UK Partner Visa

The Unmarried Partner Visa provides de-facto couples and same sex-couples with the same benefits and rights as those who are married or have undergone the Civil Registry. This visa offers a two-year probationary period which can eventually lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and British Nationality.

It has been possible since 1997 for unmarried partners both in a heterosexual and same sex relationship to gain entry to the UK under a partner’s visa. These applications tend to be more difficult than those based on marriage because there is a requirement to provide evidence of cohabitation for a minimum of two years and that it is a committed relationship. If however, the couples have been living together for four years or more outside of the UK, an application for ILR can be filed immediately.

The UK citizen or permanent resident must be their genuine partner and the couple must intend to continue living together. This visa is for couples who do not intend to marry or who cannot marry and same-sex partners of British Citizens or permanent residents.


Basic Requirements for Unmarried Partner Visa

To qualify for an Entry Clearance or Further Leave to Remain application as an Unmarried Partner for a 2-year probationary period there are basic requirements that must be met. Here are they:

  • You have to show that any previous relationship whether in marriage or as an unmarried couple has ended.
  • You should have been living together for at least two years in a relationship similar to marriage. You will need to provide documentary evidence confirming that you have been living together for this time.
  • If you have been together for less than four years you are granted a visa for a probationary period of two years. If you are still living together at the end of two years in the UK permanent residence (properly known as indefinite leave to remain) will usually be granted.
  • If you have been together for four years or more outside the UK you will be granted indefinite leave to remain (permanent residence) in the UK without having to live in the UK for two years. Again, you will need to provide documentary evidence proving this.
  • You must intend to live together permanently with your partner.
  • You must possess sufficient funds to pay you and your partner's living expenses and those of any dependents without claiming public funds.


Benefits of Unmarried Partner Visa Holders

You can obtain permanent residency upon successfully completing the two year probationary period, except for family members of EEA nationals who have to satisfy a five year period.

You can apply for British Nationality after holding Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) for one year and residing legally in the UK for three years with your spouse or five years for EEA nationals and other relationships.

Your Visa is valid for two years. You have permission to work in the UK during this period. You can also enter and leave the UK during this period without any further permission.

Once you have lived in the UK for two years with your Partner and satisfy the necessary Immigration Rules, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain/permanent residence in the UK. The application can be made from within the UK.

One you have held ILR for a period of one year, you can apply for British nationality.


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