Author Topic: Fiance visa help please!  (Read 401 times)

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Offline finberries

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Fiance visa help please!
« on: January 18, 2017, 12:04:28 PM »
Hi everyone,

I am an EU (irish) citizen living in the UK. I have been in a same sex relationship with an American man for 5 years. We have done this long distance thing for long enough, and now that he is finally finished his studies, its time to bite the bullet and live together. We had always wanted to live together with him here on a work visa, however, no where seems willing to entertain that. It now seems that marriage is the best option, and we are happy to do that as it has been on the cards for quite some time, but we had planned on living together as a couple for a bit longer first. Anyway, thats the decision now and we are very happy with it.
I understand that we must marry within 6 months and he cant work while on it. Other paperwork needs doing before he can work anyway which will take time, such as checking his degree and getting his licence for his particular area of work so thats fine.
He is here now, but is returning to USA next week for a month, I will join him near DC for the last week. Am I being too optimistic that he can return in a month with the fiance visa? Immigration are getting more difficult on entry to the UK with their interrogating due to so many visits, so we want to have this all formally done before he returns.
I am finding it very hard to actually find the steps in the process I need to take and what exactly we have to do. Please can someone here assist me? I have had quite a browse through here but want to make sure I have it right and get going with it!
Also, I meet the financial requirement, I have payslips and letter of employment, I own my house, I can provide evidence of our relationship with years of photographs, whatsapp and skype and many plane tickets - is this what would need to prove it?

As I understand it:
We apply online through www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk.
We book an appointment at an Application Support Centre (I believe there is one in DC)
We will go with www.vfsglobal.co.uk/to pay for the highest premium package

But there is conflicting information all around, and on various dropdown menus I cant seem to find spouse or fiance visas.

Please can someone help as a matter of urgency?! I really appreciate the work you all do on here.

UPDATE:
Ok so I did more research and the great people on here made a post on 'What are the steps for a UK Fiancé Visa?'
On here it says I need to send the documents to Sheffield - is there no option for the same day approval in person with the super premium fees?














« Last Edit: January 18, 2017, 12:14:30 PM by finberries »

Online KFdancer

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Re: Fiance visa help please!
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2017, 12:13:26 PM »
I think you aren't looking at the right things.

As you are an EU citizen and not a UKC, you would just be bringing him to the UK as a spouse of an EU citizen.  You don't have to do the whole fiancé visa/spouse visa mess that UK citizens do!  This is a very good thing.

That being said, I don't know if you need to marry before he comes.  Would you be able to marry while in DC? 

Offline finberries

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Re: Fiance visa help please!
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2017, 12:15:37 PM »
If we wanted to go with the fiance route anyway is this not an option tho?
Thank you for your reply :)

Online KFdancer

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Re: Fiance visa help please!
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2017, 12:21:12 PM »
It's just a lot more cumbersome.

He could apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa and then *I think* switch in country to the EU path (US citizens married to UKC's must apply from the US, but the rules are different for EU).

Otherwise, you could attempt to marry on a visitor visa, but your case will be referred to the Home Office for approval (minimum 28 day wait, likely 70 day wait).  But depends how much time he has already spent in the UK in the last 6-12 months as to if he'll be allowed in.

Unfortunately no matter what option you are looking at, it's unlikely to happen too quickly.  If you married TODAY, you could likely get his EEA Family Permit entry clearance in the next month.  But I would expect it to take about a month to get.

Offline finberries

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Re: Fiance visa help please!
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2017, 12:28:40 PM »
Thanks again, but I cant find anything on it being different to me being EU or UK as I am a permanent resident here, and as this is the country we want to live in together, we would just be treated by the UK as me being engaged to a non EEA citizen.

Does anyone know anything about the priority routes for applying in USA?

