Author Topic: Visiting husband in London before applying for spouse visa  (Read 747 times)

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Offline Nazzy

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Hi all,

Has anyone actually done this?

I have now got an AMerican Passport and will be using it for the first time to visit my husband in london to finalize all our documents for the SPouse visa. I know that with the US passport, i do not need a visa for a short stay upto 90 days. I am planning to stay only a week. Am I likely to get alot of questions at UK Immigration.

My husband advises that I bring a letter from my employer to verify that I work and return tickets.

I am keen to hear other's experiences or any advise would be great!

Thanks,
Nazzy

Online ksand24

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Re: Visiting husband in London before applying for spouse visa
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2017, 08:49:59 PM »
I know that with the US passport, i do not need a visa for a short stay upto 90 days. I am planning to stay only a week. Am I likely to get alot of questions at UK Immigration.

Actually, it's up to 6 months, not 90 days. And it's not that you don't need a visa at all, it's that instead of applying for one in advance, it is granted to you at the border when you land in the U.K. (A visitor visa stamp).

As you are only coming for a week, you shouldn't have much trouble getting into the UK, though I would bring the following documents with you, just in case:

- your return ticket
- a recent bank statement showing you have enough money for your trip
- a letter from your employer stating that you have been given time off and what date you are expected back at work
- evidence of your home in the US (rental agreement or mortgage statement)

If they ask about the fact that your husband is British, you can also explain that you are aware you need to return to the US to apply for your spousal visa and that you will be sorting out the documents in the UK to take back with you. Showing you know the immigration rules is always good :).

You may find you get no questions or hassle at all, other than your reason for visiting, or they might ask for some evidence to show you will return to the US.


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Offline nonmerci

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Re: Visiting husband in London before applying for spouse visa
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2017, 10:57:08 PM »
Hi all,

Has anyone actually done this?

I have now got an AMerican Passport and will be using it for the first time to visit my husband in london to finalize all our documents for the SPouse visa. I know that with the US passport, i do not need a visa for a short stay upto 90 days. I am planning to stay only a week. Am I likely to get alot of questions at UK Immigration.

My husband advises that I bring a letter from my employer to verify that I work and return tickets.

I am keen to hear other's experiences or any advise would be great!

Thanks,
Nazzy

In my experience, they always request to see my return ticket, and depending on the person working, grill me on how I know my husband, why I'm visiting, etc. etc. I've been asked once how much money I have in my bank account, but never been required to show anything other than the return ticket (even just on my phone). I do recommend mentioning the spouse visa application, as it shows you know the immigration rules. :)
Met Glasgow 30/05/2016
Married NYC 03/03/2017
Applied spouse visa 17/04/2017
Biometrics 19/04/2017
Shipped VFS/Priority 19/04/2017
Acknowledgment from Sheffield 21/04/2017
Decision ?

Offline whit92

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Re: Visiting husband in London before applying for spouse visa
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2017, 12:30:47 AM »
It really really really just depends on how nice the officer is at the border.

I was living in the UK until my student visa expired at end of Jan2017, and then left to go on holiday with my wife for three weeks, after which I went back to the UK on a visitors visa for three weeks. Many people on this forum actually advised me not to do it because it was very risky and if I got turned down it could potentially affect my spousal visa, etc (there are horror stories where people have been turned away at the border because they returned too close to their visa expiry date and/or the officer didn't think they would leave). And actually, I very easily could have been one of those people. I made sure to get all of those documents that ksand24 suggested and take them on my trip with me. On my flight back I only had a carry-on bag, but the cabin was full so they made me check it. About halfway through the flight I realised that all of those documents (my return tickets and everything) were in the bag, and the flight attendant told me I wouldn't be able to get my bag back until after customs. So of course I started freaking out thinking there was no way in hell I would ever get back into the UK. But at the border I got through with relatively no bumps - the officer did ask why she should believe that I was going to leave though, and I said because I was applying for the spousal visa from the USA and my partner was coming out for a visit after I left.

Honestly, I would say take all the things that ksand24 suggested, but only give them if the officer asks for them and only answer the questions they ASK you. I promise you, less is more. Sometimes they can be cruel and try to read into things or twist your words because they thought you said something 'suspicious'. So just stick to their script and you should be fine!
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 12:31:50 AM by whit92 »

Offline Nazzy

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Re: Visiting husband in London before applying for spouse visa
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2017, 02:06:13 AM »
Thank you all for your help.

I was thinking that I would just initially say that I am here to see family and then if thy ask details then I'll say my in laws and other family members. Is that okay?

Also, if for some reason they do deny me entry, will that in any way affect my spouse visa application?

