This immigration category enables unmarried partners of persons present and settled in the UK who have lived together in a heterosexual or same-sex relationship for at least two years, to apply to join their partner in the UK.
How to qualify
In order to qualify you will need to show that you are the (unmarried) partner of a person present and settled or being admitted for settlement in the UK and you will need to prove that you have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for 2 years or more. You will also need to prove that you intend to live together permanently in the future.
You and your partner have to be 18 years or older in order to apply.
For applications submitted on or after 9 July 2012:
A minimum income threshold of £18,600 is required in order to sponsor the settlement of the partner, with a higher threshold for any children also sponsored: £22,400 for one child and an additional £2,400 for each further child.
Length of stay and right to work
For applications submitted before 9 July 2012: The unmarried partner visa will be granted for a period of 27 months.
For applications submitted on or after 9 July 2012: The unmarried partner visa will be granted for a period of 30 months, after which an application can be made for an extension of another 30 months, which should take the applicant to the qualifying period of 60 months for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
You will be entitled to work freely in the United Kingdom.
For unmarried partner visa applications submitted before 9 July 2012: You can apply for settlement after you have lived in the UK for two years.
For unmarried partner visa applications submitted on or after 9 July 2012: You can apply for settlement after you have lived in the UK for five years.