Online ksand24

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Re: Fiance visa help please!
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2017, 12:30:30 PM »
If we wanted to go with the fiance route anyway is this not an option tho?
Thank you for your reply :)

The fiance/spousal visa is only for people engaged to UK citizens or UK permanent residents. The fiance visa route will cost about £6,000-7,000 from the first visa (fiance visa) to permanent residence (two FLR(M) visas, and ILR)

The EU route is free for the EEA Family Permit, then about £65 for the 5-year residence card and £65 for the permanent residence card after 5 years.

So, you're looking at a couple of hundred pounds vs. several thousand pounds. Not to mention, he could work immediately on the EU route without having to wait.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2017, 12:31:58 PM by ksand24 »

Online KFdancer

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Re: Fiance visa help please!
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2017, 12:37:42 PM »
Unfortunately no great priority routes from the US for long term visas.  Only for work visas, student visas, those types.

Shouldn't take more than a few weeks though.  A recent applicant for the EU route had her decision in a few weeks.  It's really not long in the grand scheme of things (feels like forever right now, I get that).

Offline finberries

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Re: Fiance visa help please!
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2017, 12:39:37 PM »
Wow, I didnt calculate it to be that amount, I thought about £2500 from the sums I was finding online, but again, I cant find any clear answers from there it seems.
From what your both saying (and thank you so much for your input) it looks like our only real option is to go with the marriage route, which is a shame to 'have' to get married when we wanted to wait a bit longer.

Offline Sirius

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Re: Fiance visa help please!
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2017, 12:48:05 PM »
If you are an Irish citizen and not a British citizen too, then you can use the EU route. Were you born in NI?

If you use the EU route then you must be a "qualified person"* at all times, even though an Irish citizen does not have to be a qualified person. That is because you must be a QP for him to be allowed to live in the UK under EU rules. Just residing in the UK, is not being a qualified person.

BUT.....there is a Breixt looming and it is unliley he will get the 5 plus years he needs of EU rules in the UK, to be able to reach citizenship. EU laws will end on a Brexit and he will most likely have to see if he is offered anything under a Brexit.

If you have the money to sponsor, then why not just use the safer and less stressful, UK route? 5 years to ILR. He won't be affected by any Brexit stipulations/cut off dates. No need for you to make sure you are an EU qualified person at all times either. The terms for him to be in the UK won't keep changing, as they do for those trying to use free movement treaty rights. When you are married he can work and you can share the cost of the visas.



* Qualified person that you would have to be at all times and you can mix and match, is-

Worker - must pass the UK's MET (Minimum Earnings Threshold) which under present rules is about £154(ish) minimum every week.

Self Employed - must register with HMRC and must pass the MET (Minimum Earnings Threshold) which under present rules is about £154(ish) minimum every week.


Jobseeker - must have proof of jobseeking. Maximum 6 months as a jobseeker.

Self Sufficient - must have the money to show you are self suifficient for you and him, if you do then he can work. Both of you must buy Comprensive Sickness Insurance, neither of you to take UK benefits.

Student - Both of you must buy Comprensive Sickness Insurance, neither of you can take UK benefits.

Have a read
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/european-economic-area-nationals-qualified-persons
« Last Edit: January 18, 2017, 01:24:45 PM by Sirius »

Online ksand24

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Re: Fiance visa help please!
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2017, 12:58:30 PM »
Wow, I didnt calculate it to be that amount, I thought about £2500 from the sums I was finding online, but again, I cant find any clear answers from there it seems.
From what your both saying (and thank you so much for your input) it looks like our only real option is to go with the marriage route, which is a shame to 'have' to get married when we wanted to wait a bit longer.

Current prices:
Fiance visa = £1,195 (+£450 priority processing if you choose)
2.5-year FLR(M) visa after the wedding = £811 + £500 NHS surcharge (+£500 in person processing if you choose)
Second 2.5-year FLR(M) visa = £811 + £500 NHS surcharge (+£500 in person processing if you choose)
ILR (permanent residence) after 5 years in the UK = £1,875  (+£500 in person processing if you choose)
UK citizenship (after ILR) = £1,236

However, the fees rise in April each year, so it could be much more by the time you apply for each one.

