Author Topic: Marriage Visitor Visa Questions  (Read 1181 times)

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Offline AmyB

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Marriage Visitor Visa Questions
« on: April 26, 2018, 03:24:30 PM »
My fiancé and I met in early 2017 online. He is British and I am American. We are applying for a marriage visitor visa.
Long story short it didn’t take long at all to realize that we wanted to be together. We arranged a trip for me to come visit him in the UK in October of 2017. At the time I was separated, in a failed relationship, with 2 children. I was traveling to see him alone. I was allowed entry pretty much without question. Immediately after returning I filed for an official divorce. My now ex-husband agreed to the divorce and to let me take my children to the UK to begin a new life with my partner. In my state we have a mandatory waiting period of 120 days, even with full agreement from both parties. My fiancé and I, in our haste to be together again, thought we’d book a flight for my children and I to come back to the UK and work on the visa process together while the divorce was being processed.
February 11 of this year my 2 children and I took a connecting flight from Chicago to Dublin to land in Birmingham and were returned to the states by immigration. Looking back we made a lot of mistakes wanting to be together, to have my children meet my partner in person, get our documents in order together, etc. Immigration didn’t like my responses to their questions or lack of proof of what I was doing in the UK; admittedly we did only have one way tickets which were a big red flag. I was honest about our relationship but there were too many questions because I am unemployed and didn’t have a lot of my own personal funds for the trip. I didn’t know exactly when my final court date would be in the states and was going to book a return based on that… not good enough. THAT was a NIGHTMARE.
So … now my divorce is about to be final this coming Monday and I’m waiting to get a copy of the final divorce decree to have all the required documentation and then I will schedule biometrics and send in for my visa. I’m a bit concerned I’ve been a stay at home parent for the past 10 years and reading some of the other situations I can’t really prove a place to stay once I have to return after the 6 months other than maybe letters from family as I have no income or ownership/leases on property. I have proof of where I’ll live in the UK and that my fiancé is able to support my children and I while we are there.  Is there anything else I’m missing?? How long does the decision realistically take!? This is all so overwhelming and my whole life is up in the air. Thankfully my ex-husband has been very understanding and I’m still ok for now but I really need a bit of clarity I am so nervous and scared; very thankful I found this site wish we would have sooner! I don’t know if it’s even ok to try to go back to visit now that I’ve been refused entry once. Thanks in advance for your help.

Online KFdancer

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Re: Marriage Visitor Visa Questions
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2018, 03:29:07 PM »
A few questions:

Were you refused entry when you attempted to enter from Dublin?

Where do you plan to live after you marry?  A marriage visitor visa is for people who do NOT want to make the UK their home.  If you want to make the UK your home, you need to apply for a fiance visa.

Have you considered marrying in the USA and then applying directly for a spouse visa?

Are the children moving with you?

Offline AmyB

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Re: Marriage Visitor Visa Questions
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2018, 03:46:40 PM »
Yes, we were refused entry trying to enter from Dublin (they decided on behalf of the UK I was told).

After we are married we plan to live in the UK so then it seems I am applying for the wrong one based on what you've said. Yes, my children will be moving with me.

We have not considered marrying in the US and applying for the spouse visa I have no idea how that works? I've been searching and reading but everything is so confusing.

Offline AmyB

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Re: Marriage Visitor Visa Questions
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2018, 03:50:35 PM »
I guess I should also note we used the visa4uk website and have already completed and submitted an application electronically (including payment) prior to realizing we still needed to wait for the final divorce decree to submit the physical application... It's such a mess. So what do I do with that now that it's not even the correct Visa. So grateful for your advice!!!
« Last Edit: April 26, 2018, 03:53:55 PM by AmyB »

Online KFdancer

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Re: Marriage Visitor Visa Questions
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2018, 04:08:36 PM »
Have you attended biometrics yet?  If not, you can still cancel the application and get your money back.

Correct, the marriage visitor visa is not the correct visa.

You will 100% want to marry in the USA as you'll have 3 visas to pay for.  You don't want to go the fiance route (which does NOT allow access to the NHS) and then pay for 3 visas again for the spouse visa.  The fiance route will cost about £3,000 more than the spousal route.

Does your fiance make at least £24,800 per year?  Is he in salaried employment?

Will your divorce decree make it VERY clear that you are allowed to relocate to the UK with the children?  Has your soon to be ex given you written permission to take them?  We are finding cases with children are being delayed while huge amounts of scrutiny are applying ensuring the proper permissions are in place for the children to move.

Offline AmyB

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Re: Marriage Visitor Visa Questions
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2018, 04:15:02 PM »
I have not attended biometrics yet so I will cancel that application and apply for a refund.

He does meet the income requirement I believe he is considered self employed the way his company works their payroll but I will have to verify that with him.

The divorce decree will state I am allowed to relocate with the children, that was a very important detail as our state has a 150 mile rule if it is not laid out in the divorce decree.

Is there a link or something I can read more about marrying here and then what visa to apply for? I thought we were making progress now I feel like I'm back to square one.

Online KFdancer

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Re: Marriage Visitor Visa Questions
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2018, 04:30:05 PM »
Self-employment is by far the hardest category to apply under.  The amount of paperwork is unreal.  Just be aware.  The application will be entirely dependent on his financial year for his company.

Alternatively, do either of you have £78,000 in savings (either individually or jointly)?  This can include proceeds from a house you may be selling and/or a 401k.

