Hello
Guest

Sponsored Links


Topic: Hello! International couple looking for advice/stories :)  (Read 4462 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

  • *
  • Posts: 18

  • LDR in the early stages of closing the gap
  • Liked: 0
  • Joined: Aug 2022
  • Location: England
Hello! International couple looking for advice/stories :)
« on: August 09, 2022, 07:08:46 AM »
Hello all, I'm so glad to have found this lovely community!

I am a 21/F EU citizen in the UK and university student, and my boyfriend is a 23/M American tradesman. We also have a 10/M Jack Russel mix :)

We met through Facebook 3 years ago, and are coming up on our 1 year anniversary soon! We've met for the first time earlier this Spring and he loved it here so much he'd like to come back for good :)

Our goal is to close the gap by the end of the year, but we haven't had great luck unfortunately.
At first we tried to go the Skilled Worker route, hoping it would be easy as his occupation is on the shortage list, but after several weeks of constant emails and phone calls one employer told us that "you're not going to find anyone willing to sponsor you in this town", which was disheartening to say the least.

As I am at uni relocating is not exactly an option, so we're left with no choice but to pursue a Spouse Visa. We're both tight on money these days, we have no idea how we will meet the financial requirements when we both live paycheck to paycheck. We would be fine if only he was allowed to work during the Engagement Visa, as he has great job prospects here in the UK.
It would be ideal if we could skip the engagement altogether, but we're not sure of our options as we cannot find any legal advice right now! I'm considering travelling out of town to find any solicitor that is willing to talk to me at all at this point!

So, that's where we're at right now. I'd like to hear some of your own personal experiences with a Spouse Visa, it would be nice to get an idea of what we can expect. We feel as if we are in over our head at the moment :(

Edit: I got a call back from a solicitor finally :)
« Last Edit: August 09, 2022, 10:46:14 AM by jujuspring »


  • *
  • Posts: 17762

  • Liked: 6112
  • Joined: Sep 2010
Re: Hello! International couple looking for advice/stories :)
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2022, 07:29:33 AM »
Hello all, I'm so glad to have found this lovely community!

I am a 21/F EU citizen in the UK and university student, and my boyfriend is a 23/M American tradesman. We also have a 10/M Jack Russel mix :)

We met through Facebook 3 years ago, and are coming up on our 1 year anniversary soon! We've met for the first time earlier this Spring and he loved it here so much he'd like to come back for good :)

Our goal is to close the gap by the end of the year, but we haven't had great luck unfortunately.
At first we tried to go the Skilled Worker route, hoping it would be easy as his occupation is on the shortage list, but after several weeks of constant emails and phone calls one employer told us that "you're not going to find anyone willing to sponsor you in this town", which was disheartening to say the least.

As I am at uni relocating is not exactly an option, so we're left with no choice but to pursue a Spouse Visa. We're both tight on money these days, we have no idea how we will meet the financial requirements when we both live paycheck to paycheck. We would be fine if only he was allowed to work during the Engagement Visa, as he has great job prospects here in the UK.
It would be ideal if we could skip the engagement altogether, but we're not sure of our options as we cannot find any legal advice right now! I'm considering travelling out of town to find any solicitor that is willing to talk to me at all at this point!

So, that's where we're at right now. I'd like to hear some of your own personal experiences with a Spouse Visa, it would be nice to get an idea of what we can expect. We feel as if we are in over our head at the moment :(

Welcome. :) 

What is your immigration status?



  • *
  • Posts: 18

  • LDR in the early stages of closing the gap
  • Liked: 0
  • Joined: Aug 2022
  • Location: England
Re: Hello! International couple looking for advice/stories :)
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2022, 07:32:40 AM »
Welcome. :) 

What is your immigration status?

Thank you for the welcome :) I am pre-settled at the moment, waiting for my final settlement application to get approved.
I forgot to mention, I've been in the UK for 6 years!


  • *
  • Posts: 17762

  • Liked: 6112
  • Joined: Sep 2010
Re: Hello! International couple looking for advice/stories :)
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2022, 08:00:05 AM »
Thank you for the welcome :) I am pre-settled at the moment, waiting for my final settlement application to get approved.
I forgot to mention, I've been in the UK for 6 years!

That's good, so you can sponsor him.

The easiest thing to do would be marry in the US or perhaps your home country if that's easier and apply directly for the spouse visa.

Unless you're on certain benefits though, there is no way around the financial requirement.

 Do you have family who could gift you enough to meet the savings requirement (£62.5K)? Or it would be less if combined with your employment income.



