If the applicant and his partner meet all immigration requirements, the visa will be granted for 2.5 years. The application can be extended for another 2.5 years – if the applicant and his partner continue to comply with the established rules. After 5 years of continuous residence in the UK as a partner, applicants are eligible to apply for citizenship.
The visa is for people seeking to enter or settle in the UK based on their family life with a partner who is a British citizen or a resident of the country.
Within the framework of a visa of this category, a “partner” is recognized:
- Spouse of the applicant;
- Civil partner of the applicant;
- Applicant’s bride/groom or future civil marriage partner;
- A person who has lived with and is in a relationship with the applicant can be described as “marriage” or “civil partnership” for at least 2 years before the application.
Requirements to apply for entry as a partner:
- To be allowed to enter the UK as a marriage partner, the applicant must meet several established requirements;
- An essential part of the application includes proof that the relationship between the visa applicant and their UK resident partner is genuine. Partners must express intent to live together in the UK. If the couple is not officially married, numerous documents may be required confirming that the partners have been in close family relations for at least 2 years;
- All applicants will be required to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and the availability of adequate housing.
Prerequisites for obtaining an Unmarried Partner visa
1) One of the partners must reside permanently in the UK
The applicant must provide proof that his / her partner is domiciled in the UK and has either British citizenship or permanent residency. UK citizens who are abroad but intend to return to the UK are considered to be residing in the UK.
2) Both partners must intend to live together permanently
The applicant and his / her partner must demonstrate a commitment to permanently living together, and this requirement is mandatory for both parties. The proof is the official letters of commitment from both partners confirming their intention to reside permanently at the address where the British partner has his own or rented housing.
The visa officer can ask the applicant questions about the address, ask him to describe the place where the house is located to check the truth of his intentions.
3) Requirements for the minimum income of the sponsoring partner
The sponsoring partner must show that they have an annual income of at least £ 18,600. If there is one child, this amount will be £ 22,400, plus an additional £ 2,400 for each child if there are multiple children. The corresponding minimum will apply at all stages: initial application, renewal, permanent residence. (This requirement does not apply to children who have British citizenship or citizenship of one of the EEA countries, or permanent residence in the UK).
What counts as income:
- Salary of an employee or assets of an individual entrepreneur. The income of both the sponsoring partner and the applicant (or only the applicant) may be taken into account if the applicant is located in the UK and is eligible to work;
- Regular non-work related income of the sponsor and/or applicant (applicant’s income is not counted if he/she applies to the UK);
- Government or non-government pension (both received in the UK and abroad) of the sponsor and/or applicant;
- Any maternity or bereavement benefits received in the UK by the sponsor and/or applicant;
- Savings of the sponsor and/or applicant in the amount of over £ 16,000, which the sponsor and/or applicant have held for at least the last 6 months, and which they can completely dispose of at their discretion.
Sponsors receiving UK Disability Benefit are exempt from financial eligibility.
Evidence of sufficient funds:
- Bank statements;
- Forms P60;
- Letters from employers;
- Labor contract;
- Financial documentation, if the sponsor has his own business;
- Proof of payment of taxes.
This is not a definitive list, as the evidentiary documentation of the availability of funds can be very diverse, and other documents may be provided depending on the circumstances.
Both partners should be able to fully provide themselves and their dependents with housing (rented or own) without seeking help from government funds. The proof can be a lease agreement or a certificate of registration of rights, as well as confirmation of a mortgage loan.
If possible, it is advisable to provide a letter from the local council about the number of rooms in the apartment and the availability of the necessary amenities.
An applicant for the Unmarried Partner category must prove that he or she speaks English at an A1 level or higher under the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Before applying for a visa, the applicant must pass a language test from the list approved by the Home Office.