Hi there, welcome to the forum
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.
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.
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
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.
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.