Spouse or Civil/Unmarried Partner


Spouse or Civil Partner


The UK Spouse/Marriage visa category enables a husband, wife or civil partner of a British national or a person who is settled in the UK to apply for leave to enter, or leave to remain in the country.


The spouse/civil partner must apply for an entry clearance before travelling to the UK. Entry clearance visas are issued for an initial 33 month period and can be extended for a further period of 30 months. Children of the marriage/partnership who are under 18 years of age are granted entry to the UK as dependants in line with the main applicant.


After lawfully remaining in the UK for four years and 11 months under the spouse/marriage visa category, the spouse/civil partner of a British citizen will be eligible to apply for settlement (ILR) in the UK.


After obtaining the settlement or ILR status and having spent a total period of three years in the country, the spouse and civil partner of a British citizen might be eligible to apply for a British passport under the 1981 British Nationality Act.


Unmarried Partner


Unmarried partner immigration category is often referred to as a de-facto visa and it helps people with settled status or Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK to be joined by their partner. The unmarried partner visas apply to couples in either heterosexual or same sex relationship.


If you are British national residing outside of the country and planning to return to the United Kingdom to settle, your partner can also apply under the same route to join you in the UK.


The Unmarried Partner Visa is initially issued for a 33 month period and can be extended for a further period of 30 months. After spending four years and 11 months under the same visa category, a person can appoy for settlement (ILR) or permanent residence in the UK.


If you wish to remain in the UK under one of the above categories please contact us to discuss your options and how we can assist you in your application.


Financial Requirement


On 9th July 2012, the UK Border Agency updated its policies for visa applications under the marriage or family category. Under the new immigration rules, specified in paragraph E-EC 3.1, the couple must meet the following finaincal requirement:


(a) a specified gross annual income of at least
(i) £18,600;
(ii) an addiitonal £3,800 for the first child; and
(iii) an addiitonal £2,400 for each additional child; alone or in combination with


(b) specfied savings of
(i) £16,000; and
(ii) additional savings of an amount equvalent to 2.5 times the amount which is the difference between the gross annual income from the sources listed in paragraph E-EC 3.2 (a)-(d) and the total amount required under paragraph E-EC 3.1 (a)


English Language Requirement


All applicants wishing to enter the UK as a spouse or unmarried partner of a British citizen or a person settled in the UK must satisfy the English Language Requirement. Prospective applications must pass an acceptable English language test with one of our approved test providers unless they can show that:


  • They are a national of a majority English-speaking country or
  • They hold a degree taught in English


By taking the test, applicants will need to demonstrate a basic command of English (speaking and listening) at level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference.


Settlement in the UK and absences


In the case of settlement eligibility of spouses, civil or unmarried partners of UK citizens there is no specific requirement in the Rules that the entire probationary period must be spent in the United Kingdom. For example, where an applicant has spent a limited period outside of the United Kingdom in connection with his/her employment, this should not count against the applicant. However, if they have spent the majority of the period overseas, there may be reason to doubt that all the requirements of the Rules have been met. In such instances each case must be judged on its merits, taking into account reasons for travel as well as the length of absences.


Speak to one of our Spouse or Civil/Unmarried Partner visa consultants now to discuss your tailor made visa solution. Call us on +44 20 3384 3075, email: [email protected] or use contact form below.

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