Author Topic: Advice for those who have just arrived on a spousal visa  (Read 26521 times)

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Offline MalcolmB

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Advice for those who have just arrived on a spousal visa
« on: June 15, 2011, 10:25:50 AM »
Having seen several posts on here from people who’ve run into trouble when applying for ILR, I thought I’d create a list of do’s and don’ts for after you get your spousal visa.   Most of this applies to fiancés except the bits about working.

Any comments?

•   DON’T enter via Ireland on your first trip to the UK after you get the visa.  You need to ensure your visa gets “activated” by a UK entry stamp.  
•   DO get the names of both you and your partner added to the council tax and all utility bills as quickly as possible.  
•   DON’T sign up for paperless billing or online-only bank accounts – you need a paper trail for ILR.  Being green will have to wait.
•   DO know when your visa expires and when you are eligible for ILR.  Sounds obvious but we have seen several people who forgot their expiry date and overstayed!
•   DO ensure you are paying the right amount of taxes if you are working.  If you are self employed, register with HMRC.   They will check if you have been paying the correct taxes when you apply for Citizenship.
•   DO repay any money you owe to the NHS.  If you don’t, they will catch you when you apply for ILR.
•       DO keep hold of any payslips for you and your partner, and any other proof of employment.
•   DON’T leave taking the Life in the UK test to the last minute.  The test is simple but there is a lot of information to memorise, plus it can be hard to get a test appointment at short notice.
•   DO read up on the residence requirements for Citizenship, to ensure you don’t spend too many days out of the UK.
•   DO think about who might be your Citizenship referees
•   DO start saving up for the ILR and Citizenship fees.   The total price of ILR + Citizenship is currently £1900 and goes up approx £200 every 6 months.
•   DO know what counts as “public funds” and what doesn’t.   Take extreme care if your partner/children are applying for or receiving benefits as most DWP employees don’t know the rules for persons under immigration control.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2011, 10:37:45 PM by MalcolmB »

VMC

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Re: Advice for those who have just arrived on a spousal visa
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2011, 10:35:39 AM »
I'd suggest people line up referees and backups for citizenship/passport referees.

garry

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Re: Advice for those who have just arrived on a spousal visa
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2011, 10:51:53 AM »
•   DO get the names of both you and your partner added to the council tax and all utility bills as quickly as possible.  

Ideally, this step should be started before the application is even submitted, and ideally, all done and dusted from day 1.  In other words, start doing this as soon as you know you're going to apply.

Offline historyenne

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Re: Advice for those who have just arrived on a spousal visa
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2011, 10:54:50 AM »
One small nitpick: spousal visas don't have to be activated.  The only issue with the CTA is that without a stamp, it's hard to identify the exact date of your entry.  But these visas are completely valid and active, even if unstamped.  For fiances, there's no issue at all.
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Offline Shandy

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Re: Advice for those who have just arrived on a spousal visa
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2011, 11:09:39 AM »
When I come to apply for ILR, do I have to provide pay slips etc again and prove we have enough money to live, or does the fact that we got by without recourse to public funds enough to satisfy them?

Offline MalcolmB

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Re: Advice for those who have just arrived on a spousal visa
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2011, 11:17:34 AM »
Yes - that's another one to add to the list.   They will want to see at least the last 3 months' worth.

garry

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Re: Advice for those who have just arrived on a spousal visa
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2011, 12:00:13 PM »
Also, from day 1 start an Excel sheet that logs each entry/departure date to/from the UK.  Destination and purpose columns can also be helpful.

Also something I forgot: for any American infants relocating with the primary, start taking progressive photos. 
« Last Edit: June 15, 2011, 12:03:11 PM by Transpondia »

Offline Shandy

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Re: Advice for those who have just arrived on a spousal visa
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2011, 12:23:44 PM »
So is ILR far from a formality?  I thought it would just be a case of getting it (after paying their fee) as long as I didn't claim any benefits or did anything criminal.

Offline mirrajay

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Re: Advice for those who have just arrived on a spousal visa
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2011, 01:24:57 PM »
So is ILR far from a formality?  I thought it would just be a case of getting it (after paying their fee) as long as I didn't claim any benefits or did anything criminal.

