A person, who has cohabited for 2 years or more but is not married nor is in a civil partnership with a partner who is settled in the UK, can apply to join his or her partner in the UK. If you are looking to apply for either an unmarried partner or same sex partner visa then you can do so provided certain conditions are met.
In July 2012, new immigration rules for unmarried and same-sex partners wishing to settle permanently in the UK came into effect. If you’re applying for a UK unmarried partner visa, you need to know these rules in order to ensure that you meet all the relevant criteria. However, those who already got leave to enter or remain in the UK under the old rules will continue to be treated under the old rules; the new ew rules will not apply to them.
Immigration rules for unmarried partner and same sex partner visa applicants
If you are not a British or EEA national, you will require a visa to enter and live in the UK as an unmarried or same sex partner. Once you get your UK unmarried partner visa successfully, you can live in the UK with your partner and you can also take up employment. In order to make a successful visa application, you must meet certain requirements. It is important to note that your partner must either be British or settled in the UK; in other words, your partner must hold indefinite leave to remain or permanent residence in the UK.
- You both must be over the age of 18.
- You must be able to demonstrate – with evidence like bank statements, bills, etc. – that you have lived together for a minimum of 2 years.
- Your relationship must be recognised as durable and it must be akin to marriage.
- You must show that you have genuine relationship and you intend to live together permanently.
- You must meet the relevant English language requirements to a minimum level.
- You must be capable of supporting and housing yourselves during your stay in the UK.
If you meet above conditions, you can apply for a UK unmarried or same sex partner visa. Initially, you are granted visa for 30 months and after that you need to apply for an extension for another 30 months.
How long you can stay in UK with your unmarried partner?
The new rules are little complex. Due to this, you should take an expert’s help so that you can make a successful application. You need to show evidence where it is required – for example, showing that you and your partner meet all financial requirements and have an intention to live together.
Those who are granted the visa can live in the UK for 5 years. After you have spent 5 years on this visa as unmarried and/or same sex partner, you can apply for settlement in the UK. However, if unsuccessful, you can appeal against a refused visa decision.