UK De Facto Visa

UK De Facto Visa

This type of UK Visa service is often referred to as an Unmarried Partner visa and applies to people with settled status or Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, who wish to bring their partner to Britain to join them.

In terms of immigration to the UK, settled status means that a permanent resident is living here lawfully with no time limit on their stay. If you are returning to the United Kingdom to settle, your partner can also apply to join you at the same time. The relationship may be a heterosexual or a same-sex relationship, but partners must not be related by blood.


Applying for a De Facto Visa, unlike a UK marriage visa application for spouse immigration does not require you to be married to your partner. Furthermore, where a UK fiance visa application would stipulate that your partner must join you with the express purpose of marrying and would prohibit your partner from working, visas for unmarried partners are subject to no such restraints. A successful De Facto visa application for the United Kingdom via this route will allow your partner to enter and work in the country without a UK work permit application providing that the entry requirements are satisfied.


Initially, the Unmarried Partner Visa is issued for a two-year period. After this time a person can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or permanent residency in the UK. However, in some cases settlement entry clearance may be granted, allowing a partner to immigrate to Britain permanently. Once the permanent resident status is obtained, an applicant may wish to become a UK citizen through British Naturalization.

Eligibility Criteria


People seeking to apply for a Visa of this class must be 18 years of age or over and the partner with the settled status in Britain must be 18 years of age or over.

Prior Relationships

To be eligible, any previous marriage involving either partner must have permanently broken down.


A British Visa for immigration of this kind applies to a relationship akin to marriage, which may be viewed as such “in practice” though not in law. In some English speaking nations, for example, Australia, this is a legally recognized status of a cohabiting couple, similar to a common-law marriage in the United Kingdom. As a result application for visas must be able to demonstrate sufficient documentary evidence that parties have been living together in a relationship for at least two years.

Public Funds

The applicants must be able to support and accommodate themselves without recourse to public funds.

Cohabitation in the United Kingdom

The applicant must plan to live with their partner permanently.

Alternative Routes

Your partner can immigrate to Great Britain in other circumstances. If you have made a successful application for the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme or HSMP your partner will be able to apply for a Dependency Visa. For this type of British immigration visa, your partner must cohabit with you. Unmarried partners making applications for UK visas as dependents will still be required to demonstrate that the relationship in question existed for at least two years prior to the application for the Highly Skilled Migrant Program.

You may also be able to bring your partner to join you in the United Kingdom if you are the holder of the current UK working permit. For more information on work permits and HSMP please visit the relevant areas of the website.

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.