Thanks,
Nazzy

Offline kbales

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Re: Visiting husband in London before applying for spouse visa
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2017, 02:28:57 AM »
I just got back on Wednesday from visiting my fiance in Cambridge for 4 months! When I showed the man at the desk my return ticket and he saw I would be there for that long (even though it was well under the 6 month maximum) he definitely started to grill me with questions. I talked to him for about 5-7 minutes. And while you're standing at those desks at Heathrow with the long line of people behind you, that feels like a lifetime!! I came with a letter from my employer stating how much I make and that I had a job to return to when I got back to the US. Even though the man was asking a lot of questions, I never actually pulled the letter out and didn't need it in the end.

It was my 5th time visiting the UK on the tourist visa, so I can definitely see why I might have raised some flags. I told him that while I would be staying with my fiance at his house for the 4 months, we would also be traveling all around to visit his friends and family - just to make it sound like more of a "touristy" trip than actually living there.

I was really nervous the whole time, but I was telling the truth and after a few minutes the guy started to reach for the stamp and I knew I was good to go  :)

Good luck!  :)

Offline solaire129

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Re: Visiting husband in London before applying for spouse visa
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2017, 02:48:51 AM »
Preface: I've never had it happen to me when I was in the pre- or application stage for a visa.

I came to the UK on a student visa in 2015 and left the country a couple times for interviews, and the UK customs and border control can be terrible. It totally depends on which person you get and how their disposition can be that day. 70 percent of the time, I've never had problems, but it depends.

Again, I go with the advice of only answering the questions they give you. If you're on a visitor's visa, play up that you're just visiting. Here to see your in-laws? Talk about travelling to see them. I normally keep everything to a sentence or two. I've had horrible experiences; but if you portray confidence, they're fine with you.

I do know if you are denied entry, you have to report that on your next visa application and give the date/airport/maybe a two-word answer. I saw that question on the spousal visa application. I don't know any more than that.
US gal meets Brit boy during study abroad in 2013.
Started dating on Halloween.
Went to UK on student visa 2015-Jan 2017.
Married in Nov 2016.
Applied for Spousal visa April 2017.
Waiting to hear back.
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Offline Nazzy

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Re: Visiting husband in London before applying for spouse visa
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2017, 03:22:19 AM »
Thank you so much everyone for your responses.

I do plan to be vague unless they ask for specific. Like I would say in laws if they ask what kind of family, and then if they ask about my husband then mention that he is here.

I am just very scared that if I get denied entry, then will that affect my Spouse visa. I know I have to definitely mention it in the Spouse visa application. but just want to know that if getting denied would have any impact or not.

Thanks,
Nazzy

Online ksand24

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Visiting husband in London before applying for spouse visa
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2017, 03:35:28 AM »
I do plan to be vague unless they ask for specific. Like I would say in laws if they ask what kind of family, and then if they ask about my husband then mention that he is here.

Actually, I would either just say: 'Family' and then 'Husband' right away, or even just 'Visiting my husband' straight off... since your purpose of visit is primarily to see your husband, NOT your in-laws

If it looks like you are being deliberately vague, it can make them suspicious that you are trying to use deception.

People have been questioned further/refused entry for saying they are visiting 'a friend' when it turns out, after further questioning, it's actually a boyfriend/girlfriend. But if they had just said boy/girlfriend in the first place, they would not have been given such a hard time.

Just be honest, but don't offer more than they ask:

I.e.
If they ask:
What is your reason for visiting?

Then you say:
To see my husband

You don't say:
I'm coming to see my husband for a week. We're applying for a spousal visa and I'm here to collect all my documents, so that I can go back and apply next week, so we can settle in the UK and start building our lives together... etc. etc.

If they ask for more information after you tell them 'visiting my husband' you can elaborate, but just don't blurt everything out in one go... answer only what they ask you, and keep it short and sweet.

Quote
I am just very scared that if I get denied entry, then will that affect my Spouse visa. I know I have to definitely mention it in the Spouse visa application. but just want to know that if getting denied would have any impact or not.

It won't. The only impact it might have is that your visa could take a few days longer to be processed. That's it.

If you are honest and say 'husband', the worst that could happen is they don't let you in and your husband has to mail you the documents... and your visa might just take a little longer to process.

If you are not upfront and are vague about who you are visiting, and they suspect you of using deception to enter the UK, the worst that can happen is a 10-year ban from the UK (though I think this may be waived for spousal visas).

I really don't think you have anything to worry about. You're only coming to the UK for a week - just say you're visiting your husband, be honest about your situation if they ask, and you should be fine :).



