Partner of a British citizen or settled person
Can you apply?
This section is for those who applied for, or are applying for, leave to enter or leave to remain as a partner of a British citizen or a person who is settled here.
You cannot apply for leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain in a partner category if your last leave was as the partner of a former points-based system migrant who:
- is settled in the UK and was granted settlement as a points-based system migrant; or
- has British citizenship having been granted settlement as a points-based system migrant.
Instead, you must apply as a dependant under the relevant category of points-based system.
If you made an application to enter the UK on or before 8 July 2012 please see the Partners who applied on or before 8 July 2012 pages.
The information on these pages is based on Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.
If you apply but cannot meet all the requirements for this category, you will be refused. Please see 'More information' below for further information. If we refuse our application your fee will not be refunded.
You must show that:
- you and your partner are both aged 18 or over at the date of application;
- your partner is not related to you in a way that means you could not marry in UK law;
- you and your partner have met in person;
- your relationship with your partner is genuine and subsisting;
- if you are married or in a civil partnership, your marriage or civil partnership is valid in UK law;
- you meet the suitability requirements;
- any previous relationship has permanently broken down (this does not apply to certain polygamous relationships);
- you and your partner intend to live together permanently in the UK;
- you meet the financial requirement;
- you meet the English language requirement; and
- if you are in the UK and want to extend your leave or apply for settlement in the UK you will need to meet the suitability requirement.
The Documents required page explains how you can demonstrate that you meet these requirements.
If you meet all these requirements you may be given permission to live in the UK for 2 and a half years. After that time you can then apply to stay for a further 2 and a half years if you meet the requirements. After 5 years, if you meet all the requirements you can apply for settlement.
Can you 'switch' if you are already in the UK?
You may be allowed to switch into the category of partner if you are currently in the UK in a different immigration category.
You will not be allowed to switch if you are in the UK:
- as a visitor;
- with permission to stay that was given for a period of less than 6 months (unless that leave was as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner)
- on temporary admission; or
- in breach of the Immigration Rules (a period of overstaying of less than 28 days will not be taken into account).
Other requirements (general grounds for refusal)
Even if you meet the requirements described above, we may refuse your application for other reasons (such as your previous immigration history) . For more information about these 'general grounds for refusal', see Chapter 9 of our immigration directorate instructions.
To apply for entry to the UK, or to stay here or be granted settlement you will need to meet the suitability, relationship, financial and English language requirements. If you do not meet the requirements your application will be refused unless:
- there are insurmountable obstacles to family life with your partner continuing outside the UK.
Insurmountable obstacles means that we would look at the seriousness of any difficulties that would prevent you and your partner from living in another country, and whether those difficulties could be overcome.
MORE NEWS AND UPDATES
- Changes to the Immigration Rules - July 2013
- Statement of intent outlines new requirements for settlement and naturalisation
- 6 April changes to the Immigration Rules
- Immigration fees change on 6 April 2013
A person in a legal relationship that can be registered by two people of the same sex and that gives the couple legal recognition for their relationship. In a range of legal matters, civil partners are treated the same as opposite-sex partners who are married.
Someone who depends on you financially, such as a husband, wife, partner, or child.
Indefinite leave to remain (often known as 'ILR' and 'settlement') is permission to remain in the UK without any time restrictions on the length of stay. It is not the same as naturalisation as a British citizen and may, in specific circumstances, be ceased or invalidated, for example, if a fraudulent application is uncovered, if the person resides outside of the UK for more than 2 years or as a result of a criminal conviction that results in a Deportation Order coming into force.
Leave to remain is permission to stay in the UK, either temporarily ('limited leave to remain') or permanently ('indefinite leave to remain').
Our immigration system for managing applications by people who wish to come to the United Kingdom to work, train or study.
You are normally resident in the United Kingdom with no immigration restriction on the length of your stay. To be free of immigration restriction you must have the right of abode or indefinite leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom.