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Magdalena
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« on: June 09, 2012, 05:11:27 PM »

I have a few questions for those who have successfully applied for a UK fiancee visa before, or who have extra information about this process:

1) Proof of Accommodation. My fiance is a UK citizen living and working in the UK, and currently sub-leasing a house with someone else. He plans, however, to find a house for us to share, to move out of his current accommodation, and into our future home, at the end of the summer (still about three months before the planned wedding date, but not soon enough to include these details in my application). Before the wedding, I plan to rent a room with his parents, and they have written a letter vouching for this. He can provide proof of his funds, and of what he is currently spending on housing and council tax, and he can prepare a realistic prediction of what he will be spending on our future home, but he obviously can't include a lease or other documents for that future home. Will this be a problem for our application? If so, is there a way that we can provide evidence of our plans? Or should we change our plans?

2) Photos. How many and what kind of photos should I include with my application? Do I need to supply a representative sampling from over the years to prove the steadiness of our relationship, or are a few photos enough? Should I include photos with other people? And should I write anything particular on the back of the photos? Since all of my photos are online, I was planning on printing them at a pharmacy or something; will this be acceptable?

3) Emails, letters, skype log. How much and what sort of correspondence should I provide?

4) Immigration History. I was denied entry two years ago when I tried to come to the UK to volunteer, and was naive about the classification of volunteering as work. I have since successfully applied for a visitor's visa, with no help, and have entered the UK to visit my boyfriend on eight separate occasions. Should I seek professional help preparing the documents for my fiancee visa application, and/or should I pay for expedition? I have so far assumed I could complete this application on my own, and submit it normally, given that my immigration history seemed to be solved after that occasion (although I always go through more rigorous questioning at the border). Thoughts?

Any insight into these issues would be very much appreciated!
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ksand24
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2012, 05:47:26 PM »

Hi there, welcome to the forum Smiley.

1) Proof of Accommodation. My fiance is a UK citizen living and working in the UK, and currently sub-leasing a house with someone else. He plans, however, to find a house for us to share, to move out of his current accommodation, and into our future home, at the end of the summer (still about three months before the planned wedding date, but not soon enough to include these details in my application). Before the wedding, I plan to rent a room with his parents, and they have written a letter vouching for this. He can provide proof of his funds, and of what he is currently spending on housing and council tax, and he can prepare a realistic prediction of what he will be spending on our future home, but he obviously can't include a lease or other documents for that future home. Will this be a problem for our application? If so, is there a way that we can provide evidence of our plans? Or should we change our plans?

For the visa, you need definite evidence of your accommodation in the UK - if you don't provide this, the visa will be refused.

So, if you will be renting a room with his parents, then his parents need to provide the evidence: a letter from them allowing you to live there, proof that the home won't be overcrowded, their land registry document and their evidence of homeownership (original mortgage statements etc.). (However, you are supposed to be living together, so your fiance would be expected to live there with you too).

Or alternatively, you can get permission from his current landlord for you to live there too (you may end up finding somewhere new once you have the visa and might not live there, but at least you would have proof of somewhere to live for the visa). For this, you need his current original lease, plus written permission from his landlord for you to live in the home with him.

Or, he needs to find somewhere new to live and secure a lease and permission from the landlord for you to live there too, before you apply for the visa.

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2) Photos. How many and what kind of photos should I include with my application? Do I need to supply a representative sampling from over the years to prove the steadiness of our relationship, or are a few photos enough? Should I include photos with other people? And should I write anything particular on the back of the photos? Since all of my photos are online, I was planning on printing them at a pharmacy or something; will this be acceptable?

1 or 2 photos of you together is enough for the visa. They just need to see that you have met in person. Ideally you want to send actual original photos rather than internet print-outs, so getting them printed at a pharmacy would be a good idea.

Quote
3) Emails, letters, skype log. How much and what sort of correspondence should I provide?

The best evidence you can send is evidence of seeing each other in person - so things like boarding passes for trips to see each other and maybe travel itineraries too.

Next best evidence is probably physical letters or cards you have sent each other... just a few is fine (I'd say no more than 3 or 4, maybe)

Then you can show evidence of emails and Skype - don't send actual emails or chats, but just a screen shot or two of your email inbox and/or Skype call log... maybe listing a couple of emails/calls/chats per week or per month during your relationship (depending on how long you've been together - you don't want to send evidence of 2 per week if you've been together 10 years Tongue!).

You don't want to send pages and pages of stuff just:

- a couple of photos
- any boarding passes/trip itineraries
- a few cards/letters
- a couple of sheets of paper showing screenshots of email inboxes/Skype call logs spanning your relationship.

