Married And Common Law Visas
These UK Visa is often referred to as an Unmarried Partner visa or Marriage Visa and is available to the partner of a person with Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK or holds British Citizenship, who wish to bring their partner to Great Britain to join them.
In terms of immigration to the UK, settled status means that a permanent resident is living in the UK. If you are returning to the UK to settle, your partner can also apply to join you at the same time. The relationship may be heterosexual or same-sex, but partners must not be related by blood.
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What are the Benefits?
For married and common-law partner visas, you need to be married or living together for over 24 months to be eligible for this visa. You do not have the restrictions of a Fiancé Visa, such as the short visa duration, necessity to marry, and the ban from working in the UK.
A successful Partner Visa application allows you to enter and work in the country without a UK work permit as long as all of the entry requirements are satisfied.
Initially, a Partner Visa is issued for a 2-year period. After this period, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or permanent residency in the UK.
In some cases, if a person is returning to the UK and there remains a question over a couples ability to financially support themselves in exceptional circumstances a visa can be granted for five years prior to the person being eligible for indefinite leave to remain.
In some cases settlement entry clearance may be granted, allowing a partner to immigrate to Britain permanently without the two years probationary period. Once you have Indefinite Leave to Remain, you may choose to become a UK citizen via Naturalisation.
A Partner based visa simply offers a pathway to permanent immigration so that you can live with your partner indefinitely within the UK, to enjoy family life.
Who is Eligible?
Both you and your partner need to be over the age of 18 to apply for this visa.
In order to qualify, any previous relationships with other partners must have broken down so your relationship is the only romantic relationship either of you is in. However, there are some loopholes in this requirement for some polygamous relationships.
These visas consider the unmarried relationship to be similar to a marriage, but ‘in practice’ or ‘de facto’ rather than in law. In some English-speaking nations, for example, Australia, this is a legally recognised status of a cohabiting couple, similar to a common-law marriage in the United Kingdom.
In order to qualify, you must prove that you have been living together for over 2 years through the documentary evidence submitted. You may also be asked questions within interview to prove that you have cohabited over this period. You must also intend to live together when you get to the UK as part of your ongoing and committed relationship.
You and your partner must prove that you can support yourselves without relying on welfare or benefits. You can meet this requirement through your salary, income from being self-employed, income from other areas such as a property portfolio, pensions, maternity or bereavement payments in the UK, and savings if they’re over a certain level.
To sponsor a partner to come and live with you in the UK, you will need an income of at least £18,600. This figure increases if you are also sponsoring dependent children, to ensure that you can financially support your children too. These figures are less than the average income in the UK and are based on cost of living and sustaining a reasonable lifestyle while here.
Every part of these requirements needs to be proven through documentary evidence. It is essential that you have sufficient information about your relationships, so the immigration officials can be satisfied to deem it as a genuine relationship. In many cases, applicants for Unmarried Partner Visas are also called for an interview, where they are questioned separately and their responses are compared.