I'm a UK citizen. I have been living with my partner in her home country for a few years now. I'd like to go back to the UK to study, so we're looking at getting her an unmarried partner visa to come to the UK.

One of the requirements is to be earning 18,600 GBP per year. I meet that requirement currently, but moving back to the UK will necessarily involve leaving my job here (and thus, losing my income).

Are visa judges sympathetic to this? I'm confident I can find an equally paying, UK based job once I'm residing back in the UK, but not before.

  • 1
    It’s one of the core eligibility criteria so no, IMHO it is very unlikely that UKVI is sympathetic to those who don’t meet it. Why would it be?
    – Traveller
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 9:39
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    @Traveller Because it excludes all virtually all UK citizens that are married/in a long term relationship and living abroad from reentering the UK? It seems like an incredibly common situation.
    – Omegastick
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 9:54
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    @Omegastick I don't want to sound too unsympathetic, it is inconvenient. But it doesn't exclude any UK citizens at all. It excludes their partners from getting that particular type of visa, and does so only if the UK citizen is moving back to the UK without a job meeting the salary requirement.
    – Chris H
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 10:04
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    If you are currently employed abroad and meet the requirement, you can meet the requirement with a job offer starting within 3 months of your planned return to the UK. So there are ways for you reenter the UK with your partner, but you will need to get the job offer before leaving. Once this is moved to the Expatriates site, I can give a more detailed answer.
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 10:37
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    @Omegastick It doesn't automatically exclude anybody. It says you have to have a job in the UK before bringing your partner. You could either get a job before moving, or you could move alone until you get a job and then bring your partner.
    – David Richerby
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 11:04

1 Answer 1


You have to have a job in the UK, or at the very minimum an offer of a job which starts within three months of your planned return to the UK (thanks MJeffryes).

While you are studying, you won't be earning £18,600 (unless you study part-time, which is hard work).

Yes, this excludes the majority of British citizens who are married or in a long term relationship; I'm afraid that is the object of the exercise. The British approach to family reunion fills me with shame.


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