UK Unmarried Partner Visa

The UK Unmarried Partner visa allows a person to join a partner in the UK. If the applicant fulfils the criteria of an ‘unmarried partner’ one can apply in the same way as a spouse or dependant of the main UK visa applicant. There is thus not a separate category to apply as an unmarried partner.

Thus, it would be possible to apply as the unmarried partner of a Skilled Worker visa applicant, an Ancestor visa applicant, and so forth, in the same way as a spouse or civil partner can.

The requirements and conditions for applying as an unmarried partner are determined by the immigration status or type of visa the main visa applicant is applying for. If one fulfils the criteria as an ‘unmarried partner’ of the main visa applicant, one will then have the same immigration status as the main visa applicant’s spouse.

How to qualify as an unmarried partner

You must prove that you intend to live together permanently in a relationship similar to marriage in the future.

Previously, to be eligible as an unmarried partner, couples had to demonstrate two years of cohabitation in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership. However, effective from January 31, 2024, the requirement for two years of cohabitation has been removed from the Immigration Rules. The revised definition now focuses on the duration and nature of the relationship itself rather than solely on cohabitation. Couples seeking an Unmarried Partner Visa must prove they have been in a genuine and subsisting relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership for at least two years before the visa application date. It’s essential to note that the revised criteria do not diminish the significance of cohabitation as a compelling indicator of a genuine relationship. Although no longer mandatory, evidence of cohabitation can strengthen the case and enhance credibility in the eyes of immigration authorities.

Although marriage is thus not required, the relationship must be real, similar to marriage.

Both partners in the relationship have to be 18 years or older. The partners can be of the same sex or in a heterosexual relationship.

How to prove the unmarried partner relationship

You will have to provide evidence such as joint financial commitments, shared responsibilities, and future places for cohabitation remains crucial in substantiating the validity of the partnership. Your Breytenbachs consultant will be able to advise in your unique circumstances.

Financial and Maintenance Requirements

The unmarried partner of a British citizen or person settled in the UK has to fulfil the financial requirements of the Family Migration rules.

If the partner present and settled in the UK is the holder of an Ancestry Visa, you do not need to fulfil the minimum income criteria.

If the partner is a Skilled Worker visa holder, the maintenance requirement of that visa will have to be fulfilled. The same applies to other immigration categories. The requirements for the dependants of main applicants in the specific immigration category will have to be fulfilled.

Length of Stay and Right to Work for the Unmarried Partner

The visa type the main applicant is applying for determines the conditions and length of stay, as well as the current immigration status of the main visa holder.

Please speak to your Breytenbachs consultant for more information.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

If your leave to remain is based on the main applicant’s Ancestral visa, the dependency visa will be granted for the duration of the ancestral visa. One can then apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) with the ancestral visa holder. However, once ILR has been obtained, you cannot apply for British Citizenship until you have completed five years of residence in the UK.

Unmarried partners based on visas such as the Skilled Worker visa are granted for the main permit holders’ visa duration. Unmarried partners under Tier 1 & 2 must complete five years as a dependent, if the application is processed after 9 July 2012. Those based on British citizens are granted 30 months, after which one makes an application for an extension of another 30 months. This extension should take the applicant to the qualifying period of 60 months for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

How Breytenbachs can help you

Breytenbachs have a team of highly qualified consultants who can assist with your unmarried partner visa. Using Breytenbachs will increase your chances of success!

Contact us today for more information.

If you want to find out more, please also check out these articles:

Living together is no longer a requirement for the Unmarried Partner Visa.

UK Unmarried Partner Visa

Please contact us today for further information or applications.