What is the route from Unmarried Partner Visa to British Citizenship?

28 Nov 2023, 44 mins ago

Under certain circumstances, you can move to the UK with your partner and secure the right to remain even without getting married. Information about the process is given below.

To apply to remain in the UK as the partner of someone who is a British or Irish citizen, has settled in the UK, has EU pre-settled status, has a Turkish Businessperson visa or a Turkish Worker visa, or has permission to stay for humanitarian reasons, you may do so through the Unmarried Partner visa route. You must plan on living together permanently after applying. You must both be over 18 years of age, have met in person, and have been living together for two years prior to your application in “a relationship that is akin to marriage” which is “genuine and subsisting.” Evidence of these includes tenancy agreements, official correspondence, bills, and bank statements. Good knowledge of English and proof of ability to support yourself and your dependants are also required, along with confirmation that any previous relationships have ended permanently.

It can be hard to find all the required evidence. For this reason, it is suggested that you purposefully create a paper trail addressed to both of you, such as opening a joint bank account and keeping the resulting correspondence. Being in a long-distance relationship can make it impossible to evidence living together for two years, but if you can prove that living apart was inevitable due to study or work commitments, etc., this requirement may be overlooked. In such circumstances, the required two years of cohabitation do not have to immediately precede your visa application; and it may be accepted that you cohabited for this period at some other point in the past few years. However, it is important to keep in mind that the more distant the two-year period of cohabitation is from the date of application, the more evidence you will need to supply to demonstrate that your relationship is genuine and subsisting.

In exceptional circumstances, some of these requirements might be waived, but it can only happen if you have a child who has lived in the UK for 7 years, or who is a British or Irish citizen, and it would be unreasonable for them to leave the UK; or if it can be demonstrated that you and your partner would face significant difficulties if you left the UK, or that not allowing you to stay in the UK would breach your human rights. The Unmarried Partner visa is granted for 33 months for applicants from outside of the UK and for 30 months for those applying from the UK.

You can apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after you have lived in UK continuously for five years on a family visa as a partner (in other words, the span of the original visa plus extension). Time spent in the country on any other visa will not count towards the mandatory five years. You can then apply for citizenship as soon as you are granted ILR.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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