  • *
  • Posts: 6594

  • Liked: 1898
  • Joined: Sep 2015
Re: Hello! International couple looking for advice/stories :)
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2022, 08:34:46 AM »
Your story sounds a lot like mine, my wife is French and we met in the states at about the same age you are now.   30 years later, we've had a great life and just sent our daughter away to Uni at Bristol.  Having the life together that you want is totally doable, London is full of international couples.   I'm sorry it's so hard for you guys but keep up the faith, you guys can do it. 

Have you ever talked to old people in London and they say "We bought our first house in Notting Hill for £1500 and paid off the mortgage working part time in a coffee shop while going to Uni for free..."?  It's pretty much the same with working out living in the UK back in 2000.  We stumbled into the Embassy in Prague and explained we'd like to move to London.  They told us to come back in two weeks to pick up the papers and it was more or less done!   You totally have my sympathy for living in these horrible Brexit times.

I'm sure you already know this, but I would seriously consider other places to live in Europe.


  • *
  • Posts: 18

  • LDR in the early stages of closing the gap
  • Liked: 0
  • Joined: Aug 2022
  • Location: England
Re: Hello! International couple looking for advice/stories :)
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2022, 10:37:43 AM »
That's good, so you can sponsor him.

The easiest thing to do would be marry in the US or perhaps your home country if that's easier and apply directly for the spouse visa.

Unless you're on certain benefits though, there is no way around the financial requirement.

 Do you have family who could gift you enough to meet the savings requirement (£62.5K)? Or it would be less if combined with your employment income.

We are trying to work something out for the savings requirement, but it's obviously a lot of money so we're not really betting on it. I am on benefits at the moment, but as soon as I go back to uni my account will be closed... It would be nice if we could complete the marriage remotely somehow, like he signs the documents at his local embassy?


  • *
  • Posts: 18

  • LDR in the early stages of closing the gap
  • Liked: 0
  • Joined: Aug 2022
  • Location: England
Re: Hello! International couple looking for advice/stories :)
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2022, 10:43:22 AM »
Your story sounds a lot like mine, my wife is French and we met in the states at about the same age you are now.   30 years later, we've had a great life and just sent our daughter away to Uni at Bristol.  Having the life together that you want is totally doable, London is full of international couples.   I'm sorry it's so hard for you guys but keep up the faith, you guys can do it. 

Have you ever talked to old people in London and they say "We bought our first house in Notting Hill for £1500 and paid off the mortgage working part time in a coffee shop while going to Uni for free..."?  It's pretty much the same with working out living in the UK back in 2000.  We stumbled into the Embassy in Prague and explained we'd like to move to London.  They told us to come back in two weeks to pick up the papers and it was more or less done!   You totally have my sympathy for living in these horrible Brexit times.

I'm sure you already know this, but I would seriously consider other places to live in Europe.

That certainly would be so nice to just wait 2 weeks and have it all be done for us... Even if it's much more difficult for us we're gonna keep at it anyway and we won't give up! We really appreciate your kind words <3


  • *
  • Posts: 18238

  • Liked: 4990
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Location: Wokingham
Re: Hello! International couple looking for advice/stories :)
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2022, 10:50:56 AM »
There isn't an option for a remote marriage.  You will absolutely have to be together for that.  But it doesn't have to be the USA or UK.

It may be that you have to keep at the long distance for a few years while you finish university and then get employment.  Unfortunately, the financial requirements are stiff and there is no way around them.  The UK is very anti-immigration so they've put as many barriers in place as possible (don't know if you've looked at the cost of the visas?).

We all get how much it sucks.  The romance of getting married and all is completely sucked out when you have to get immigration and visas involved.

Does he work for a company with a presence in the UK?  Maybe a transfer would be an option?


  • *
  • Posts: 18

  • LDR in the early stages of closing the gap
  • Liked: 0
  • Joined: Aug 2022
  • Location: England
Re: Hello! International couple looking for advice/stories :)
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2022, 11:15:36 AM »
There isn't an option for a remote marriage.  You will absolutely have to be together for that.  But it doesn't have to be the USA or UK.

It may be that you have to keep at the long distance for a few years while you finish university and then get employment.  Unfortunately, the financial requirements are stiff and there is no way around them.  The UK is very anti-immigration so they've put as many barriers in place as possible (don't know if you've looked at the cost of the visas?).

We all get how much it sucks.  The romance of getting married and all is completely sucked out when you have to get immigration and visas involved.

Does he work for a company with a presence in the UK?  Maybe a transfer would be an option?

