You can apply for an Unmarried Partner visa under 5-year route as an unmarried partner of a British citizen or a person settled in the UK if you meet all the requirements as set out in Appendix FM.
We are experts in dealing with unmarried partner visa applications under the 5 and 10 years route to settlement. If instructed we will carry out all the work on the application until the decision is received from the Home Office UKVI. Please contact an expert UK immigration lawyer at Rex Law Chambers to fully assess your eligibility for both 5 and 10 years route to settlement by considering all the relevant information so that we can advise you on the chances of success in your application in particular if you have any exceptional circumstances or any adverse immigration history.
If you need the help of an expert UK immigration lawyer with your Unmarried Partner visa application or extension, please contact us to get legal advice & assistance.
Table of Contents
- What is a Unmarried Partner visa?
- UK Unmarried Partner visa requirements
- UK Unmarried Partner visa financial requirement
- Adequate accommodation requirement
- English language requirement
- UK Unmarried Partner visa supporting documents checklist
- How to apply for a UK Unmarried Partner visa?
- Extension of UK Unmarried Partner visa
- Indefinite Leave to Remain after 5 years Unmarried Partner visa
- UK Unmarried Partner visa processing time 2023
- UK Unmarried Partner visa application fees
- How can our immigration lawyer help you?
- Need legal advice or help from an immigration lawyer?
What is a Unmarried Partner visa?
An Unmarried Partner Visa is a type of visa that allows unmarried partners of British citizens or settled persons in the UK to join them in the UK. This visa category is also known as a De Facto Visa or a Cohabitation Visa. It is designed for couples who are in a genuine and long-term relationship but are not married or in a civil partnership.
To be eligible for an Unmarried Partner Visa, you must have lived together with your partner in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership for at least two years. You must also meet other requirements, such as financial requirements, English language proficiency, and immigration history.
UK Unmarried Partner visa requirements
The requirements for a Unmarried Partner visa in the UK are as follows:
- Age: You and your partner are both over the age of 18;
- Relationship: You must be in a genuine and long-term relationship with a British citizen or settled person in the UK.
- Cohabitation: You and your partner must have lived together in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership for at least two years.
- Financial requirement: You and your partner must meet the financial requirement, which is currently set at a minimum income of £18,600 per year. If you have children, the financial requirement may be higher.
- English language proficiency: You must be able to speak and understand English at the required level. You can demonstrate this by passing an approved English language test or by having an academic qualification that was taught in English.
- Accommodation: You must have suitable accommodation for you and your partner, and any dependents, without relying on public funds.
- Immigration history: You must not have breached any UK immigration laws, and must not have any criminal convictions that would make you ineligible for a visa.
You must also meet all the other eligibility requirements depending on type of application and your personal circumstances. Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options.
UK Unmarried Partner visa financial requirement
The financial requirements for a UK Unmarried Partner visa are as follows:
- Income requirement: If your partner is employed in the UK, they must have a gross annual income of at least £18,600. If you have children who will also be applying for the visa, the income requirement will be higher.
- Savings requirement: If your partner is not able to meet the income requirement, you may be able to use your own savings to meet the financial requirement. You must have at least £62,500 in savings, which must have been held for at least six months prior to the visa application.
- Combination of income and savings: If you and your partner cannot meet either the income or savings requirement individually, you may be able to combine your income and savings to meet the financial requirement. For example, if your partner earns £16,000 per year, you would need to have at least £46,000 in savings to meet the financial requirement.
Adequate accommodation requirement
To meet the adequate accommodation requirement for a UK Unmarried Partner visa, the couple must demonstrate that they have suitable accommodation in the UK that meets certain criteria. The accommodation must:
- Be owned or occupied exclusively by the UK-based partner, or be owned or leased jointly by the couple.
- Be free from overcrowding, and meet the relevant health and safety standards.
- Not be rented from a local authority or a housing association.
- Not be subsidized by public funds.
The accommodation requirement can be met in different ways, such as by providing evidence of ownership or occupancy of a property, a rental agreement, or a letter of support from a friend or family member who is willing to accommodate the couple. If the couple does not have suitable accommodation when the application is submitted, they may still be able to apply for an Unmarried Partner visa, but they will need to demonstrate that they have made adequate arrangements to secure accommodation once they arrive in the UK.
English language requirement
To apply for a UK Unmarried Partner visa, you must prove you can read, write, speak and understand English to a certain level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.
