Unmarried Partner & Same Sex Partner Visas

In order to enter or remain in the UK as the Unmarried/Same Sex partner of a British citizen or someone who is settled in the UK you must meet the following criteria:

  • you and your partner must be aged 18 or over;
  • you and your partner have met in person and are not related in a way that means you could not marry under UK law;
  • your relationship with your partner is genuine and subsisting and you intend to live together permanently in the UK;
  • any previous relationship have permanently broken down
  • you meet the suitability requirements;
  • your meet the financial requirement: an income of at least £18,600. If you are sponsoring a child as well as a spouse/civil partner you will need an income of at least £22,400. For each additional child being sponsored you will need an additional income of £2,400. Cash savings are a permitted source, the amount required will need to be calculated as per individual circumstances
  • there will be adequate accommodation in the UK
  • the applicant meets the English language requirement

Visa duration and Settlement

Unmarried Partner visas will be initially issued for a period 30 months if applying from within the UK, and 33 months if applying from outside the UK. A further extension application will be required prior to the expiry of the initial visa, this would be granted for a further 30 months (as long as you continue to meet the requirements), taking you to a total of 5 years residence in the UK. Once you have completed the 5 year probationary leave you will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. Provided that your relationship is subsisting, you are living with your partner in the UK and can continue to meet the maintenance and accommodation requirements, and have enough knowledge of the English language and life in the UK.

Unmarried Partner & Same Sex Partner Visas made on or before 8th July 2012

If you applied to enter the UK or for leave to remain in the UK as the Unmarried or Same Sex partner of a British or settled person on or before 8 July 2012, the conditions of your stay will not change. If you now apply to extend your stay or settle in the UK, your application will be considered under the old rules that applied until 8 July 2012.

In order to remain in the UK or apply for settlement as the Unmarried/Same Sex partner of a British citizen or someone who is settled in the UK you must meet the following criteria: 

  • You are both at least 18 years old
  • You have been living together in a genuine relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership for at least 2 years;
  • any previous marriage or civil partnership that either of you was in has permanently broken down;
  • You are not related by blood;
  • You both plan to live together permanently;
  • You meet the English language requirement
  • You can support yourselves and any dependants without help from public funds and
  • You have adequate accommodation where you and your dependants can live without needing public funds.

ILR and British Citizenship

You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain shortly before the end of your 2 year probationary period. Provided that your relationship is subsisting and you both intend to live together permanently as partners, you continue to meet the maintenance and accommodation requirements and the applicant has sufficient knowledge of the English language and life in the UK. You will normally be eligible to apply for British Citizenship one year after you have been granted your ILR, subject to meeting other requirements for British Citizenship.


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