Unmarried Partners Visa UK
to popular belief, it isn’t necessary to marry (or intend to marry) an
individual with settled UK status to qualify for a visa. Legislation introduced
in 1997 made allowances for non-EEA nationals to legally enter and reside in
the United Kingdom on the basis of their relationship with a settled individual
as an unmarried partner.
unmarried partner relationships are recognised largely in the same way as
traditional marriages and partnerships. There are certain rights and privileges
that exclusively accompany marriage and other formal partnerships, but it is
nonetheless possible to enter the UK and live with a settled individual on the
basis of an unmarried partnership.
Is an Unmarried Partner Relationship?
often assumed that civil partnerships and unmarried partnerships are the same.
In reality, an unmarried partnership refers more to cohabitation, whereas a
civil partnership refers to a recognised same sex relationship. UK immigration
law formally recognises unmarried partner relationships in instances where two
people in a relationship have been living together and sharing their lives in a
similar way to marriage for at least two years.
an unmarried partner relationship is only recognised on the condition that the
couple has the intention to stay together and live together indefinitely.
Hence, the relationship is similar to a traditional marriage or civil
partnership, though without the formal/legal joining of the two parties.
a result, the key to successful unmarried partner visa applications typically
lies in the provision of evidence of cohabitation. Documentation must be
provided to support the applicant’s case, usually in the form of utility bills,
bank statements, tenancy agreements and other documents that feature the names
of both parties.
legislation was introduced in response to growing demand for acknowledgement of
many couples’ desire to live together and share their lives permanently,
without having to enter into marriage. For a variety of reasons, some couples
simply do not wish to get married or enter into civil partnerships, yet have
every intention of remaining a couple and living together indefinitely.
Partner Considerations under Current Immigration Rules
an application for an unmarried partner visa is successful, the applicant will
be granted conditional leave in the United Kingdom for a maximum of 33 months. During
which time, a subsequent application can be submitted to extend this by a
further 30 months. By the end of this 63-month temporary residency, the
applicant will have fulfilled the five-year continuous UK residence requirement
to apply for permanent settled status.
entry clearance is not required when an individual submits their application
while already in the UK. Longer periods of legal and uninterrupted UK residency
can boost an applicant’s likelihood of being granted indefinite leave to
a couple decide they wish to get married, the applicant will have the option to
apply for leave as a spouse. Different criteria must be fulfilled and evidence
provided to qualify for a fiancé visa or a visa on the basis of marriage –
contact the team at Aristone Solicitors for more information.
Basic Requirements for Successful Unmarried Partner
are several essential requirements that must be met for an unmarried partner
visa application to be considered. Examples of which include the following:
- Both unmarried partners
must be at least 18 years old
- The partner in the UK
must have unconditional settled status
- The intention to live
it can be difficult to formally document and prove an intention, the couple’s
intention to live together permanently may be particularly scrutinised during
the application process. Along with the provision of a formal declaration of
intent by each partner, it may also be necessary to provide evidence of the
availability and readiness of suitable accommodation.
can also be supported with supplementary documentation, such as reference
letters from friends and family, statements from persons in positions of
responsibility and so on.
applications are routinely rejected on the basis of one or both partners’
assumed likelihood of putting a strain on public funds. It’s therefore the
responsibility of both parties to verify their financial status and their
ability to fund their lifestyles, without resorting to benefits/welfare
now, the minimum annual salary requirement for a sponsor (the UK settled
partner) is £18,600. If the overseas partner intends to bring children into the
UK, this increases to £22,400 for the first child and a further £2,400 for every
subsequent child. Extensive proof of income will be required to verify the
financial status of the sponsor.
source of income itself will also be scrutinised during the screening process –
the following income sources having been deemed acceptable by the British
- Standard income from an
- Income from
- Pension payments (private
- Savings acquired
- Any legal/traceable
source of income
of acceptable documentation as evidence of financial status include the
- Formal letters from
- Bank statements
- Tax returns and
- Employment contracts
- Business statements
- Pay slips
Evidence of Suitable Accommodation
applicant will need to provide evidence of their arrangement of suitable
accommodation for the duration of their stay. This is a critical aspect of the
application process and may determine whether the visa is subsequently
issued. Provision of evidence in
relation to accommodation is relatively simple – mortgage statements, tenancy
agreements, formal letters from housing associations and so on are all
considered acceptable by the Home Office.
there are any doubts as to the suitability or current occupancy of the
property, it may also be helpful to obtain a formal letter from a local council
English Language Requirements
from non-English speaking nations will be required to formalise their English
language skills as part of the visa application process. Specifically, an English language test at
level A1 or above must be passed, or the applicant must have a degree-level
qualification or higher from a UK educational institution taught in English.
Partner Visa Specialists in Luton
success of your unmarried partner visa application could be determined by the
legal support you’re provided with throughout. Here at Aristone Solicitors, our
elite individual immigration team has unrivalled experience and expertise in
all aspects of unmarried partner visa applications.
document acquisition to application submission to full legal representation in
front of UK courts and bodies, we’ll provide the all-round support you need for
a successful outcome. Contact the team at Aristone Solicitors today to book
your obligation-free consultation with one of our experts.