The UK unmarried partner visa is for those couples in a serious relationship, who have been living together for the last 2-years or more.
In practice, this route is often available to those couples who live together in the UK, where the foreign partner is on a different visa, which permits them to switch into the unmarried partner route from within the UK.
It is also open to those couples who live together outside the UK, but who are now returning to the UK together, to live permanently.
The only difference between the unmarried partner visa, and the spouse visa, is that the unmarried partner visa requires you to evidence you have been living together for last 2-years, whereas, the spouse visa does not require any cohabitation evidence, necessarily.
You can find a more detailed explanation of the differences and considerations when choosing between the spouse, fiancé, unmarried partner, and marriage-visit visas, here: UK partner visa routes - What's the difference between them? (owlandsnake.co.uk)
How can I evidence cohabitation?
Evidencing cohabitation is critically important in unmarried partner visa applications. You will need official correspondence, sent to your home address. This can be physical correspondence that comes through your door/letterbox, or, it can be electronic correspondence that comes via email, but it must show your name/s and physical address on it.
Correspondence can be in the joint names of the foreign partner and UK sponsor (preferable), or, it can be in sole names, as long it shows the couple are both living at the same address over the same period of time.
What kind of cohabitation evidence is required?
You can include documents such as:
This is not an exhaustive list.
How much cohabitation evidence is required?
The short answer: As much as possible! It is not set out in the Immigration Rules themselves. Only in the notes to the online application form itself, which states you should provide evidence from at least 3 different sources, and at least 6 jointly-named documents, or, 12 single-named documents (6 in the name of the UK sponsor, and 6 in the name of the visa applicant). We would advise that this is the bare minimum amount of evidence you should provide, and would recommend you provide this amount of evidence for each year that you are seeking to demonstrate cohabitation.
Evidence should be spread over the whole 2-year period. You do not need to cover every single month, necessarily, but this is a critically important part of the unmarried partner visa application, so you should provide as much as you possibly can.
Take a look at this article for more about cohabitation evidence: UK Family visas: How to prove a genuine relationship in spouse, civil-partner, unmarried partner and fiancé/fiancée visa applications.
The financial requirement is the most complex part of the application, and also the most important. It can be met in various different ways, so it's difficult to summarise in a just a few bullet points. But by way of an overview:
If you need help with an application, please contact us and we would be happy to help.
Owl and Snake Immigration is regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) Registration no: F201900008.
Private limited company registered in England and Wales: 13111468. Registered with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO): ZB418255.
Registered with the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA): 9034