An applicant who has had an intimate relationship with a person permanently residing in the UK for two years is permitted to reunite with or accompany his or her partner to the UK.
For applicants from abroad the visa is issued for 33 months, for applicants from the UK – for 30 months. This visa is subsequently renewed for an additional 30 months.
Applicants are required to provide documentary evidence that they can support themselves without recourse to the state and have the firm intention to reside permanently with their partners. The permission to remain in the U.K. granted to them allows them to work or be self-employed for the duration of their permission to remain.
Both partners must be at least 18 years old.
After having lived with their partner in the U.K. for 5 years, the applicant can apply for British citizenship, provided that they meet the requirements of other rules and regulations.
However, if the common-law partners at some point decide to marry, in which case the applicant may apply for a spousal visa, which will be issued for a period of 2.5 years. In order to qualify for permanent residency (ILR) the applicant must have lived in the UK for 5 years from the date of the unmarried partner’s visa.
The rules for victims of domestic violence apply to common-law partners.
Prerequisites for the Unmarried Partner visa
– One of the partners must be permanently resident in the UK
The applicant must provide proof that his or her partner is permanently resident in the UK and has either British citizenship, permanent residency or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
UK nationals who are abroad but who intend to return to the UK are deemed to be resident in the UK.
– Both partners must intend to live together permanently
The applicant and his/her partner must show a firm intention to live together permanently, a requirement which is mandatory for both parties.
Evidence is a formal letter of commitment from both partners confirming their intention to reside permanently at the address where the UK partner has his/her own or rented accommodation.
The visa officer can ask the applicant questions about the address, ask for a description of the place where the house is located, etc. in order to verify the veracity of their intentions.
– Minimum Income Requirements for Sponsoring Partner
The sponsoring partner must show that he has an annual income of at least £18,600. If there is one child this amount will be £22,400 plus an additional £2400 for each child if there is more than one child.
The appropriate minimum will apply at all stages: initial application, renewal, permanent residency. (This requirement does not apply to children with British citizenship or EEA nationals with permanent residency or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme).
What counts as income:
– An employee’s wages or self-employed income. Both the sponsoring partner’s income and the income of the applicant (or just the applicant) can be counted if the applicant is in the UK and eligible to work;
– Regular non-work-related income of the sponsor and/or applicant (the applicant’s income does not count if he/she is not applying in the UK);
– The state or private pension (whether received in the UK or abroad) of the sponsor and/or the applicant;
– Any maternity or bereavement benefits received in the UK by the sponsor and/or the applicant;
– any savings of more than £16,000 which the sponsor and/or the applicant have had in their possession for at least the last 6 months and which they can freely and fully dispose of.
Sponsors in receipt of UK Disability Living Allowance are exempt from the financial requirements.
Evidence of sufficient funds:
– bank statements;
– P60 forms;
– letters from employers;
– employment contract;
– financial documentation if the sponsor has a business;
– proof of payment of taxes.
This is not a definitive list, as proof of means can vary, and other documents may be submitted depending on the circumstances.
Both partners must be able to fully support themselves and their dependents in housing (rented or owned) without recourse to government funds.
Evidence can be a rental agreement or certificate of title, as well as proof of a mortgage loan.
– English Language
The applicant under the Unmarried Partner category must prove that he/she has an English language proficiency of at least A1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Before applying for a visa, the applicant must take a language test from the Home Office approved list.
- Application for Permanent Residence (ILR)
After 5 years of residency in the U.K. on an Unmarried Partner visa, the applicant may apply for permanent residency. The applicant must pass the Life in the UK test in order to qualify for permanent residency. Exceptions are those who are over the age of 65 or have medical contraindications.
Also, applicants for ILR under this category must, in addition to Life in the UK, pass an English language test with a score of at least B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages CEFR.
They must also intend to continue living together with a spouse/partner, as well as meet the financial and housing requirements.