The unmarried partner or UK de facto partner visa, which was introduced in 1997, can be applied for by an applicant who maintained de facto marital relations (or co-habitation between same-sex partners) with a UK citizen or a permanent resident without legal marriage. For the partner visa, the applicant faces difficulties in proving the de facto marriage relations with materials as official documents can hardly be obtained from government agencies.
- To be eligible, an applicant must
- show that you have been living with your partner for at least two years in a relationship similar to marriage
- prove that you and your partner have sufficient funds to support yourselves (and any dependants) without claiming public funds.
- satisfy the English language requirements
The applicant should prepare the necessary documents thoroughly since the review period may take longer or the application should be repeated when evidences are insufficient or erroneous information is entered into the forms as the acceptability is reviewed based on documents only.
Conditions of Stay
- The visa holder enjoys medical or healthcare insurance benefits identical to those available to UK citizens or permanent residents, and no restrictions are imposed on employment or study in the UK.
Length of Stay
- The partner visa can be obtained from either inside or outside the UK.
The initial visa will be granted for 2.5 years (or 2 years 9 months where applying from outside the UK).
After the first 2.5 years (from the date of landing in the UK) the applicant must then apply for an extension which will be granted for another 2.5 years.
After 5 years of residency with his/her British/resident spouse in the UK, the applicant can apply for permanent residency (‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’).