I certainly wouldnt consider it a formality. You do need to apply and technically can be refused.

Offline Sam Bronkowitz

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Re: Advice for those who have just arrived on a spousal visa
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2011, 09:54:18 PM »
I certainly wouldnt consider it a formality. You do need to apply and technically can be refused.

That's black cloud hanging over my now--I'm trying to get a civil judgment cleared/sorted out that I just found about 2 months ago (over 7 years old, was entered without my knowledge). They don't ask about them until ILR, I'm scared to death that when the time comes around late 2014 they'll reject me and I don't even know what to/can think of what then.

Offline Shandy

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Re: Advice for those who have just arrived on a spousal visa
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2011, 10:03:31 PM »
That's black cloud hanging over my now--I'm trying to get a civil judgment cleared/sorted out that I just found about 2 months ago (over 7 years old, was entered without my knowledge). They don't ask about them until ILR, I'm scared to death that when the time comes around late 2014 they'll reject me and I don't even know what to/can think of what then.

Presumably this is from in the USA?  How would they even know?

Offline Sam Bronkowitz

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Re: Advice for those who have just arrived on a spousal visa
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2011, 03:22:37 PM »
Presumably this is from in the USA?  How would they even know?

Well who knows what resources they have to check, but all court proceedings that involve liens, judgments, etc. are a matter of public record and easily can turn up in a background check. Especially with the internet, information is more and more accessible.

I found out about mine on a court's website after my name popped up on one of those background checker websites.

But they ask you on the ILR and Citizenship applications if you ever had a civil judgment in any country, and to tick "no" is lying/deception, which I will not do. Ironically this civil judgment accuses me of lying/deception, which I did NOT do. It's really fu#$)@ed up. I am praying my lawyer can sort this out, I can't go into any more detail than this except that it's related to benefits and employer retaliation.

What scares me is that what they accused me of is a crime in the U.K. punishable by up to 10 years. But the thing is....I was never served a summons, arrested, charged, nothing. Never knew about it, it got filed about 6 months AFTER I moved 3,000 miles away from the state.

So if I was  never convicted (they slapped a fine on the original amount and that's all been accruing interest without my knowledge all these years), but accused and fined automatically (again never dealt with the legal system at all)....how would ECO's deal with this upon applying for ILR? That's the big question.

I just want my name cleared, but it's really stressful.

Offline JenandChris

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Re: Advice for those who have just arrived on a spousal visa
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2011, 10:39:16 PM »
Can I ask what is meant by repaying what is owed to the NHS? With a spousal visa you are entitled to use of the NHS.

Offline ksand24

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Re: Advice for those who have just arrived on a spousal visa
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2011, 01:01:48 AM »
Can I ask what is meant by repaying what is owed to the NHS? With a spousal visa you are entitled to use of the NHS.

This is only relevant to people who may have used the NHS for free while in the UK on a visitor visa when they weren't actually eligible to get the treatment free of charge (either because they didn't know they should pay for it or because they were told by NHS staff that they didn't need to pay).

If this is the case, and they owe more than £1,000 in NHS charges, I believe their fiance/spousal visa can be refused (and/or it may affect the outcome of future visa applications inside the UK)... so they need to make sure they have paid off any money owed to the NHS as soon as possible.

Offline Shandy

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Re: Advice for those who have just arrived on a spousal visa
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2011, 05:14:25 PM »
This is only relevant to people who may have used the NHS for free while in the UK on a visitor visa when they weren't actually eligible to get the treatment free of charge (either because they didn't know they should pay for it or because they were told by NHS staff that they didn't need to pay).

If this is the case, and they owe more than £1,000 in NHS charges, I believe their fiance/spousal visa can be refused (and/or it may affect the outcome of future visa applications inside the UK)... so they need to make sure they have paid off any money owed to the NHS as soon as possible.

A quick question about this.  Am I right in thinking (sure I read it somewhere) that all NHS charges should be given up front and the choice on whether or not to pay or refuse treatment would be given?