Unmarried Partner Visa: Requirements and Application Process

Understanding Unmarried Partner Visa

If you are in a committed relationship with a non-UK citizen and wish to live together in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa. This visa category is designed for unmarried couples who have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for at least two years.

To be eligible for an Unmarried Partner Visa, you must meet certain requirements. These requirements include proving that you have been in a committed relationship with your partner for at least two years, that you have lived together for that entire period, that you are both over 18 years old, and that you have enough money to support yourselves without relying on public funds.

When applying for an Unmarried Partner Visa, you will need to provide evidence of your relationship, such as joint bank accounts, tenancy agreements, and correspondence addressed to both of you. You will also need to provide evidence of your financial status, such as bank statements, payslips, and tax returns.

It is important to note that the Unmarried Partner Visa does not lead to permanent residency in the UK. However, if you and your partner continue to meet the eligibility criteria, you may be able to extend your visa and eventually apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Overall, the Unmarried Partner Visa is a viable option for couples who are in a committed relationship but are not legally married. By providing evidence of your relationship and financial status, you can increase your chances of a successful application.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for an Unmarried Partner Visa, you must meet certain requirements. These requirements are broken down into three categories: Relationship Requirements, Financial Requirements, and Accommodation Requirements.

Relationship Requirements

The most important requirement for an Unmarried Partner Visa is that you are in a genuine and subsisting relationship with a person who is settled in the UK, or who is a British citizen. This means that you must have been in a relationship akin to marriage for at least two years and have lived together for that time. If you have been in a previous relationship, you must show that this relationship has ended and that you are now in a new relationship that is genuine and subsisting.

Financial Requirements

To meet the financial requirements for an Unmarried Partner Visa, you must show that you can support yourself without recourse to public funds. This means that you must have a certain level of income, savings, or other financial resources. The minimum income requirement is currently £18,600 per year, but this amount may vary depending on your circumstances.

If you are employed, you must show that you have been in your current job for at least six months and that you earn enough to meet the minimum income requirement. If you are self-employed or a director of a limited company, you must show that you have been in business for at least one year and that you meet the minimum income requirement. You may also be able to use your savings, pension, or other financial resources to meet the financial requirements.

Accommodation Requirements

To meet the accommodation requirements for an Unmarried Partner Visa, you must show that you have suitable accommodation for you and your partner to live in. This means that you must have a place to live that is safe, habitable, and not overcrowded. You must also show that you can afford to pay for your accommodation, either through your own income or through your partner’s income.

If you are renting, you must provide evidence of your tenancy agreement and show that you are up to date with your rent payments. If you are a homeowner, you must provide evidence of your mortgage or ownership of the property. You must also provide evidence of your council tax payments and any other bills related to your accommodation.

In summary, to be eligible for an Unmarried Partner Visa, you must have a genuine and subsisting relationship akin to marriage, meet the minimum income requirement, and have suitable accommodation for you and your partner to live in. If you meet these requirements, you may be eligible for an Unmarried Partner Visa and can apply to join your partner in the UK.

Application Process

To apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa, you must complete the application process. This process involves submitting an initial application and extending or switching your visa if necessary. In this section, we will guide you through these steps.

Initial Application

To apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa, you must be outside the UK. You must have a partner who is a British citizen or settled in the UK. You must also have been in a relationship with your partner for at least 2 years and intend to live together in the UK.

To submit your application, you must complete the online visa application form and pay the application fee. You must also provide the following documents:

  • A valid passport
  • Evidence of your relationship with your partner
  • Evidence of your finances
  • Evidence of your accommodation in the UK
  • A tuberculosis (TB) test certificate (if applicable)

After submitting your application, you will need to attend a biometric appointment to provide your fingerprints and photograph.

The processing time for an Unmarried Partner Visa application is usually up to 12 weeks. You will be notified of the outcome of your application by email.

Extension and Switching

If you are already in the UK on an Unmarried Partner Visa, you may be able to extend your visa or switch to a different visa category. To extend your visa, you must apply before your current visa expires and meet the eligibility requirements.

