The UK Unmarried Partner Visa is a type of visa that allows unmarried partners of UK citizens or permanent residents to enter and remain in the UK for an extended period. To be eligible for the visa, the unmarried partner must prove that they have been living together with their UK partner in a relationship akin to marriage for at least two years.

The visa also requires the applicant to meet the general requirements for entry clearance or leave to remain, including providing evidence of financial support and accommodation, meeting the English language requirements, and passing the tuberculosis test if required.

The UK Unmarried Partner Visa is a popular option for couples who are not yet married or in a civil partnership but wish to live together in the UK. It provides a pathway to settlement in the UK and eventually, British citizenship, for those who meet the eligibility criteria.

Key Requirements of the Unmarried Partner Visa

The UKVI, which is the Home Office’s immigration department, designs the rules for each visa category, including the UK Unmarried Partner Visa. To be able to live together in the UK, you and your unmarried partner must meet all the requirements set out by the UKVI.

The following are the key requirements to consider:

  1. You must be in a committed relationship or civil partnership with a British citizen or a person who has settled in the UK.
  2. Your British/settled partner must act as the sponsor for your visa.
  3. You must have been together for at least two years and have cohabited during that time.
  4. You must provide evidence that you meet the Genuine Relationship test, which includes ending all previous engagements, marriages, and partnerships.
  5. You and your partner must be over 18 years old.
  6. You must have suitable accommodation arrangements in the UK where you both intend to live.
  7. You must satisfy the English language requirement, which may involve taking an exam.
  8. Your sponsor must meet the Financial Requirement, which may require having a certain amount of savings or earning an annual income.

The CGM App is for expats, sponsoring companies and business immigration advisors. Feel free to contact us on 0300 000 000 or send us an email if you have any questions. 

Status of Sponsoring Partner

To be eligible for a UK Unmarried Partner Visa, your partner must meet one of the following conditions:

  1. Be a British or Irish citizen residing in the UK
  2. Have indefinite leave to remain, settled status, or permanent residence in the UK
  3. Have pre-settled status under Appendix EU
  4. Have limited leave to remain as a Turkish Businessperson or Turkish Worker under Appendix ECAA
  5. Have refugee leave or humanitarian protection status in the UK

It’s worth noting that a British citizen in the UK can also refer to a British citizen who intends to come to the UK as your partner. A person with indefinite leave to remain in the UK can include someone who is being granted settlement at the same time as you.

UK unmarried partner duration of stay

If your application for a UK Unmarried Partner Visa is successful, you will be granted leave to remain in the UK for a period of 33 months (2 years and 9 months). After this period, you can apply for an extension for a further 30 months (2 years and 6 months), bringing the total stay to five years.

Once you have lived in the UK for a continuous period of five years on a UK Unmarried Partner Visa, you may be eligible to apply for settlement, also known as indefinite leave to remain. To be eligible, you must meet all the requirements for settlement, including the English language and life in the UK tests.

It’s important to note that if you are already in the UK on another visa, you may be able to switch to a UK Unmarried Partner Visa from within the UK. The length of stay you are granted will depend on the visa you are switching from and how much time you have already spent in the UK.

UK Unmarried Partner Visa Entry Clearance

To enter the UK based on your relationship with a “settled person,” you are required to apply for entry clearance before your arrival in the UK. However, if you are already in the UK on a visa that has been granted for more than six months, you may be able to switch to an Unmarried Partner visa from within the country.

It’s important to note that switching to an Unmarried Partner visa from within the UK is not possible if you were initially admitted for a period of fewer than six months, such as on a visitor or short-term student visa.

The CGM App is for expats, sponsoring companies and business immigration advisors. Feel free to contact us on 0300 000 000 or send us an email if you have any questions. 

UK Unmarried partner visa english language requirements

To qualify for a UK Unmarried Partner Visa, you must meet the English language requirement. This requirement is designed to ensure that you have a good understanding of the English language, which will help you to integrate into life in the UK.

There are a few ways you can meet the English language requirement for an Unmarried Partner Visa. These include:

  1. Being a national of a majority English-speaking country
  2. Holding a degree taught in English
  3. Passing an approved English language test at the required level

If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country, you will need to pass an approved English language test at level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This test assesses your ability to understand and use basic phrases and expressions in English.

It’s important to note that if you are applying for an extension of your Unmarried Partner Visa or for settlement (indefinite leave to remain), you will need to meet a higher English language requirement of level A2 or B1 of the CEFR.

What are the Unmarried Partner Visa relationship requirement

The UK’s Home Office has established stringent requirements for relationships that qualify for the Unmarried Partner Visa. The conditions include that both individuals must be over the age of 18 and not be related to each other in a prohibited manner. The couple must have met each other in person and not have any other ongoing relationships. Additionally, the relationship must be deemed “genuine and subsisting.” Providing evidence such as photos, letters, messages, call logs, flight records, hotel stays, or other relevant information to prove the authenticity of the relationship can be beneficial to your application.

The CGM App is for expats, sponsoring companies and business immigration advisors. Feel free to contact us on 0300 000 000 or send us an email if you have any questions. 

A statement letter outlining the relationship’s history and future plans, or a witness to the relationship vouching for its authenticity, can also be helpful. Living together for at least two years is another way to strengthen your application, and documents such as a lease or tenancy agreement, a joint utility bill, or another government-issued document can demonstrate this. Finally, a child or dependent can also serve as evidence of a shared responsibility for their welfare and strengthen your application.