It does a little unfortunately :(
He works in a small workshop, there are no big companies in his trade in my uni town unfortunately...
We are aware it's expensive, we can scrape together enough for the fees. I might try getting a full time job in a warehouse or something, I would only need to have it for hopefully no more than 3 months until we switch to spouse visa and he can take over from there, no idea how I'd fit that in my uni schedule but what else could we do at this point, right?
We find LDR too difficult to put it off for years, we have to make it work somehow :(


  • *
  • Posts: 17762

  • Liked: 6112
  • Joined: Sep 2010
Re: Hello! International couple looking for advice/stories :)
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2022, 01:11:01 PM »
It does a little unfortunately :(
He works in a small workshop, there are no big companies in his trade in my uni town unfortunately...
We are aware it's expensive, we can scrape together enough for the fees. I might try getting a full time job in a warehouse or something, I would only need to have it for hopefully no more than 3 months until we switch to spouse visa and he can take over from there, no idea how I'd fit that in my uni schedule but what else could we do at this point, right?
We find LDR too difficult to put it off for years, we have to make it work somehow :(

Have you looked at the financial requirements? You'll need at least 6 months on £18,600.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1039148/1.7_-_Financial_requirement.pdf


  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 26880

  • Liked: 3598
  • Joined: Jan 2007
Re: Hello! International couple looking for advice/stories :)
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2022, 01:48:06 PM »
Welcome to the forum :).

We are aware it's expensive, we can scrape together enough for the fees. I might try getting a full time job in a warehouse or something, I would only need to have it for hopefully no more than 3 months until we switch to spouse visa and he can take over from there, no idea how I'd fit that in my uni schedule but what else could we do at this point, right?

Unfortunately, in order to meet the income requirement through employment income, you must have either:

1. Been with your current employer for AT LEAST 6 months, earning at least £18,600 before tax for the entire 6 months (you have to provide 6 full months of payslips and bank statements to prove this, which usually means needing 7 months' worth to cover every day of the 6 months).

OR

2.
- Have been with your current employer and earning at least £18,600 for LESS than 6 months
AND
- Have earned at least £18,600 in total (before tax) in the last 12 months before applying for the visa... to make up for the fact that you haven't been with your current employer for 6 months yet
You need to provide 12 full months of payslips and bank statements to prove this (normally you need 13 months of payslips and bank statements to cover every single day of the 12 months).

As you are a student at the moment, it's unlikely you will be able to meet this requirement until after you have finished uni and have been working full-time for 6-12 months.

And as has been said above, they are strict with the financial requirements. If you are just 1 day short, or even £1 short, of meeting the £18,600 requirement, the visa will be refused.

With the savings, if you are able to show £62,500 in savings, that money must have been in an account (or accounts) in either your name, your partner's name, or both your names jointly for a minimum of 6 months before you can apply. No one else can be named on the account.

The amount in the account (or accounts added together) cannot have dropped below £62,500 for even 1 day during those 6 months... and they will use the lowest balance in the account(s) during the 6 months to work out if you meet the requirement.

If the money has been given to you by someone else as a gift, that person will need to write a letter confirming it is a gift, not a loan, and will never be repaid back... as in you can't just put money in the account to meet the visa requirement and then give it back to them once the visa has been granted, you have to confirm that it is your money to keep forever.


  • *
  • Posts: 18

  • LDR in the early stages of closing the gap
  • Liked: 0
  • Joined: Aug 2022
  • Location: England
Re: Hello! International couple looking for advice/stories :)
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2022, 07:01:26 PM »
Have you looked at the financial requirements? You'll need at least 6 months on £18,600.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1039148/1.7_-_Financial_requirement.pdf
Welcome to the forum :).

Unfortunately, in order to meet the income requirement through employment income, you must have either:

1. Been with your current employer for AT LEAST 6 months, earning at least £18,600 before tax for the entire 6 months (you have to provide 6 full months of payslips and bank statements to prove this, which usually means needing 7 months' worth to cover every day of the 6 months).

OR

2.
- Have been with your current employer and earning at least £18,600 for LESS than 6 months
AND
- Have earned at least £18,600 in total (before tax) in the last 12 months before applying for the visa... to make up for the fact that you haven't been with your current employer for 6 months yet
You need to provide 12 full months of payslips and bank statements to prove this (normally you need 13 months of payslips and bank statements to cover every single day of the 12 months).

As you are a student at the moment, it's unlikely you will be able to meet this requirement until after you have finished uni and have been working full-time for 6-12 months.

And as has been said above, they are strict with the financial requirements. If you are just 1 day short, or even £1 short, of meeting the £18,600 requirement, the visa will be refused.

With the savings, if you are able to show £62,500 in savings, that money must have been in an account (or accounts) in either your name, your partner's name, or both your names jointly for a minimum of 6 months before you can apply. No one else can be named on the account.