Alternatively, the EEA route:

EEA Family Permit = £0 (plus £150? priority processing if you choose)
5-year EEA Residence Card = £65
Permanent Residence Card = £65
UK citizenship = £1,236

Offline finberries

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Re: Fiance visa help please!
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2017, 01:31:59 PM »
You really are an expert and a hero thanks for all this great info!

I just want to follow up on some things you said to make sure they are clear for me and thanks for any feedback in advance:

The EEA family permit - is that for spouse or fiance?
Does this qualify for working in UK?
Do we go for 5 year EEA residence right away or after some time?




Online KFdancer

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Re: Fiance visa help please!
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2017, 01:35:37 PM »
Sirius, he doesn't qualify for the U.K. route as he's not a citizen.  It's a quick refused application with no refund.

And if he wants to do things quickly, getting citizenship isn't going to speed the process up.   ;)

Offline finberries

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Re: Fiance visa help please!
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2017, 01:39:27 PM »
So I dont qualify to bring him here under anything other than EEA Family Permit which states:

'Extended family members and unmarried partners aren’t guaranteed to get a permit. Your individual circumstances will be considered when you apply.'

Individual circumstances is quite a vague term to use! I wonder if being engaged to someone with intent to marry soon considered in these circumstances.....

Online KFdancer

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Re: Fiance visa help please!
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2017, 01:49:02 PM »
Correct.  Unless you decide to apply for UK citizenship, the EEA route is your only option.  This is NOT a bad thing.  Most of us would KILL to have this option!!  Yes, Brexit leaves a bit of uncertainty.  But I'd cross that bridge when you get there.

You would need to be married.  To qualify as an unmarried partner, you would need to be living in a relationship "akin to marriage" for the past two years.  To do this, one of you would have needed to have a visa to live in the other's country or have lived together in a third country.  Someone correct me if I'm mistaken and the same rule is not used for EEA permits.

Don't let the vague language worry you.  You've been living and working in the UK, meaning you are qualified to bring a partner over.

If it was me:

I'd marry when you are in DC, take the paperwork necessary for your partner's application with you.  After you are married, apply for the EEA family permit.  It may be that you return to the UK for a few weeks without him.  Once he's in the UK, apply for the EEA resident permit.  And enjoy life!

Getting married in the UK is a big ole pavlava.  Getting married in the US is a piece of cake.  Even though my now-husband and I were both living and working in the UK (living together), we married in the US as the rules to marry in the UK were just sucking any and all romance out of the union.

And most of us can sympathize with "having" to get married.  It's hard.  Marriage isn't necessarily the union it once was.  Yet, for governments, they still want that piece of paper. 

I was nervous to marry.  I have been burned in relationships in the past and didn't want to "go there."  I hated that we were pushed into it with the government.  But nearly five years on and I'm glad we had the push.  Not sure we'd even be married now if we hadn't had the push.  He's stellar and I just have to trust that he is as committed as I am.  Hard to do when you've been wrong before though. 

Offline Sirius

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Re: Fiance visa help please!
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2017, 01:50:28 PM »

I just want to follow up on some things you said to make sure they are clear for me and thanks for any feedback in advance:

The EEA family permit - is that for spouse or fiance?

You can't have an EU FP or RC for a fiance.


Does this qualify for working in UK?

Only if you, the EEA sponsor, remains a "qualified peron" at all times. See my post and link above.

Do we go for 5 year EEA residence right away or after some time?

An EU RC is not like a UK "visa". The RC will have an end date of 5 years but will become invalid if you stop being a qualified person and most likely when EU laws end in the UK on a Brexit. As said above, he would have to see of anything is offered to him on a Brexit.

As a spouse is a direct family member, they don't actually need an RC, but will find it easier to get a job with an RC. However, as above, he loses his right to work if you stop being a qualified person and the same problems with a Brexit

Are you British too? Born in NI?