You must prove you can read, write, speak and understand English to at least level A1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.
UK Unmarried Partner visa supporting documents checklist
To apply for a UK Unmarried Partner visa, the following documents are typically required:
- Valid passport: The applicant must provide a valid passport or other travel document.
- Financial documents: The UK-based partner must provide evidence of meeting the financial requirement, such as payslips, bank statements, or a letter from an employer. If the UK-based partner is self-employed, they may need to provide additional documentation, such as tax returns and business accounts.
- Accommodation documents: The couple must provide evidence of meeting the accommodation requirement, such as proof of ownership or occupancy of a property, a rental agreement, or a letter of support from a friend or family member who is willing to accommodate the couple.
- English language test certificate: The applicant must provide a valid English language test certificate unless they are a national of a majority English-speaking country.
This is a general list of documents. Depending on type of application and your personal circumstances, you might also need to provide additional documents.
Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and find out the required list of documents in support of your application.
How to apply for a UK Unmarried Partner visa?
Below is the step-by-step process to apply for a UK Unmarried Partner visa:
- Check if you meet the eligibility criteria
- Gather the required documents
- Apply online using the correct application form & submit documents
- Pay the visa application fee
- Attend a biometric appointment
- Wait for a decision
Extension of UK Unmarried Partner visa
If you are granted an Unmarried Partner Visa, you will be allowed to live and work in the UK for a period of 30 months. After this initial period, you can apply for an extension of the visa for another 30 months.
Indefinite Leave to Remain after 5 years Unmarried Partner visa
As an Unmarried Partner visa holder, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after you have spent 5 continuous years in the UK on an Unmarried Partner visa.
Once you are granted Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), you can stay in the UK indefinitely and work in any job or industry without the need for a work permit. You may also be eligible to apply for British citizenship after a certain period of time.
UK Unmarried Partner visa processing time 2023
The standard Unmarried Partner visa UK processing time in 2023 is currently 3-6 months. However, you may be able to use priority service to fast-track your application and get a faster decision within 15-30 working days.
UK Unmarried Partner visa application fees
The Unmarried Partner visa UK fee is £1,538 if you are applying from outside the UK using standard service. You may be eligible to use priority service to get a faster decision. You need to pay a priority service fee in addition to the application fee.
Please note that these fees are subject to change, and you should always check the most up-to-date information on the UK government's official website before applying for a visa.
How much does a UK visa application cost?
The cost of a UK visa application varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for, your location and the type of service such as 'standard service', or 'priority service'.
Here are some common costs associated with applying for a UK visa:
- Home Office visa application fee
- Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) (unless visa length is less than 6 months or you're exempt)
- Biometrics fee (if applying from inside the UK)
- The 'priority service' fee to get a faster decision (if applicable)
- English language test fee (if required)
- Immigration lawyer fees (if using legal services to boost your chances of success & avoid mistakes)
Please note that the above is a general list of costs associated with UK visa applications. There may be additional costs such court fee and translation fee depending on your circumstances.
Immigration lawyer fees
Our expert UK immigration lawyer will guide you through every step of the UK visa application process including advice about legal requirements and eligibility criteria.
At Rex Law Chambers, our immigration lawyer charges a fixed fee between £800-£1000 for our complete legal services in relation to your UK visa application. The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.
How can our immigration lawyer help you?
As part of our immigration services for your immigration application, our expert immigration lawyer will:
- assess your eligibility for the relevant visa type by fully considering your circumstances;
- advise you on the required supporting documents to be submitted in support of your immigration application;
- assess all the documents to ensure that the documents you provide are as per the requirements of the Immigration Rules;
- advise you on strengths and potential weaknesses in your visa application and how you can overcome such weaknesses if any;
- complete the online immigration draft application form to share it with you for cross-checking;
- submit your application online and schedule your biometrics appointments with the relevant commercial partner of the UKVI;
- prepare a detailed cover letter in support of the immigration application explaining in detail how you are meeting all the requirements of the Immigration Rules so that you have the maximum chances of succeeding in your visa application;
- upload all the supporting documents online in support of the immigration application in their correct format and order;
- dealing and responding to any caseworker enquiries or correspondence from the Home Office caseworker for any further documents or information concerning your pending immigration application;
- do all the follow-up work on your immigration application until a decision is received from the Home Office UKVI.