Author Topic: About to start visa - lots of questions  (Read 1294 times)

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Offline MegMcLain

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About to start visa - lots of questions
« on: February 08, 2018, 05:27:02 PM »
I have been here in the UK on a visitors visa since late October, living with my (now) fiance, whom I met during a vacation last June.  We went back to my home in Oregon for 10 days over Christmas so he could meet my family, and we got engaged there.  I'll be headed back to Oregon late March (so since last June I've spent a total of 5 months here), at which point I'll be starting the visa process.  I wanted to start getting together all the documents I need from my partner now, since he won't be coming with me (considering visiting me tho).  Been reading everything I can, and the whole process is still quite confusing, so please forgive the millions of questions I'm about to pose.

First off, our original plan was to do a fiance visa, hopefully I could get approval before June, return then, and we could marry in Sept in the UK.  However, after reading other's stories, I'm wondering if him coming out to the US for a few days, getting married at a courthouse, then filing for spouse visa would be a better option (we aren't big "wedding" people, so thats of no concern for us). The only question I would have regarding that is: would I need to get a new passport after the marriage before applying for the visa?  Also, would a marriage in the usa/spouse visa process take longer than just a fiance visa (my goal is to return asap, as I don't want to be living at my parent's house while my father is dying... seen that too many times already).

Second, since I have been in the country for 5 months since last June, and I know a visitor visa only allows for 6 months a year, would I have to wait a year till I could return, or does the visa (fiance or spouse) allow me to return immediately?

Third, as far as financials go, he more than exceeds the minimum in both income and savings.  But... this is a unique situation (tho his boss has assured he'd help us in anyway he can).  Without going into it too much, my fiance lived with/cared for his father when we first met.  About a month after I returned home (last July), he came home from work to find his father had hung himself.  Understandably, he had to take time off work to handle arrangements and to recover from what was a very traumatic experience.  But he never lost his job OR income.  He's slowly been getting back to work, but still only does 3 days a week.  And while it did take a few months, his inheritance of several 100,000's was deposited into his bank.  So I'm not exactly sure how to prove income, which is substantially over minimum needed, because it hasn't exactly been just a "monthly pay stub" type thing.  Would a letter from his boss along with bank statements be appropriate?  And would we fill out both the income AND savings section on the appendix 2 form?

Also we are a bit confused about the classification of our home.  It's a rental that used to be a council flat, but was bought up by some kind of association, so not sure what to list for that.  What kind of documents are needed to prove residency?

For proof of relationship we have photos, my ring, flight e-confirmations (no physical tickets), but our correspondence was minimal (facebook video chat/messenger for the few months i was away), and since i've been here since october, most of our messages are things like "can you pick up dog food?" and such.  Is that enough?

Finally, do all documents need to be dated within 30days of sending in the application?

I'm sure I'll have a ton more questions as this progresses, but I'd like to get everything together asap, so when I get home I can focus on getting my dog's travel plans in order (side question: I've read that shipping the dog cargo to france then driving to london is much cheaper than direct flights to england... is that true?)

Thanks everyone!!!



Met Fiancé: 07 June 17
Engaged: 24 Dec 17
Online App: 25 March 18
Biometrics: 29 March 18
Priority App Sent: 30 March 18
App Arrived Email: 3 April 18
Decision Made Email: 08 May 18 (25 BD)
Passport Received: 10 May 18 - APPROVED!

Offline ksand24

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Re: About to start visa - lots of questions
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2018, 05:49:03 PM »
Welcome to the forum :).

To clarify a couple of things:
- you haven't been 'living' in the UK for the last few months, because that is illegal on a visitor visa. You have simply been visiting. (i.e. don't refer to it as living in the UK because that could get you in trouble with immigration)
- a visitor visa does not allow 6 months in a year (there is no such rule), it allows up to 6 months PER visit. When you enter the UK you are granted 6 months, then when you leave the 6 months is cancelled; when you enter again, you are granted another 6 months, then when you leave, it's cancelled again
- So, when you left for the US over Christmas your first 6-month visitor visa became invalid and you 'applied' for a new one when you returned and were granted another 6 months.
- there's no general rule of thumb that you cannot spend more than 6 months in 12 months in the UK... you just have to show that you have not been spending more time in the UK than in the US in the last 12 months.

You should ideally spend as much time outside the UK as you did inside the UK. I.e. if you returned to the UK in Dec/Jan and you are leaving in March, then you should ideally spend 3 months outside the UK before coming back as a visitor (this does not apply to fiance/spousal visas).