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« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 03:37:04 AM by ksand24 »

Offline lyonaria

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Re: Visiting husband in London before applying for spouse visa
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2017, 07:40:46 AM »
Like Ksand said: always tell the truth in the simplest way possible.

I visited my fiance (now husband) one month after my initial visa denial. I didn't apply for a visit visa, I didn't tho k I had time.

I rocked up to the border guy, and we had a short chat, of which I was asked several questions regarding my visit, we had a chat about the correct term for a Marriage visa (we call them fiance visa on the forum) and how part of my reason for viaiting was to collect paperwork for our next application. And I was allowed in for 5 weeks.

Oh, and I had everything to show I had a life to get back to. Letter from my work saying I was on a leave of absence but my job was waiting, copy of bank statements, letter from fiance saying he was helping with expenses foe the trip. Didn't even ask to see them, but I had them.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 07:42:42 AM by lyonaria »
The usual. American girl meets British guy. They fall into like, then into love. Then there was the big decision. The American traveled across the pond to join the Brit. And life was never the same again.

Offline MPI

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Re: Visiting husband in London before applying for spouse visa
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2017, 11:08:22 AM »
I visited my now husband twice for long ish visits (4-6 weeks apiece) before we applied for the spouse visa.  Once we were just dating and once we were engaged.  The time we were dating, they seemed concerned about me knowing anyone for a visit, but when I said I was there to visit my boyfriend and some friends from uni they were satisfied and stamped me in.  The time we were engaged, I was actually coming in so we could do our pre marital course at the church and look for an engagement ring, and I was honest about that.  No problems then either.

Honestly it takes longer (but is still quite easy) to come in when you actually have a visa in my experience, they do fingerprint you and ask questions to confirm you are sticking to the terms of the visa.  When I was a student, they asked me specifics about my studies, books I was assigned for the course, what we did in class etc.  On my spouse visa if I'm alone they ask my husband's name and a couple details (when we were married etc).  When we're together it's a bit easier.
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Offline Beatlemania

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Re: Visiting husband in London before applying for spouse visa
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2017, 12:39:40 PM »
Just adding to the list of people saying to be forthcoming with the IO. Like ksand said, you don't have to give them your life story, just answer their question.

I successfully visited my husband while we waited to be eligible for my spousal visa. I stayed for 5 weeks. The IO asked me a fair few questions about our finances, plans, etc. I just answered them, explained that we were waiting for my husband to have worked for six months, he was coming to the US before that time anyways. I actually didn't have a job but had a return flight and a good knowledge of the immigration rules. I had a lovely stay and then got my spousal visa later that year.
Met Mr. Beatlemania: 20 Jan 2010
Tier 4 Visa Approved: 17 Sep 2012
Married: 22 Jun 2013
Spousal Visa Received:  22 Sep 2014
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Online KFdancer

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Re: Visiting husband in London before applying for spouse visa
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2017, 12:45:48 PM »
Definitely say husband if they ask who you are visiting, not the inlaws.  There is NOTHING wrong with visiting your husband.   :D

Friends of ours were married for about three years before they applied for any visas.  She visited him frequently and he visited her frequently.  No problems at any time and they were always up front and honest.

Offline AV

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Re: Visiting husband in London before applying for spouse visa
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2017, 01:59:41 PM »
Echoing the advice NOT to beat around the bush. I was hesitant to give information about visiting the last time, as the major reason for visiting was my dad's recent death (long story). I couldn't speak about my dad without crying, so I tried to answer the questions without mentioning him. My evasiveness made them so suspicious that they interrogated me for ages and held me for over an hour--to the point I almost missed my next flight. They were extremely nasty, hostile, and aggressive as well.

Whereas if I'd said that my friend invited me to stay because I was grieving my dad and couldn't function, and she was going to take care of me for a few months, they would have probably been much nicer. As soon as I mentioned my dad and got teary, they backed off.
Met my wife in January of 2015
Engaged February 10, 2017
Married March 3, 2017
Online application submitted April 5, 2017
Biometrics & shipping to UK April 17, 2017
Email confirmation from Sheffield April 24, 2017
Submitted ToR May 12, 2017
Hoping to move to the UK in late spring or early summer of 2017!

Online anxiousandwaiting

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Re: Visiting husband in London before applying for spouse visa
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2017, 02:08:30 PM »
If you're from the US or another Registered Traveler country I recommend applying for Registered Traveler in the UK. You don't have to see an immigration officer, you can use the electronic gates that EU/UK citizens do and there's no need to fill out a boarding card.

https://www.gov.uk/registered-traveller