To switch to a different visa category, you must meet the eligibility requirements for that category and apply before your current visa expires. You may be able to switch to a Spouse Visa if you have married your partner or a Work Visa if you have a job offer in the UK.

To apply for an extension or switch, you must complete the online visa application form and pay the application fee. You must also provide the required documents, which may include evidence of your finances, accommodation, and relationship with your partner.

The processing time for an extension or switch application is usually up to 8 weeks. If your application is successful, you will be granted leave to remain in the UK. After 5 years of continuous residence in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

Required Documentation

To apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa, you must submit the required documentation to prove your eligibility. In this section, we will discuss the supporting documents and biometric information that you need to provide.

Supporting Documents

When applying for an Unmarried Partner Visa, you must provide evidence of your relationship with your partner. This includes documents that prove that you have been living together for at least two years, such as joint tenancy agreements, council tax bills, utility bills, and bank statements. These documents should show both of your names and your address.

You should also provide evidence of your financial situation, such as bank statements, pay slips, and tax returns. If you have a joint bank account with your partner, you should provide statements for that account. You may also need to provide evidence of your employment or self-employment.

Biometric Information

As part of your visa application, you will need to provide your biometric information, including your fingerprints and a digital photograph. You will need to attend a biometric appointment at a visa application center to provide this information.

It is important to note that your application may be delayed if you do not provide the correct supporting documents or biometric information. Therefore, it is essential that you carefully read the application guidelines and provide all the necessary documentation.

In summary, to apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa, you will need to provide supporting documents that prove your relationship and financial situation, as well as your biometric information. By providing the correct documentation and attending your biometric appointment, you can increase your chances of a successful visa application.

English Language Requirement

If you are applying for an Unmarried Partner Visa, you must meet the English language requirement. This requirement is in place to ensure that you can communicate effectively in English while living in the UK. There are two ways to meet this requirement: by taking an English language test or by being a national of a majority English speaking country.

English Language Test

To meet the English language requirement, you must take an approved English language test. The test must be at least CEFR level A1 and must have been taken at an approved test center. The approved tests are:

  • IELTS SELT Consortium
  • LanguageCert
  • Pearson Test of English Academic
  • Trinity College London

You must include your test results in your visa application. The test results must be no more than two years old at the time of your visa application.

Majority English Speaking Country

If you are a national of a majority English speaking country, you may be exempt from taking an English language test. The UK government recognizes the following countries as majority English speaking:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • The United States of America

If you are a national of one of these countries, you must provide evidence of your nationality with your visa application.

It is important to note that if you are a national of a majority English speaking country but you obtained your degree in a non-majority English speaking country, you may still need to take an English language test. You can check with UK NARIC to see if your degree is equivalent to a UK degree and if it meets the English language requirement.

That’s it for the English Language Requirement for Unmarried Partner Visa.

Rights and Restrictions

If you are applying for an Unmarried Partner Visa, it is important to understand your rights and restrictions. This section will provide you with an overview of what you can and cannot do while on this visa.

Work and Public Funds

Once you have been granted an Unmarried Partner Visa, you will have the right to work in the UK. This means that you can take up employment without needing to apply for a work permit. However, you will not be eligible for public funds, such as benefits or tax credits.

Family and Dependants

If you have any dependent children, they can apply to join you in the UK as your dependants. They will need to apply for a Child Visa or a Family Visa. If they are already in the UK, they can apply to switch to a dependent visa.

It is important to note that you will need to show that you can support yourself and your dependants without relying on public funds. If you cannot do this, your application may be refused.

If your partner has children from a previous relationship, they may also be able to join you in the UK as your dependants. However, they will need to meet certain requirements, such as being under the age of 18 and not married or in a civil partnership.

Right to Work

As mentioned earlier, you will have the right to work in the UK once you have been granted an Unmarried Partner Visa. However, it is important to note that this visa is not a route to settlement or citizenship. If you wish to remain in the UK permanently, you will need to apply for a different type of visa, such as a Spouse Visa or a Settlement Visa.

Child in the UK

If you have a child who is already in the UK, they may be able to switch to a dependent visa. However, they will need to meet certain requirements, such as being under the age of 18 and not married or in a civil partnership.

