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Unmarried and Same-Sex Partners


The policy allows for persons who are not married or in a civil partnership to join a partner who is settled there provided certain situations are met. The Rules also apply to partners of sponsors in the United Kingdom who have limited leave to enter or remain in the following types:


Work Permit owners, overseas media representatives, sole representatives, private servants in diplomatic households, overseas government workers, Ministers of Religion, airport-based operational ground employees, UK Ancestry, businessmen/businesswomen, self-employed, investors, writers, composers, artists, retired persons of independent means and EEA nationals.


The requirements are as follows:

  • the candidate is the unmarried or same-sex partner of a person present and settled in the UK or who is on the same occasion being admitted for settlement; and,
  • any previous marriage/civil partnership (or similar relationship) by either partner has permanently broken down; and,
  • there will be adequate accommodation for the parties and any dependants without recourse to public funds in accommodation which they own or occupy exclusively; and,
  • the parties have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership which has subsisted for 2 years or more; and,
  • the parties will be able to maintain themselves and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds; and,
  • The parties intend to live together permanently.

For the candidate to qualify for indefinite leave to enter, you must also be satisfied that:

  • The couple has been living together outside the UK for over 4 years;
  • The candidate has enough knowledge of the English language and sufficient knowledge about life in the UK, if not he is under the age of 18 or aged 65 or over at the time he makes his application.

Posts should be aware that some individuals might be reticent about applying under this section of the Rules. These and other settlement applications should be handled sensitively and with discretion.


However, if Posts receive entry clearance applications in respect of unmarried or same-sex relationships where there are children and/or the relationship may be less than two year’s duration, such applications may be referred to NCC2 for consideration outside the Rules where compelling compassionate situations exist. Full supporting details should accompany such referrals.

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