UK unmarried partner financial requirement

It’s important to bear in mind that while on an Unmarried Partner Visa, you won’t be entitled to receive public funds during your stay in the UK. This is because the visa is temporary, and in order to access welfare support, you must be a permanent resident of the UK.

Therefore, you will need to provide evidence that you can support yourself financially during your time in the UK. Here are the key rules:

  1. Your sponsoring partner must earn a minimum of £18,600 annually through employment or self-employment.
  2. If you have children or dependents who are also applying for a visa, your sponsor must earn an additional £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 for each subsequent child.
  3. If the Minimum Income Requirement is not achievable through employment income, you may meet it via other means, such as having £16,000 in cash savings that have been held in your sponsor’s bank account for at least six months.
  4. Additionally, you may satisfy the financial requirement by demonstrating income from property and rental income, or via maternity, paternity, adoption, pension, or sick pay.

UK Unmarried partner visa Accommodation Requirement

As part of the UK Unmarried Partner Visa requirements, you need to demonstrate that you have adequate accommodation in the UK. Here are some important points to consider:

  1. The accommodation must meet basic health and safety standards.
  2. The property must not be overcrowded and must have sufficient space to accommodate all members of your household.
  3. The property must be located in the UK and available for your use exclusively.
  4. If you are renting the accommodation, you will need to provide a tenancy agreement or a letter from your landlord confirming that you have permission to live in the property.
  5. If you are staying with friends or family in the UK, you will need to provide a letter from them confirming that you have permission to stay in their home and details of the accommodation, including the number of bedrooms and who else lives there.
  6. If you are planning to purchase a property in the UK, you will need to provide evidence of the purchase or a mortgage agreement.

Overall, the accommodation requirement aims to ensure that you and your partner have adequate and appropriate housing in the UK.

UK Unmarried partner visa Genuine Relationship Test

Meeting the “genuine relationship” requirement can be one of the most challenging aspects of applying for a Married or Unmarried Partner Visa in the UK. The Home Office is highly vigilant in scrutinizing each application to detect potential “sham marriages.” Applicants who are found to be deliberately deceiving the government by pretending to be in a relationship for immigration benefits will be considered fraudulent or engaged in a “sham” arrangement.

To establish that you and your partner have a genuine, long-lasting, and subsisting relationship, you must provide extensive documentation and evidence. Although there is no fixed list of evidence that applies to every relationship, you can submit a variety of documents to support your application, including photographs of you together, ongoing correspondence such as emails, text messages, and letters, written accounts by family and friends, receipts from gifts you have exchanged, tickets from events you have attended together, plane tickets from visits to each other, birth certificates of any children you have together, tenancy or property agreements, and utility bills with both of your names from previous shared accommodation. Ultimately, the success of your application will depend on the strength of your evidence and how convincing it is in demonstrating that your relationship is genuine and not a “sham.”

The CGM App is for expats, sponsoring companies and business immigration advisors. Feel free to contact us on 0300 000 000 or send us an email if you have any questions. 

UK Unmarried partner visa  Document Checklist

The following is a general document checklist for the UK Unmarried Partner Visa application:

  1. Valid passport or travel document
  2. Two passport-sized photographs
  3. Evidence of your relationship with your British/settled partner, such as photos, messages, emails, letters, etc.
  4. Evidence of cohabitation for at least two years, such as joint tenancy agreement, joint mortgage, utility bills in both names, council tax bill, etc.
  5. Evidence that you meet the English language requirement, such as a test certificate from an approved provider or an academic degree taught in English
  6. Evidence that your partner meets the financial requirement, such as employment contract, payslips, bank statements, tax returns, etc.
  7. Evidence that you have suitable accommodation in the UK, such as a tenancy agreement or a letter from your partner’s landlord
  8. Evidence that you meet the Genuine Relationship test, such as details of previous relationships or marriages, any relevant court orders or legal documents, etc.
  9. Any additional documents required by UKVI, such as criminal record certificates, tuberculosis test results, etc.

It is important to note that these requirements may vary depending on your individual circumstances, so it is recommended to consult the official UKVI guidance and seek legal advice if necessary.

UK Unmarried Partner Visa Application Fee

The current fee for applying for a UK Unmarried Partner Visa is £1,523 for applications made outside the UK and £1,033 for applications made within the UK. Please note that this fee is subject to change, so it is important to check the most up-to-date information on the UK government’s official website before submitting your application. In addition to the application fee, you may also need to pay additional fees for services such as biometric enrolment or priority processing.

UK Unmarried Partner Visa Processing & Decision Waiting Times

The processing time for a UK Unmarried Partner Visa application can vary depending on several factors, including the location where you submit your application and whether you have opted for a priority service.

As of April 2023, the standard processing time for a UK Unmarried Partner Visa application is approximately 12 weeks if you apply from outside the UK. However, if you opt for the priority service, your application will typically be processed within 5 working days, but it may take longer.

If you are applying from within the UK, the processing time is approximately 8 weeks for a standard application and 24 hours for a priority application.

It is important to note that these processing times are only indicative and not guaranteed. Some applications may take longer to process if they require additional checks or if there is a backlog of applications.

The CGM App is for expats, sponsoring companies and business immigration advisors. Feel free to contact us on 0300 000 000 or send us an email if you have any questions. 

Once a decision has been made on your application, you will be notified in writing. If your application is successful, you will be issued with a biometric residence permit, which will allow you to stay in the UK for the duration of your visa. If your application is refused, you will also be notified in writing, and you may be able to appeal the decision depending on the grounds for refusal.

Frequently asked questions

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