- What is the UK Unmarried Partner Visa
- UK Unmarried Partner Visa requirements for US citizens
- Financial requirements for US Citizens
- How can US citizens apply for the Unmarried Partner Visa?
- Dependents on an Unmarried Partner visa
- What is the fee for the Unmarried Partner Visa?
- What is the processing time of the Unmarried Partner Visa?
- What is the duration of the Unmarried Partner Visa?
- How can Total Law help?
What is the UK Unmarried Partner Visa?
The Unmarried Partner Visa allows non-EEA nationals, including US citizens, to enter and remain in the UK to live with their partner who is a British national or has Indefinite Leave to Remain.
The Unmarried Partner Visa can be granted to couples in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships on the condition that they can demonstrate evidence that they have been in a serious relationship for at least two years.
There are certain conditions that need to be assessed to establish the genuineness of the relationship before the application can be processed and accepted.
Additional conditions that need to be met in order for the visa to be approved include the partners being 18 years old or older and the partners having the intention of staying in the UK long-term. Moreover, you will need to show evidence that you have adequate accommodation for when the US applicant arrives in the UK.
UK Unmarried Partner Visa requirements for US citizens
If you want to apply for the Unmarried Partner Visa, you will need to meet the following criteria developed by the Home Office and UK Visas and Immigration:
- You and your partner are 18 years of age or older.
- You and your partner are able to prove that you are not engaged in previous relationships and these have been ended permanently.
- Your partner has a right to live and remain in the UK without any immigration restrictions.
- You and your partner can demonstrate that you have not only been in a relationship for the last two years but you have also been living together for at least two years.
- You and your partner can provide substantial evidence to prove that your relationship is genuine and you intend to stay together and live in the UK permanently after you move.
- You and your partner can show that, after you arrive in the UK, you will have a place to stay that is suitable for a couple.
- You and your partner are able to support yourselves financially without recourse to public funds.
Financial requirements for US Citizens
If you want your application for the Unmarried Partner Visa to be successful, you need to prove that you and your partner will be able to support yourselves after you arrive, without relying on public funds.
Hence, before you can join them, your partner, who is living in the UK, needs to meet the financial requirement of a minimum income threshold. To do so, they will need to prove that their gross annual income (before tax) meets the following financial prerequisite:
- £18,600 – a necessary minimum threshold your partner must meet.
This amount can be a sum of salaried and non-salaried income and can come from several sources such as cash savings, employed and self-employed work, property rental, or pension.
On top of that, if your dependent child is coming to the UK to live with you and your partner, you will need to prove that you have:
- £3,800 – an additional amount for the first child that comes to the UK with you if they are not British, EEA national, or have settled status.
- £2,400 – an additional amount for every other child after the first that you plan on taking to the UK with you.
How can US citizens apply for the Unmarried Partner Visa?
In order to apply for the Unmarried Partner Visa, you will need to fill in an online form available on the Home Office application website.
You will need to make sure that all the information is filled in correctly as that can determine the outcome of the application. With the form, you will also be able to submit the required supporting documents that include:
- Your passport
- Information about your accommodation in the UK
- Proof that your partner can meet the minimum income threshold
- Your partner’s passport or another proof of their right to live and remain in the UK
- Details of any dependents that are coming to the UK with you.
UK Visas and Immigration might also require information such as:
- How long have you and your partner been together
- How often you and your partner see each other
- How often you and your partner have lived together.
This evidence might be needed to prove the genuineness of your relationship.
To complete the process, you will need to make an appointment to come in person to have your biometric information taken.
Can US citizens bring dependents with them on the Unmarried Partner Visa?
It is possible for US citizens to include dependents in the application for the Unmarried Partner Visa and bring them to the UK with them. Children under the age of 18 are treated as dependents so if you want your children to come live in the UK with you and your partner, you can apply for them to enter the country with you.
There are, however, additional fees and financial requirements associated with bringing dependents with you.
If you plan on bringing dependents, the application for them has to be made at the same time as the application for your own Unmarried Partner Visa.
What is the fee for the Unmarried Partner Visa?
For the UK Unmarried Partner Visa submitted from the US or another country that is not the UK, the Home Office set the fee at £1,538. If you are applying for a visa from within the UK, however, you can expect to pay £1,048.
The £1,048 also represents the price of applying to extend an existing Unmarried Partner Visa when it is about to expire.
If you are planning on taking dependents to the UK, the fees are the same as the initial visa fees. That means that if your application to bring a child with you is submitted from the US or another country abroad, you will pay an additional £1,538. If you’re submitting the application from within the UK, the additional cost will be £1,048.
What is the processing time of the Unmarried Partner Visa?
Around 95% of all Unmarried Partner Visa applications are processed by UK Visas and immigration within 12 weeks from receiving them.
If your application is urgent, you can opt for a Settlement Priority Visa Service, where the processing time is no more than 30 working days. This service is offered by most visa application centers in the US.
If you already are in the UK and you are applying for the Unmarried Partner Visa to change your immigration status, you can expect to get the decision within 8 weeks when applying using the regular service. Applying via the priority service, on the other hand, can get you the decision as quickly as within a day of submitting the application and providing your biometric information.
What is the duration of the Unmarried Partner Visa?
The length of the Unmarried Partner Visa depends on whether you are applying from the US or you already are in the UK.
If you are currently in the US or in another country but not the UK, once you get the visa, it will be valid for 33 months. If, however, at the time of applying, you are in the UK, you can receive the visa for 30 months.
Many US citizens who come to the UK on the Unmarried Partner Visa hope to stay in the UK permanently and eventually apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
That, however, requires them to stay in the UK on the Unmarried Partner Visa and live with their partner for at least five years.
The initial 30 or 33 months of the visa’s duration is not enough to meet this requirement and make you eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Fortunately, however, you can get a visa extension of additional 30 months.
Can the US citizens extend the Unmarried Partner Visa?
US citizens are allowed to extend their Unmarried Partner Visa when the first one is about to expire.
Once the initial visa period comes to an end and you wish to stay in the UK for longer, you will need to apply to UK Visas and Immigration to extend your stay. The failure to do that will mean that you will no longer have the right to live and remain in the UK.
If your application to extend your current Unmarried Partner Visa is successful, you will be granted a further leave to remain valid for additional 30 months.
When applying for the visa extension, you need to meet the same requirements as before, including the minimum financial threshold. You also have to still be living with the same partner you came to live with in the UK with in the first place.
After the additional 30 months of you being in the UK on the Unmarried Partner Visa pass, you will have been living in the UK for more than 5 years and you will be eligible to apply for the Indefinite Leave to Remain.
The Unmarried Partner visa application process is highly complex, and small errors can be very expensive and time-consuming. Working with a qualified, OISC-accredited immigration lawyer can give you peace of mind knowing that you can trust an expert to complete the application to the highest standard.
At Total Law, some of the services we offer include:
- Reviewing your documents and advising on the types of documents required for submission
- Preparing a Letter of Representation as part of your application
- Liaise with the Home Office on your behalf throughout the process
- Complete each section of the application to the level of detail required by the Home Office
- Provide ongoing support and updates to you and your partner throughout the application
- Advise you of key dates and deadlines where relevant
We also offer support and advice to individuals whose application has been refused. We understand how devastating it can be to be separated from your partner, and we are committed to helping all our clients achieve their goals.
Call us on +1 844 290 6312 for a discussion about how we can assist you. We look forward to helping you settle in the UK with your partner.
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