birth
- Biometric information such as your fingerprints and a digital photograph
- Information pertaining to your immigration status and the conditions of your stay
Your BRP can be used to confirm your identity and your right to work and study in the UK.
One of the most significant benefits of holding an Unmarried Partner Visa is that you are able to work. There are no restrictions, so all forms of work are permitted. You can start your own business, partake in voluntary work and do a combination of self-employed and employed work.
It is possible to bring dependants with you to the UK on an Unmarried Partner Visa. Your children will only be classed as dependants if they are under the age of 18.
It is important that you apply for your dependants at the same time as you submit your own Unmarried Partner Visa application.
One of the things that sets Unmarried Partner visa applications apart from others is the need to prove the authentic and subsisting nature of your relationship. You will require an amount of evidence in order to do this.
Our highly-experienced team of London immigration lawyers are immensely adept at providing assistance related to this visa type. We are fully aware of its unique requirements, and are here to guide you through every step of the process, ensuring you achieve your desired outcome.
To do this, we provide the following services:
- A thorough document check to ensure that all necessary paperwork is submitted alongside your application
- Ensuring that you have robust evidence to demonstrate that your relationship with your partner is genuine
- Ensuring that your partner meets the eligibility requirements that are necessary for your application to be sponsored
- Maintaining a dialogue with the Home Office throughout the process
- Completing your Unmarried Partner Visa application form to the highest possible standard
- Producing a Letter of Representation that highlights the strengths of your application to the Home Office, drawing attention to relevant laws in support of your case
You will be able to extend your visa for the same length of time once your initial two and a half years comes to an end. Once your extension period comes to an end, you will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
To apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa extension, or to apply for ILR, you must still be living with your partner (who is also your sponsor). You must also still be living in the UK, and must continue to satisfy the financial requirements for this visa type.
Yes, the rules regarding this visa are different depending on whether you apply from inside or outside of the UK.
If your application is made from within the UK, you visa will last for 30 months. If your application is made from outside of the UK, your visa will last for 33 months.
When applying for an extension of this visa type, you must be based in the UK in order for it to be granted.
When you are planning to apply for a visa, it is very important to be aware of the fees involved. For Unmarried Partner Visas, the amount of time you are permitted to remain in the UK changes in relation to whether you apply from inside or outside of the country. The fees also change in relation to this.
For applications made outside of the country, it will cost £1,523.
For applications made from within the UK, the submission of your application will cost £1,033.
If you bring a child dependant with you, you will be required to pay an additional £3,800.
You will then be required to pay £2,400 for each additional child you apply for.
It will cost £19.20 to obtain your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).