Dependants

If you have any dependants who are not your children, they may also be able to join you in the UK. However, they will need to meet certain requirements, such as being financially dependent on you and not being married or in a civil partnership.

Overall, it is important to understand your rights and restrictions when applying for an Unmarried Partner Visa. Make sure to read the guidance carefully and seek professional advice if you are unsure about anything.

Special Cases

If you are applying for an Unmarried Partner Visa, there are some special cases that you may fall under. These cases are applicable if you are in a long-term relationship with a British citizen or someone who is settled in the UK. In this section, we will discuss the different special cases in detail.

EU Settlement Scheme

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you may be eligible to apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa under the EU Settlement Scheme. Under this scheme, you can apply for pre-settled status or settled status, depending on how long you have been living in the UK. If you have been living in the UK for less than five years, you can apply for pre-settled status. If you have been living in the UK for more than five years, you can apply for settled status.

Humanitarian Protection and Refugee Status

If you are a refugee or have been granted humanitarian protection in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa. In this case, you will need to provide evidence of your refugee status or humanitarian protection.

Exceptional Circumstances

If you are unable to meet the requirements for an Unmarried Partner Visa, you may be able to apply under exceptional circumstances. This is a discretionary policy that is used in cases where there are compelling or compassionate reasons for allowing you to stay in the UK.

Some examples of exceptional circumstances include:

  • Human rights grounds, such as the right to family life
  • Mental disability
  • If you have a child who is a British citizen or settled in the UK
  • If you are a victim of domestic violence or abuse

If you think you may be eligible to apply under exceptional circumstances, you should contact the Home Office for advice.

Remember, if you are applying for an Unmarried Partner Visa, you will need to provide evidence of your relationship, such as joint bank accounts, bills, and photos. You will also need to attend an interview with a Home Office official. The visa is valid for 2.5 years and can be extended if you are still in a relationship with your partner. You will also need to pay the immigration health surcharge and a fee for the visa application. However, if you are eligible for a fee waiver, you may not need to pay the fee.

If you are applying for an Unmarried Partner Visa, it is important to understand the special cases that may apply to you. By providing the correct evidence and meeting the requirements, you can increase your chances of being granted a visa.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for an unmarried partner visa in the UK?

To be eligible for an unmarried partner visa in the UK, you must have been living with your partner for at least two years in a relationship akin to marriage. You must also be able to prove that you and your partner have sufficient funds to support yourselves without recourse to public funds. In addition, you must meet the English language requirement and pass the Tuberculosis (TB) test.

What is the success rate of an unmarried partner visa application in the UK?

The success rate of an unmarried partner visa application in the UK depends on various factors, including the strength of your application, the documentation you provide, and your individual circumstances. However, according to UK immigration statistics, the success rate of unmarried partner visa applications has been declining in recent years, with a refusal rate of 40% in 2020.

How long does an unmarried partner visa last in the UK?

An unmarried partner visa in the UK is granted for an initial period of 30 months. After this period, you can apply for an extension of 30 months. Once you have spent a total of five years in the UK on an unmarried partner visa, you may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR).

What is the difference between an unmarried partner visa and a spouse visa in the UK?

The main difference between an unmarried partner visa and a spouse visa in the UK is that the latter is granted to individuals who are legally married to a British citizen or settled person. In contrast, an unmarried partner visa is granted to individuals who are in a long-term relationship but are not married. Both visas have similar requirements, but the spouse visa may be easier to obtain, as it is considered a more secure form of relationship.

What is the financial requirement for an unmarried partner visa in the UK?

The financial requirement for an unmarried partner visa in the UK is £18,600 per year. This amount may increase if you have children who are also applying for the visa. You and your partner must be able to demonstrate that you meet this requirement through employment, self-employment, savings, or a combination of these sources.

Can an unmarried partner apply for a UK visa if they do not live together?

No, an unmarried partner cannot apply for a UK visa if they do not live together. To be eligible for an unmarried partner visa, you must have been living with your partner for at least two years in a relationship akin to marriage. You must also be able to provide evidence of your shared address and cohabitation.

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