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4) Immigration History. I was denied entry two years ago when I tried to come to the UK to volunteer, and was naive about the classification of volunteering as work. I have since successfully applied for a visitor's visa, with no help, and have entered the UK to visit my boyfriend on eight separate occasions. Should I seek professional help preparing the documents for my fiancee visa application, and/or should I pay for expedition? I have so far assumed I could complete this application on my own, and submit it normally, given that my immigration history seemed to be solved after that occasion (although I always go through more rigorous questioning at the border). Thoughts?

As you have successfully applied for a visitor visa and have visited the UK several times with no problems, I wouldn't think you should need to seek professional help for the documents.

The application is relatively simple to prepare (you collect the necessary documents, fill out the online form, attend the biometrics appointment and mail everything to NYC) and the only difference between your application and someone who hasn't been refused entry is that you also need to provide details of the refused entry and any paperwork you were given at the time.

The only effect that your immigration history will have on the application is that it might take them a little bit longer to process it as they have to request your refused entry paperwork from the UK and look into the reason for the refusal.
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Magdalena
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2012, 06:13:53 PM »

Hi, thank you very much for the thorough response. The problem with the accommodation situation is that we don't plan to live together before marriage. I haven't seen anything stating that engaged couples need to live together; only that they must plan to live together after marriage. But of course it's difficult to prove that (although we have letters from parents and from the monsignor who's marrying us witnessing to our intention to live together after the wedding). I thought it would be enough to prove that we had the means and the opportunity to support ourselves separately before marriage and together afterwards. What can we do to adjust our plans without compromising the principle or misrepresenting our circumstances?
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ksand24
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2012, 06:31:07 PM »

Hi, thank you very much for the thorough response. The problem with the accommodation situation is that we don't plan to live together before marriage. I haven't seen anything stating that engaged couples need to live together; only that they must plan to live together after marriage.

Yeah, fair enough.

Looking at the requirements again, I see that it does say 'after marriage':

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You must show that:

-    you both intend to live together permanently as husband and wife or civil partners after you are married or have registered your civil partnership;

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But of course it's difficult to prove that (although we have letters from parents and from the monsignor who's marrying us witnessing to our intention to live together after the wedding). I thought it would be enough to prove that we had the means and the opportunity to support ourselves separately before marriage and together afterwards. What can we do to adjust our plans without compromising the principle or misrepresenting our circumstances?

I think the best thing to do would be to explain that you won't be living together until after the marriage and then essentially provide evidence from all three of the scenarios above.

For example:

- For your accommodation,  you provide a letter from his parents, their evidence of homeownership and their land registry documents

- For his accommodation, he provides his current lease showing where he lives now (his proof of funds is also required, but not for the accommodation section... instead, for the maintenance funds section).

- For your future accommodation, you provide any evidence or correspondence you have in regards to his house-hunting for where you will live after the wedding (i.e. examples of flats or houses available in the area, any contact he's had with letting agencies etc.).

The evidence of accommodation is important for the visa, because they need to see that you have somewhere to go when you arrive in the UK... that you won't end up living on the streets or seeking government assistance/housing benefit (which is not allowed on a visa).
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Magdalena
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2012, 11:27:56 PM »

OK; that's very helpful. Thanks for the advice!
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Magdalena
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2012, 06:43:46 PM »

I have a couple more questions about this proof of accommodation...

We have changed our plans to avoid potential application failure, so that he will stay in his current home, the other renter will move out before the wedding, and I will move in once we are married.  That way he should have all the documents he needs to prove that we have accommodation.

Can you tell me whether or not the following evidence will be sufficient?
-current lease
-next lease, from July to January
-letter from landlord stating that I may move in at the planned time
-letter from other tenant stating intent to move out at the planned time
-utility bills (these are in the other tenant's name; should there be further evidence to show my fiance's payment of his share?)

With what document do we prove the capacity of the house, and that there will not be overcrowding, that we have a room to ourselves, that no one else lives there, etc. Should that be mentioned in the landlord's letter? Are other documents needed?

Also, I know I still need to include the information about where I will be staying up to the wedding. Do I need to get a certified copy of the land registry documents AND the deed to the house? Or will one of those things suffice? How can we prove there won't be overcrowding there--will it be sufficient for my fiance's parents to explain the number of rooms and the number of people living there, in the letter?

Thanks. Smiley
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squishymeister
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2012, 07:47:28 PM »

Quote
Can you tell me whether or not the following evidence will be sufficient?
-current lease
-next lease, from July to January
-letter from landlord stating that I may move in at the planned time
-letter from other tenant stating intent to move out at the planned time
-utility bills (these are in the other tenant's name; should there be further evidence to show my fiance's payment of his share?)

That should be enough for them. When we sent our proof of accommodation we included the original lease (our landlady was nice enough to do 2 of them for us) and a letter of intent from the landlady. Any pertinent information can be included in that letter, though it situations like yours, less might be more.
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Magdalena
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2012, 10:57:32 AM »

Great. It sounds like we should be fine for my fiance´s proof of accommodation, which is where we will live after we are married.