The amount in the account (or accounts added together) cannot have dropped below £62,500 for even 1 day during those 6 months... and they will use the lowest balance in the account(s) during the 6 months to work out if you meet the requirement.

If the money has been given to you by someone else as a gift, that person will need to write a letter confirming it is a gift, not a loan, and will never be repaid back... as in you can't just put money in the account to meet the visa requirement and then give it back to them once the visa has been granted, you have to confirm that it is your money to keep forever.

Thank you for the welcome :)

That financial requirement is so over the top :(
Would his income for the last 6 months not count whatsoever? I thought for the financial requirement we'd be assessed jointly...

Would he be able to qualify for some sort of Heritage visa with a DNA test? His family origins trace back to the UK from back 200 years ago, I think he's even got documents to prove his great-great(-great?)-grandfather was British, would that count? Lol

The Gov really has no mercy for young families like us :(


  • *
  • Posts: 17762

  • Liked: 6112
  • Joined: Sep 2010
Re: Hello! International couple looking for advice/stories :)
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2022, 07:15:06 PM »
Thank you for the welcome :)

That financial requirement is so over the top :(
Would his income for the last 6 months not count whatsoever? I thought for the financial requirement we'd be assessed jointly...

Would he be able to qualify for some sort of Heritage visa with a DNA test? His family origins trace back to the UK from back 200 years ago, I think he's even got documents to prove his great-great(-great?)-grandfather was British, would that count? Lol

The Gov really has no mercy for young families like us :(

The applicant's income does not count for the spouse visa. Once he's in the UK with the right to work, then it does count.
There is an ancestry visa actually but it is only for commonwealth (and related) citizens and you need a British grandparent.




  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 26880

  • Liked: 3598
  • Joined: Jan 2007
Re: Hello! International couple looking for advice/stories :)
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2022, 07:59:40 PM »
That financial requirement is so over the top :(
Would his income for the last 6 months not count whatsoever? I thought for the financial requirement we'd be assessed jointly...

Yeah, it is over the top - and the reason it's over the top is because a few years ago the UK government pledged to reduce non-EU immigration to less than 100,000 people per year... at the time, they couldn't do anything about the number of EEA citizens moving here because we were still in the EU, so they cracked down on all the other visas instead, making it as hard as possible for people to qualify for work visas and spousal visas.

I seem to remember that they estimated that the new £18,600 income requirement would prevent 45% of would-be spousal visa applicants from being able to qualify to join their families in the UK!

So, for employment income at least, unless your boyfriend is already living in the UK with a visa that allows him to work, only your UK income can be considered for the first visa. Then once you have the first spousal visa and he is living and working in the UK, his income can combined with yours, or just used alone to meet the requirements for the next visa extension applications... because his spousal visa will allow work in the UK.

If he were to manage to get company sponsorship for a work visa and move to the UK on that visa, he could switch to the spousal FLR visa once he met the income requirement from the UK employment... but if he is applying for the spousal visa from the US without having a valid UK work visa already, only your employment income can be considered.


  • *
  • Posts: 18238

  • Liked: 4990
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Location: Wokingham
Re: Hello! International couple looking for advice/stories :)
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2022, 08:52:43 PM »
Thank you for the welcome :)

That financial requirement is so over the top :(
Would his income for the last 6 months not count whatsoever? I thought for the financial requirement we'd be assessed jointly...

Would he be able to qualify for some sort of Heritage visa with a DNA test? His family origins trace back to the UK from back 200 years ago, I think he's even got documents to prove his great-great(-great?)-grandfather was British, would that count? Lol

The Gov really has no mercy for young families like us :(

It’s also hard that there is no mercy for so many other circumstances.

As my parents (in the USA) age, there is ZERO way I could have them join me and my family (I’m a long term U.K. resident now and British citizen).  LITERALLY my only option is to return to the USA to help.  There used to be a “golden visa” for £2 million pounds but that was stopped to prevent oligarchs from taking advantage of a safe haven.

And if you have children here, they aren’t automatically British. I had a friend who both she and her husband were American. They lived in the U.K. for 9 years (max allowed on their work visa at the time). One child born here, the other was in England from age 4 to 13.  And they all just had to leave.  It’s very black and white. It’s very hard.

You’ll find none of us are fans of all the rules… most of which make no sense.

Where are you studying and what are you studying?  Let’s turn this a bit more positive!  What’s your home country?  What is the Jack Russell’s name?  Boy/girl?  U.K. or USA for residence?


Sponsored Links





 

coloured_drab