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The only question I would have regarding that is: would I need to get a new passport after the marriage before applying for the visa?  Also, would a marriage in the usa/spouse visa process take longer than just a fiance visa (my goal is to return asap, as I don't want to be living at my parent's house while my father is dying... seen that too many times already).

Sorry to hear about your father :(.

1) No, you don't have to change your name in your passport, however, your visa will only be issued in the name in your passport, and it's a hassle to change it later, so if you do want to change it, you should do it before you apply for the visa
2) No, there is no difference in processing times between a fiance (marriage) visa and a spousal visa... they are all lumped together in the line and they won't know which one you are applying for until they pick it up to make a decision... and that part only takes a couple of hours.
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Second, since I have been in the country for 5 months since last June, and I know a visitor visa only allows for 6 months a year, would I have to wait a year till I could return, or does the visa (fiance or spouse) allow me to return immediately?

As mentioned above, there is no 6 months in a year rule... and that would only apply to returning on a visitor visas anyway, not a fiance/spousal visa.

You can return immediately upon receiving a fiance or spousal visa... however I would allow up to 3 months for the visa to be processed if you pay for priority processing (it gets busy heading into the summer), or potentially 3-6 months if you don't.

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And while it did take a few months, his inheritance of several 100,000's was deposited into his bank.  So I'm not exactly sure how to prove income, which is substantially over minimum needed, because it hasn't exactly been just a "monthly pay stub" type thing.  Would a letter from his boss along with bank statements be appropriate?  And would we fill out both the income AND savings section on the appendix 2 form?

Sorry about his father :(.

If his savings are at least £62,500 and have been in his account for at least 6 months before you apply, then you can just fill out the savings section and you don't even need to mention his job or provide any evidence of his employment income.

Savings is the easiest category to meet anyway and only requires 6 months of bank statements and evidence of where the money came form.

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Also we are a bit confused about the classification of our home.  It's a rental that used to be a council flat, but was bought up by some kind of association, so not sure what to list for that.  What kind of documents are needed to prove residency?

So he rents from the housing association?

You normally need evidence of his tenancy agreement along with a letter from the housing association giving you permission to live there once your visa has been granted.


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For proof of relationship we have photos, my ring, flight e-confirmations (no physical tickets), but our correspondence was minimal (facebook video chat/messenger for the few months i was away), and since i've been here since october, most of our messages are things like "can you pick up dog food?" and such.  Is that enough?

For time spent together in the same country, you don't need evidence of communication because you are together in person. So for October to March, you just show evidence of flight tickets.

For the time between June and October, and from March onwards, you can use emails/Skype/messages to prove communication while apart.

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Finally, do all documents need to be dated within 30days of sending in the application?

The financial documents must be within 28 days of submitting the online application.

There's no specific requirement for everything else, but you will want them to be dated as close to the application date as possible.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 05:54:50 PM by ksand24 »

Offline KFdancer

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Re: About to start visa - lots of questions
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2018, 05:53:17 PM »
Just to add, processing times will start to increase as we move into spring and summer.  Right now (winter) is the best time to apply for a quick turn around.

I don't think flying to France is necessarily cheaper.  Just some people really want their animals in the cabin versus the hold.  You'd need to investigate both to determine which is better value for money for yourself.

Offline larrabee

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Re: About to start visa - lots of questions
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2018, 07:12:01 PM »
Yes, it is cheaper flying an animal via France as it would go as excess baggage vs manifest cargo if flying directly into the U.K.
You would then have to figure out how to get it into the U.K. from there though, driving is really the only way I think, either yourself or hiring a relocation company.
But it is easier and quicker to fly directly into the U.K. ..swings and roundabouts.  :)
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.

Offline MegMcLain

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Re: About to start visa - lots of questions
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2018, 07:34:51 PM »
Yes, it is cheaper flying an animal via France as it would go as excess baggage vs manifest cargo if flying directly into the U.K.
You would then have to figure out how to get it into the U.K. from there though, driving is really the only way I think, either yourself or hiring a relocation company.
But it is easier and quicker to fly directly into the U.K. ..swings and roundabouts.  :)

i already have a friend who is dying to meet him offer to drive us if we do go the france to uk route.  she loves to travel (actually lives in her van), and so i told her i'd cover fuel, tolls, and a few nice french meals.... she said none of that mattered, as long as she got to play with him (my finnick, while scared of everyone, is crazy smart and can do like 50 tricks).
Met Fiancé: 07 June 17
Engaged: 24 Dec 17
Online App: 25 March 18
Biometrics: 29 March 18
Priority App Sent: 30 March 18
App Arrived Email: 3 April 18
Decision Made Email: 08 May 18 (25 BD)
Passport Received: 10 May 18 - APPROVED!

