Frequently asked questions on

Frequently asked questions on the Unmarried Partner Visa

Unmarried Partner Visa’s questions answered by the experts

Frequently asked questions on

The Unmarried Partner Visa is a very advantageous immigration category that allows the unmarried partners of persons present and settled in the UK for at least two years, to apply to join their partners in the UK. Persons are often surprised to find out that they qualify to stay with their partner in the UK, under this route. Below we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions on the subject.

Is this route open for partners in a same-sex relationship?
Yes, this immigration route is open for both heterosexual and same-sex couples.

Is there a financial requirement for the unmarried partner visa?
Yes, if your partner is a British citizen, you will have to fulfil the financial requirement. A minimum income threshold of £18,600 is required in order to sponsor the settlement of the partner.

If you are from within the UK, the £18,600 can be made up from the income of both parties, and it should thus be easier for you to fulfil the financial criteria. If the partner present and settled in the UK is the holder of an Ancestry Visa, you will not need to fulfil the minimum income criteria.

In cases where the partner is a Tier 1 or Tier 2 holder, the maintenance requirement of those visas will have to be fulfilled.

My partner and I have been in and on-and-off relationship for the past 3 years. Will the fact that we cannot proof a successive 2 years count against us?
It is important to remember that you will need to prove that you have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for 2 years or more. You will also need to prove that you intend to live together permanently in the future. If you cannot proof this, your application will in all likelihood be declined.

How does one prove the relationship?
Normally, you would need utility bills covering 2 years, such as tenancy agreements, bank statements and other bills being posted to the same address. Joint if possible, but you can also have separate accounts as long as it shows the same address.

I am the holder of an unmarried partner visa, and interested in opening a small business. Will I be allowed to do this on this type of visa?
Yes, one of the advantages of the Unmarried Partner Visa is that it allows you to work in the UK without restriction. You will thus be able to be employed, be self-employed or combine the two.

Does this visa lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain?

If your unmarried partner visa is based on your partner’s Ancestral visa, the unmarried partner visa will be granted for the duration of the ancestral visa, and you can apply for ILR with the ancestral holder. However once ILR has been obtained you will not be able to apply for British citizenship until you have completed 5 years residence in the UK.

Unmarried partners based on Tier 1 & 2 are granted for the duration of the permit holders’ visa. If you received the unmarried partner visa before 9 July 2012 you can apply for ILR with the permit holder if you have completed at least 2 years as a dependent.

If you have not completed 2 years when the permit holder qualifies for ILR, the unmarried partner will need to apply for an extension. Unmarried partners under Tier1 & 2 must complete 5 years as a dependent if the application is processed after 9 July 2012.

Unmarried partners based on British citizens are granted for a period of 30 months, after which an application can be made for an extension of another 30 months, which should take the applicant to the qualifying period of 60 months for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

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