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UK Unmarried Partner Visa

Do you need to apply for a UK Unmarried Partner Visa?
Speak to our experts to find out about our fast, friendly and affordable service

Unmarried Partner Visa Applications

What is an Unmarried Partner or De-Facto Visa?

Under the UK de-facto or unmarried partner visa, a UK-based citizen can bring his or her unmarried partner from other countries to the UK provided that they have been in a committed relationship with the British Citizen for a minimum of two years. The defacto visa allows couples and same-sex couples the same rights and benefits as are allowed to those who are married or living in a civil partnership.

This visa permits a two-year probationary period in the UK. Following this, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain and, subsequently, UK nationality. In such cases, the couples must be cohabiting for a minimum of two years before applying for the probationary period.

Under immigration laws, both heterosexuals and homosexuals are treated equally with equal rights, and with no restriction regarding work in the UK. Applicants, however, must obtain UK entry clearance or their applications will be refused.

Benefits of a De-Facto Visa

After the visa is granted, there are a variety of benefits for unmarried partner visa holders. These include:

  • The visa is granted to unmarried partners regardless of whether they are heterosexual or homosexual - both are treated equal

  • Ability to settle permanently in the UK

  • Entitlement for the foreign national partner to work in the UK without any restrictions

  • Entitlement to the same benefits as married couples or those in a civil partnership

Defacto Visa Requirements & Eligibility

Applicants applying for the unmarried partner visa must meet the following criteria:

  • The partners must be a minimum of 18 years of age

  • The couple must establish - with documentary proof - that they have been living together for at least two years before applying for the visa

  • After being granted a defacto visa, the couple must intend to stay together on a permanent basis

  • If either of the partners was involved in any previous relationship, they must show that that relationship does not exist anymore

  • The couple should be able to financially support themselves and their dependents (if any) without relying on public funds

  • The couple must meet the income threshold of £18,600 for sponsoring a non-EU National.  A higher threshold of £22,400 is required for sponsoring a child, with an additional £2,400 for each subsequent child

  • The couple should have suitable accommodation for themselves and any dependents

Financial Requirements and Exceptions

When making an unmarried partner visa application, you can meet the financial requirements through a variety of sources of income and savings, including salaries from employment and self-employment, cash savings, rental income and so on.

All the categories have a separate set of documents for submission with the application:

  • The permitted sources of income and any savings

  • The time periods, as prescribed and permitted combinations of sources applicable to each permitted source relied

  • Proof required for each permitted source relied upon

Your sponsors are not required to meet the financial requirement if they are in receipt of any of the following allowances or benefits:

  • Carer's Allowance

  • Disability Living Allowance

  • Severe Disablement Allowance

  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

  • Attendance Allowance

  • Personal Independence Payment

English Language Requirements

You need to meet certain English language requirements when applying for an unmarried partner visa in the UK. You can meet these requirements for a defacto visa by proving that you are a national of a majority English-speaking country or hold a degree - equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or above - that was taught in English. Aside from this, you could also pass a test at the appropriate level.

In order to prove your English language ability, you should use the Home Office’s list of approved English language tests. In the case of UK unmarried partner visa applications, you are required to pass at CEFR A1 level.

Required Documents

Like other visas, de facto visas have a particular set of required documents which need to be completed and submitted with your application. The following documents provide evidence for fulfilling the UK unmarried partner visa requirements:

  • Your passport and 2 recent passport photographs

  • Evidence of your and your unmarried partner’s age

  • Evidence that you intend to live together permanently

  • Documents to show that you meet the necessary financial requirements, including:

    • Relevant sources of income and necessary savings

    • The time periods and permitted combinations of income sources applicable to each permitted source relied upon

    • Reliable evidence for each permitted source of income

  • Documents to prove the successful attainment of the necessary English language requirements

How Long Does it Take to Get a Defacto Visa to the UK?

UK marriage and spouse visa processing times differ depending on a number of different factors. For example, processing times for marriage visas will depend upon the country you are applying from. In general, processing times can range from just a couple of weeks to several months or more. There can also be delays in visa processing times in the UK, so you should research your options and speak to one of our experts in order to avoid this prior to making your spouse visa application.

UK Unmarried Partner Visa Refusal Reasons

Your initial application for a spouse visa can be refused. There are a number of different reasons why this can happen. For example, you may supply incorrect documentation, fail to disclose previous marriage visa or immigration issues, or you may assume that the Home Office would be lenient with their decision on your visa application.

You should try avoid these mistakes so that the Home Office does not get a chance to refuse your marriage visa application. In order to get expert legal advice on your UK spouse visa application, get in touch with us or read more about common reasons for visa refusals.

Do you need to apply for a UK Unmarried Partner Visa?
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We specialise exclusively in UK Immigration and Nationality Law. We are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner(OISC). We provide immigration services to clients from worldwide. Immigration law is complex and with the rules constantly changing we strongly recommend that you use specialists to support and represent you from the start. Call us now for an honest opinion of your case, possible costs and options.

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