The UK Border Agency is responsible for securing the United Kingdom borders and controlling migration in the United Kingdom. They manage border control for the United Kingdom, enforcing immigration and customs regulations. They also consider applications for permission to enter or stay in the United Kingdom, citizenship and asylum.

This page briefly explains how your unmarried or same-sex partner can join you in the United Kingdom if you are permanent resident in this country. For immigration details relating to same-sex Married or Civil Partners please click here.

Your unmarried or same-sex partner may come with you to the United Kingdom, or join you here, if you:

- currently live in the United Kingdom and are settled here; or
- are returning to the United Kingdom with him/her to live here permanently.

The relationship may be a heterosexual or same-sex relationship, but you must not be related by blood.

You must both be able to show that:

- any previous marriage or civil partnership that either of you was in has permanently broken down;
- you have both been living together as if you were married (or in a civil partnership) for at least two years;
- you both plan to live together permanently;
- you both have enough money to support and adequately accommodate yourselves and any dependants without help from public funds; and
- you and your partner are aged 21 or over.

Your unmarried or same-sex partner must obtain permission to enter the United Kingdom before travelling here. We call this permission 'entry clearance'. It will be in the form of a visa or entry clearance certificate. To obtain it, he/she should apply to the British diplomatic post in the country where he/she lives. For information about visas, see the visa services website.

If you have followed the procedures correctly, when your unmarried or same-sex partner arrives in the United Kingdom, he/she will be given permission to live and work here for two years. Near the end of the two years, if you are still in the relationship and both plan to live together permanently, your unmarried or same-sex partner may apply to live here permanently. See Settlement for details of how to apply for permanent residence.

In some cases, we can give your unmarried or same-sex partner permission to live permanently in the United Kingdom as soon as he/she arrives. To qualify for this, you must:

- have been living together for at least four years as if you were married or in a civil partnership;
- have spent those four years outside the United Kingdom;
- now be returning to the United Kingdom to settle here together; and
- your partner (unless aged 65 or over) must have sufficient knowledge of the English language and about life in the United Kingdom.

For information on any other immigration issues, or to read the most up to date information please see the UK Border Agency Website

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