UK Partner Visa for de facto (unmarried) couples

The partner visa, otherwise known as the de facto visa, allows the de facto (unmarried) partner of a UK-based citizen to enter and remain in the UK. The only condition that must be fulfilled is that the couple must have been in a committed, continuous relationship for a minimum of two years. The de facto visa gives couples (both heterosexual and same-sex couples) the same rights and benefits as those who are married or living in a civil partnership.

If you are engaged to be married, you are likely to be eligible for a UK fiance visa instead.

De facto couple researches their UK partner visa options

A partner visa permits a two-year probationary period in the UK with the option of applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain or, subsequently, UK nationality after two years. However, the couple must have been cohabiting (living together) for a minimum of two years before the de facto partner can apply for a UK partner visa. Under immigration law applicants are treated equally regardless of the gender of their partner if they hold a de facto visa, with no restriction to work in the UK. All applicants must obtain clearance before entering the UK otherwise applications will be refused.

Partner visa requirements:

To qualify for the unmarried partner visa, it is mandatory that applicants meet the following requirements:

  • Both partners must be at least 18 years of age
  • The couple must provide sufficient evidence that they have been cohabiting for at least two years
  • The couple must intend to stay together (including living together) on a permanent basis
  • If either of the partners was involved in any previous relationship, they must provide evidence that the relationship has ended
  • The couple should be able to financially support themselves and any dependants without access to public funds such as state benefits
  • Meet the income threshold of £18,600 for sponsoring a non-EU national. A higher threshold applies should the de facto couple also be sponsoring any children: £22,400 for one child plus £2,400 for each additional child
  • The couple must have suitable accommodation for themselves and any dependants.

De facto visa financial requirement

The sponsors may meet the level of the financial requirement applicable through employment, self-employment, cash savings, being the director of a company, rental income etc. Each financial category has a separate set of documents which are required to be submitted with your partner visa application:

(a) the permitted sources of income/savings;
(b) the time periods and permitted combinations of sources applicable to each source relied upon; and
(c) the evidence required for each permitted source.

Exceptions to the financial requirement

If your sponsor is in receipt of any of the below then you are not required to meet the financial requirement to apply for a partner visa:

  • Carer’s Allowance.
  • Disability Living Allowance.
  • Severe Disablement Allowance.
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
  • Attendance Allowance.
  • Personal Independence Payment.

Do you meet all the criteria set out above?

Then contact Imperial Visas by submitting a free assessment form below. Our team of family visa experts will guide you through the UK partner visa process and ensure that all the evidence you submit presents the strongest case possible to the Home Office.