UK unmarried partner visa
For the long-term unmarried partners of British citizens or people who are settled in the UK
Also called a de facto visa, this is the first step towards living permanently in the UK.
You need to have lived together for at least two years before you can make this application.
As a couple you need to have a minimum annual income of £18,600. This will increase if you have children who also need a visa.
The Immigration Rules set out the various ways in which you can meet the financial requirement and what mandatory documents you have to submit for each way. You cannot rely on a financial source that is not listed in the Immigration Rules.
If your British or settled partner receives certain benefits to do with disability or caring for someone you will not have to show an annual income of £18,600, but you will still need to show that you can maintain and accommodate yourselves from your own resources,.
You must have adequate accommodation for yourselves and any other family members who live with you. Sharing a house is fine, as long as there is a separate bedroom for your exclusive use.
You must be able to speak and understand English at a basic level. This means that if you are not from an English speaking country or you don’t have a degree that was taught in English (as verified by UK NARIC) you will need to pass an approved English test.
Character and conduct
If you have been sentenced to prison, or have been convicted of very serious crimes, this could impact your visa. Please contact us for advice.
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What to expect from us
If you are in the UK with a visa that permits you to remain here for more than six months you can apply from the UK, otherwise you must apply from your country of nationality or any country where you are a long-term, legal resident.
If you apply from the UK the standard processing time is eight weeks, though you can pay a premium fee for a quicker decision.
From overseas it usually takes around 12 weeks, though there is a priority service available.
Visas are issued for two and a half years. You will need to apply for an extension before your initial visa ends, and once you have lived in the UK on an unmarried partner visa for five years you can apply for settlement, also called Indefinite Leave to Remain or ILR.
You are free to work or study as you please, but you are not allowed to claim any public funds.
There are no restrictions on travelling out of the UK, but you should not spend too much time overseas as that could cause problems both when you apply for an extension and if you want to become a British citizen.
You must apply for an extension of your initial visa, and then after five years for settlement.
You will need to show that you meet the requirements for spouses with each application that you make.
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