Ask the experts – advice for u

Ask the experts – advice for unmarried partner to extend stay in the UK

In a committed relationship with someone in the UK and want to know how to extend your stay?

Ask the experts – advice for u

Maybe you’ve met your match in the UK? You’ve been a dating a couple of years and it’s suddenly dawned on you: your time has run out and you need to extend your visa. Do you have to tie the knot in a hurry or is there an alternative?


I have been living, working and studying in the UK in various short-term visa categories for the past five years. I am in a serious and committed relationship with a British lady, and we have been living together for just over three years. I have now run out of options to extend my stay in the UK, but we are really not ready to make a commitment to marry just for the sake of a visa. Any advice on what I can do to extend my stay in the UK, in order for us to stay together in the UK?


From the brief facts that you have mentioned, it sounds as though you might qualify for the unmarried partner visa.

This immigration category enables unmarried partners of persons present and settled in the UK, who have been living together in a heterosexual or same-sex relationship for at least two years, to apply to join or stay with their partner in the UK.

In order to qualify you will need to show that you are the (unmarried) partner of a person present and settled (or being admitted for settlement) in the UK, and you will need to prove that you have been living together in a relationship similar to marriage for around two years or more. You will also need to prove that you intend to live together permanently in the future, along with having to fulfill the financial requirement. A minimum income threshold of £18,600 per annum is required in order to sponsor the settlement of the partner. As you will be applying from within the UK, the £18,600 can fortunately be made up from the income of both parties, and it should thus be easier for you to fulfil the financial criteria.

For more information or advice in your unique circumstance, please contact our offices. or