6 Things To Know Before Applying For An Unmarried Partner Visa To The UK

Navigating through the UK immigration system can be complex, especially if you’re trying to bring over your unmarried partner.

Photo by brooklyn on Unsplash

Immigration rules are really complex and offer numerous, although not unlimited, alternatives.

For unmarried partners of British citizens, the rules are more demanding than for unmarried partners of non-British expats going to the UK for work or study. For example, partners of British citizens have to take an English language test, whereas dependent partners of workers or students do not have to meet the language requirement. 

The application process and the requirements will be different in each specific scenario and it’s a good idea to seek professional advice from immigration consultants specializing in UK immigration options for unmarried partners.  

Below are 6 things you must know if you are planning to make a successful visa application as an unmarried partner. 

Who Qualifies As Unmarried Partners? – Relationship Requirements

Before you can obtain a visa to the UK for your unmarried partner, check if you have evidence of having lived together for 2 years in a relationship akin to marriage.

It is not enough to see each other regularly or to state that you have been together for years, or that you are in a loving relationship, but have not lived together yet. The requirements of the immigration rules for unmarried partners are very prescriptive. 

You have to show a “durable relationship”–which means living together for at least two years. Utility bills, bank statements, or joint ownership of property normally prove this.

Gather some photographs as well stretching over a period of time. These tangible proofs will strengthen your case and show that your relationship is genuine and ongoing.

Children From A Previous Relationship

If you have a child from a previous relationship and want to bring the child with you to the UK, show that you have sole responsibility for this child and that the other parent plays no role in the child’s upbringing. You may also show that your unmarried partner has become a de facto parent for the child. 

This means not only assuming financial responsibility for the child’s welfare but also making important decisions as the responsible parent.

Medical Screening

UK doesn’t require medical screening and there are no medical questions on the visa application forms. However, you will need TB screening from an approved TB test provider if you have lived for six months or longer in one of the countries identified in the immigration rules.

Visa Fees

Your visa fees will be determined by the immigration status of the main traveler. Your visa fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge (a mandatory fee added to the visa application fee) will be the same as the main visa holder’s. If you are applying as the partner of a British citizen, your costs will be around £3400.

Right To Work In The UK

Unmarried partner visa will allow you to work in the UK with almost no restriction. Even if restrictions apply to the main visa holder–such as permission to work for a specified employer only, or a 20-hour per week limit for students–a dependent family member enjoys the freedom to take any type of work they like and even set up their own business.

Before You Submit The Visa Application

If you need confidence in a successful outcome, seek professional help with the application. Official government website is a good starting point, but information is scattered over various pages, and it is easy to miss an important component which may lead to a delay in the processing of your application or even refusal.

Do not forget, that failure to provide accurate information or disclose a relevant fact, may lead to a ban on entry to the UK for up to 10 years. It is very important to read the questions carefully and where necessary, provide additional information in a cover letter. 

**Once you have successfully navigated the immigration process, a world of possibilities awaits you and your partner. You can look forward to the many things you can do in the UK and the joy of building a new life together in this vibrant and culturally rich country.

Team JST

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