But I´m still confused about several issues related to proof of accommodation before marriage. I´ll be staying with my future in-laws; they own their house. They will provided me with a letter stating I´ll be with them, how much I´m paying, and how many bedrooms and people are in the house (I hope that last bit satisfies as proof against overcrowding).

1) Do I need both a certified or notarized copy of the deed, and the land registry document, or will one of those suffice? If so, which one?

2) If I need the deed, should it be notarized, or is certified enough?

3) If I need the land registry document, is the download-and-print version fine, or do I need to send away for an official copy?

4) Do I need utility bills, and are these, combined with land registry docs, fungible with the deed?

I apologize for rehashing a question I know has been discussed before. I read a lot of previous posts, and I´m afraid to say they didn´t really clarify these questions for me, as there were a number of different opinions.
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stevenbam
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2012, 11:19:54 AM »

FYI

I was denied my fiance visa initially because I did not include information regarding when we were getting married.  In the appeal I enclosed dates and information from the Leeds City Council website as far as fees and whatnot and I won my appeal, so make sure you make clear you intent to marry before the 6 months is up on the Fiance Visa.  Smiley
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Applied for fiancé visa 08-08-2011
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Magdalena
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2012, 03:44:55 PM »

Thanks for the tip; we should be fine with that, as we have an official letter from the Monsignor at the church stating that we have booked a date with the church.

...But can anyone help with my questions about documents for proof of accommodation?
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ksand24
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2012, 04:11:28 PM »

1) Do I need both a certified or notarized copy of the deed, and the land registry document, or will one of those suffice? If so, which one?

2) If I need the deed, should it be notarized, or is certified enough?

3) If I need the land registry document, is the download-and-print version fine, or do I need to send away for an official copy?

As I think someone else said (which I didn't realise), it seems that the land registry document IS the deed if you own outright.

Many people who have supplied accommodation documents haven't owned outright, so they have included the land registry document and their mortgage statements.

So, if they don't have a separate deed document (if one even exists), then just include the land registry. I believe you can download and print one from the website (I think you have to pay a small amount for it).

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4) Do I need utility bills, and are these, combined with land registry docs, fungible with the deed?

No utility bills are required. Just a letter from the parents, land registry document/deed, and mortgage statements (if not owned outright).

Don't overthink it. You just need a letter from them giving permission and proof that they own the house (by means of whatever official documentation they have which shows this).
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Magdalena
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2012, 04:27:14 PM »

So you don't think the land registry document needs to be certified? I think there is a way for sending away for a more official copy, as well. I know I shouldn't over think it. I'd just much rather be on the safe side here.
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ksand24
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2012, 04:54:45 PM »

So you don't think the land registry document needs to be certified? I think there is a way for sending away for a more official copy, as well.

I don't know, to be honest - all I've seen people say here on UK-Y is that you can print the document from the land registry website... no mention of whether it needs to be certified or not.
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Albatross
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« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2012, 05:12:42 PM »

As I think someone else said (which I didn't realise), it seems that the land registry document IS the deed if you own outright.

Many people who have supplied accommodation documents haven't owned outright, so they have included the land registry document and their mortgage statements.



In England, the deed and the title information document are one and the same... even if you don't own 'outright'.   If you have a mortgage, it will say that Mr So-and-so is the proprietor... the title is in his name, with a 'charge' on the property by the mortgage lender.

If you don't have a mortgage, it will say that Mr So-and-so is the proprietor, and in the charge section (section C), it will show no mortgage lender's name as having a charge over the property (if it's been discharged.) 

I can't see why they would want to see mortgage statements, unless they want to know how much the property owner's outgoings are for housing costs.... but why would they care?  Seems to me that all they need to know is in section A and B of the Title Information document....the address of the property and the name of the proprietor/owner.  If they are desperate to know if the property is mortgaged, they can look at section C. 
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Magdalena
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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2012, 05:24:18 PM »

I don't know, to be honest - all I've seen people say here on UK-Y is that you can print the document from the land registry website... no mention of whether it needs to be certified or not.


I've seen that too, and usually there was also mention of making certified copies of the deed, which is why I was confused. And someone somewhere recommended sending away for the official land registry document. I wouldn't mind getting all of the above if it didn't mean make my in-laws dig out unnecessary paperwork and pay solicitors to certify it, etc. I just wish it were more clear; this should be on the UKBA website somewhere but I don't think it is.

This website includes more information about docs required: http://londonelegance.com/transpondia/family-visas/spousal-visa
It says that for home ownership the certified copy of the deed should be provided, and only mentions land registry in case of a mortgage. Thoughts?
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