Offline MegMcLain

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Re: About to start visa - lots of questions
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 03:09:52 PM »
two new questions:

I wrote an email to the Merton registers office inquiring about openings for a marriage ceremony in early to mid September of this year.  Would our reply from them (along with our other relationship documentation) be enough for proof of intent to marry?  They said to call to book as they do have openings for that timeframe.  We may just book it if there is an opening, but I want to ensure we've done enough to prove that.

Second, on the application under the "Sponsor Details" section, there is a question "What is this persons' relationship to you?".  Fiance isn't an option, so do i choose "Partner" from the list?

Met Fiancé: 07 June 17
Engaged: 24 Dec 17
Online App: 25 March 18
Biometrics: 29 March 18
Priority App Sent: 30 March 18
App Arrived Email: 3 April 18
Decision Made Email: 08 May 18 (25 BD)
Passport Received: 10 May 18 - APPROVED!

Offline KFdancer

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Re: About to start visa - lots of questions
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2018, 03:15:23 PM »
Yes,the email with the register with suffice. 

Pick other.  Got to love UKVI!   ;)

Offline MegMcLain

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Re: About to start visa - lots of questions
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2018, 03:19:38 PM »
Yes,the email with the register with suffice. 

Pick other.  Got to love UKVI!   ;)

it says "other relative"... we aren't related :P 
Met Fiancé: 07 June 17
Engaged: 24 Dec 17
Online App: 25 March 18
Biometrics: 29 March 18
Priority App Sent: 30 March 18
App Arrived Email: 3 April 18
Decision Made Email: 08 May 18 (25 BD)
Passport Received: 10 May 18 - APPROVED!

Offline KFdancer

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Re: About to start visa - lots of questions
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2018, 03:21:43 PM »
it says "other relative"... we aren't related :P

Honestly, it won't matter what you choose.  We always advise other and it works.  I'm sure partner will work too (though that can imply same sex).

Offline MegMcLain

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Re: About to start visa - lots of questions
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 03:22:45 PM »
oh, and for "when did they arrive in the UK" in the sponsor section, do i put the day of his birth, since he is a citizen?
Met Fiancé: 07 June 17
Engaged: 24 Dec 17
Online App: 25 March 18
Biometrics: 29 March 18
Priority App Sent: 30 March 18
App Arrived Email: 3 April 18
Decision Made Email: 08 May 18 (25 BD)
Passport Received: 10 May 18 - APPROVED!

Offline KFdancer

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Re: About to start visa - lots of questions
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2018, 03:28:21 PM »
oh, and for "when did they arrive in the UK" in the sponsor section, do i put the day of his birth, since he is a citizen?

Yup.   :)

Offline MegMcLain

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Re: About to start visa - lots of questions
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2018, 03:33:58 PM »
Yup.   :)

hahaha.  oh jeez.  and i keep thinking "this is making me feel dumb". 
Met Fiancé: 07 June 17
Engaged: 24 Dec 17
Online App: 25 March 18
Biometrics: 29 March 18
Priority App Sent: 30 March 18
App Arrived Email: 3 April 18
Decision Made Email: 08 May 18 (25 BD)
Passport Received: 10 May 18 - APPROVED!

Offline KFdancer

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Re: About to start visa - lots of questions
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2018, 04:11:33 PM »
hahaha.  oh jeez.  and i keep thinking "this is making me feel dumb".

We all over think it when it's our own application.  It's (somewhat) easy to see the right answer when it's not you.  But when it's you, we ALL over think it!

Offline MegMcLain

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Re: About to start visa - lots of questions
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2018, 12:53:26 AM »
ok, question 1.16

If you are an unmarried or same sex partner, have you been living in a relationship akin to marriage or a civil partnership?

options are yes, no, or Not Applicable.

for a fiance that would be "not applicable" right?  i mean we stay with each other when we visit, but that's not like marriage.
Met Fiancé: 07 June 17
Engaged: 24 Dec 17
Online App: 25 March 18
Biometrics: 29 March 18
Priority App Sent: 30 March 18
App Arrived Email: 3 April 18
Decision Made Email: 08 May 18 (25 BD)
Passport Received: 10 May 18 - APPROVED!

Offline ksand24

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Re: About to start visa - lots of questions
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2018, 05:35:47 AM »
Yes, that’s correct.

For an Unmarried Partner Visa you have to prove you have legally lived together continuously for 2 years before applying for the visa.

But there is no such requirement for a fiancé or spousal visa, so this question does not apply to you.


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