Some light reading for you:
https://www.gov.uk/uk-family-visa/partner-spouse

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/636618/Appendix_FM_1_7_Financial_Requirement_Final.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-fm-se-family-members-specified-evidence

Offline AmyB

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Re: Marriage Visitor Visa Questions
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2018, 04:47:35 PM »
Thank you I will take a look at the links and be able to ask him a few more questions this evening.

Offline larrabee

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Re: Marriage Visitor Visa Questions
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2018, 05:09:11 PM »
Thank you I will take a look at the links and be able to ask him a few more questions this evening.

Hi Amy! Welcome.  :)

I am so glad you found us in time!  ;D
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 AmyB

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Re: Marriage Visitor Visa Questions
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2018, 08:23:20 PM »
I'm so glad too I feel like we've been saved from another huge mistake! I'm grateful to have found some guidance from people who have been through similar situations. Now we've had a chance to talk about everything we are going forward with the fiance visa, should I keep posting questions here or start a new topic?? Thanks again  ;D

Offline larrabee

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Re: Marriage Visitor Visa Questions
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2018, 08:27:03 PM »
I'm so glad too I feel like we've been saved from another huge mistake! I'm grateful to have found some guidance from people who have been through similar situations. Now we've had a chance to talk about everything we are going forward with the fiance visa, should I keep posting questions here or start a new topic?? Thanks again  ;D

Best just to stick to this thread now as it has all the background. Are you sure we can't persuade you to marry in the US then apply for the spouse visa? It's so much easier and cheaper doing it that way! :)
« Last Edit: April 28, 2018, 08:28:39 PM by larrabee »
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 ksand24

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Re: Marriage Visitor Visa Questions
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2018, 08:48:21 PM »
Just to compare the options between marrying in the US and in the UK:

Fiance visa to marry in the UK
- apply for fiance visa and 2 child visas. Cost £1,523 each plus £573 each if you pay for priority processing
- move to the UK
- you cannot work or study, and none of you will have free access to the NHS, so you will all need health insurance
- after 7 days residence give notice to marry
- wait at least 28 days to marry (could be extended to 70 days if your case is referred to UK immigration...hopefully won't happen with a fiance visa
- get married
- apply for another 3 visas to stay in the UK (FLR(M) visas). Cost £1033 each, plus £500 IHS surcharge each (soon to double to £1,000), plus £610 each if you want to apply in person for a same-day decision
- wait for visas to be processed (up to 8 weeks)
- receive visas... you can finally work/study and will have full access to the NHS

Total visa cost for all 3 of you
Fiance (and child) visas = £4,569 or £6,288 if you pay for priority processing
FLR(M) (and child) visas plus IHS surcharge = £4,599 or £6,429 if applying in person... but this will rise to £6,099 (or £7,929) when the IHS surcharge double
Total = anywhere from £9,168 to £14,217... and that's just the first visas, there'll be another 6 visas to pay for over the next 5 years (2 each), potentially at a cost of £3,250 or more for each visa.

Marry in the US and then apply for the spousal visa
- he flies to the US
- you get married within a couple of days
- you apply for the spousal (and child) visas. Cost £1,523 plus £600 IHS surcharge (soon to double to £1,200) for each visa
- you move to the UK
- you can work, study and use the NHS for free immediately
- no more visas for another 2.5 years

Total visa cost for all 3 of you
Spousal (and child) visas plus IHS surcharge = £6,369 (£8,169 after IHS surcharge doubles) or £8,088 if you pay for priority processing (£9,888 when IHS surcharge doubles
Total = anywhere from £6,369 to £9,888

So, by marrying in the US, you could save yourselves up to £7,848 in visa fees in the first 6 months.

Online KFdancer

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Re: Marriage Visitor Visa Questions
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2018, 09:41:55 PM »

So, by marrying in the US, you could save yourselves up to £7,848 in visa fees in the first 6 months.

This.  Not to mention you will need private health insurance for the first 6-8 months in the UK for all three of you before the FLR(M) is granted.

Regardless of which option you go with, the divorce needs to be finalised BEFORE you apply.  Fiancé or spouse.

Offline AmyB

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Re: Marriage Visitor Visa Questions
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2018, 10:26:41 PM »

Regardless of which option you go with, the divorce needs to be finalised BEFORE you apply.  Fiancé or spouse.

Yes, my divorce is final this Monday 30 April 2018. I have to wait for the final paperwork to submit the application as well which could take a few weeks to process. Additionally I'm under the impression my state has a 6 month waiting period after divorce to remarry; it's in legislation to be removed but I don't know that's gone through yet. I don't know how to handle that either. If we did go with the fiance visa is it unwise to come, say, in June and cut it so close on the 6 months to marry once I'm there if we couldn't marry until the end of October? I'll find out for sure Monday.

My current situation is less than ideal and I don't have many options so if we would have to wait until October to marry in the states I don't know what I'd do in the meantime. Could my children and I visit the UK until then, come back to get married and apply for the spouse visa? Really I have so many questions I don't know where to begin but this is a great help so far.


Online KFdancer

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Re: Marriage Visitor Visa Questions
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2018, 10:41:17 PM »
Could you meet your fiancé and marry in another state?  We married in NYC which was super easy.

Honestly, even with priority processing, it’s unlikely a fiancé visa would be processed in June (plan on 6 weeks processing with priority).