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My initial Fiance visa questions...
« on: August 23, 2020, 01:08:07 PM »
Hello all :)

Firstly, apologies for the long post but I thought it better to collate all my anxious questions and post them all in one go! I'll include a little backstory of our situation and hopefully I can get some answers to all my confusion ;D


My fiancée (American) and I (British) met just over a year ago, got engaged January of this year, and had planned to marry in the US this October. Unfortunately the pandemic meant that we had to postpone our wedding and change our plans. Instead of marrying and then applying for a Spouse visa later this year for my fiance to move to the UK, we're now looking to apply for a Fiance visa as soon as possible so she can join me in the UK sooner than if we waited to get married stateside. Our stateside wedding is still in place, but for next year and as more of a celebration/vow renewal after we (hopefully if all goes according to plan...) get married and settle in the UK.

We've recently started to fill in the application for the Fiance visa and after the initial "oh, fill in the application, upload some docs, easy" thoughts, we started reading more and more information online and now have many questions! [smiley=huh2.gif] We'd be most grateful for any input and information.


1. Timings. We want my fiance to move here as soon as possible, she has no commitments in the US, she could basically move here tomorrow if it was allowed! So, if we aimed to submit say 1st October 2020, is that doable? We think we have a relatively straightforward case (i.e. meet financial thresholds, no dependants, etc). I ask because I'm just wondering how we work out when to request things like bank statements to be within the 28 day rule? And booking a registry office? (Do we need to lock in a date for that? Do we guess January/February?) Surely we'd have to have a rough idea of when we'll be submitting?

2. Following on from that question. I believe we can fill in the application and then return to upload documents? Is the biometrics appointment the date everything will hinge on? Should that be booked ASAP?

3. Proof of relationship/intent to marry. As I mentioned above, we had booked a wedding for October this year in the US and have confirmations of venue, etc. Should we include this information and an explanation that it's now a second celebration? Obviously we intend to have a wedding ceremony in the UK, albeit a smaller registry office affair. Also, we want to shop for wedding rings when we're together (something we had planned to do this year before travel bans due to Covid). Are engagement ring receipts proof enough?

4. Housing. We will be living with my parents for the foreseeable future, they will be writing a letter confirming this. I've seen people have land registry or something as proof of ownership? My parents have paid their mortgage off, will the final letter they have confirming this be enough proof or do I need to request something else? The utility bill as proof, is that one addressed to my parents as the house owners? Do we need pictures of each room, or will dimensions suffice?

5. Financial requirements. I graduated from an apprentice to a technician (with a pay increase) within the same company in September. I have a new contract from September last year, and had a lump sum back-payment in June of this year. But basically I've been working for the same company, earning above the £18,600 threshold since September 2015. Should I just have all this explained in my employer letter? Speaking of, I work for a very large company. Who do I get to write the letter confirming my employment? My direct manager? Or someone from HR (in a centralised head office, who would really only know me as a number)? Does the letter need to be on company headed paper? Because I'm not sure my manager has that ability  [smiley=laugh3.gif]

6. Financial requirements, again. My pay goes in my bank account and matches my payslips, no problem there. But I then move money into another account and savings each month. Is this something I need to provide proof of? Or is my pay going into my main account what they need to see?



Again, I'm sorry for the lengthy post! Thank you for reading, we'd be so grateful for any help whatsoever :)


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Re: My initial Fiance visa questions...
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2020, 01:23:19 PM »
Welcome again :).

We've recently started to fill in the application for the Fiance visa and after the initial "oh, fill in the application, upload some docs, easy" thoughts, we started reading more and more information online and now have many questions! [smiley=huh2.gif] We'd be most grateful for any input and information.

Ah, yes - it's not quite so simple.

Filling out the application should be the last thing you do, after researching the visa, making sure you meet all the requirements, gathering all the documents, and making sure you are completely ready to submit it all.

I'll answer a question at a time:

Quote
1. Timings. We want my fiance to move here as soon as possible, she has no commitments in the US, she could basically move here tomorrow if it was allowed! So, if we aimed to submit say 1st October 2020, is that doable?

Not sure what you mean by doable. You submit the online application whenever you are ready, and on the application form, for the intended travel date, you put the earliest possible date she may wish to move to the UK. If the visa is not granted by that date, it will simply be made valid for 6 months from when it is actually issued.

Bear in mind though that because of Covid there are big delays with the processing of applications because the biometrics centres have been closed since March and are only just starting to open now... which means that people who applied in March, April, May, June, July and August all have to get their visas processed first, before yours can be processed.

I believe on another site, someone who applied in April and gave biometrics in mid-July only just got their visa this week.
 
So, because of the delays, I would allow up to a few months for the visa to actually be issued.

Quote
We think we have a relatively straightforward case (i.e. meet financial thresholds, no dependants, etc). I ask because I'm just wondering how we work out when to request things like bank statements to be within the 28 day rule?

The bank statements, payslips and employer letter simply have to be dated no more than 28 days before the date you submit the online application. So, you gather the documents and then make sure that you submit the online application within 28 days of the earliest date on those documents.

i.e. Say your latest payslip is dated August 31st, with the bank statement showing that deposit dated on Sept 15th and your employer letter is dated September 18th... you MUST submit the online application no later than September 28th (28 days after the payslip date of August 31st).

Quote
And booking a registry office? (Do we need to lock in a date for that? Do we guess January/February?) Surely we'd have to have a rough idea of when we'll be submitting?

What you need to show for the fiance visa is that you are STARTING to make plans to marry in the UK... i.e. that you have contacted the registry office and simply enquired about possible ceremony dates. You should NOT book anything for the wedding until after the visa has been granted and she has moved to the UK, because you never know how long it will actually take or whether you will even be able to marry on the date you want.

Bear in mind that if you are marrying in England or Wales you both have to be resident in the county where you will marry for 7 days before you can give notice to marry, and then the notice must be displayed for 28 days before you can actually get married... however, this may be extended to 70 days if your case is referred to the Home Office (because she has a visa - this shouldn't happen with a fiance visa as it already gives permission to marry, but you never know).

So, I would enquire about possible ceremony dates maybe in Jan or Feb, but be aware that you may not actually have the visa by then. Then you just include the email chain with your documents to show you are looking into getting married.


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Re: My initial Fiance visa questions...
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2020, 01:40:50 PM »
Quote
2. Following on from that question. I believe we can fill in the application and then return to upload documents? Is the biometrics appointment the date everything will hinge on? Should that be booked ASAP?

The process is:
1. Gather up all the documents and double-check you have them all and they all meet the requirements
2. Fill out the online application
3. When you are ready to apply, submit the application and pay for the visa
4. Register an account with the VFS Global website, where you can book biometrics (if the centres are open) and pay for any extra services, like Settlement Priority Processing, Courier Service for return of your passport etc.
5. Upload your documents to the VFS Global website
6. Attend biometrics at a USCIS ASC, taking your passport and biometrics appointment confirmation sheet with you (they will stamp the sheet at the appointment)
7. You then have 5 days to mail your passport, stamped biometrics sheet, return postage and packaging and priority receipt (if using) to NYC for processing
8. Wait for your visa to be processed and passport mailed back to you

See here for more info about applying in the US:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/usa-apply-for-a-uk-visa/apply-for-a-uk-visa-in-the-usa

Quote
3. Proof of relationship/intent to marry. As I mentioned above, we had booked a wedding for October this year in the US and have confirmations of venue, etc. Should we include this information and an explanation that it's now a second celebration? Obviously we intend to have a wedding ceremony in the UK, albeit a smaller registry office affair. Also, we want to shop for wedding rings when we're together (something we had planned to do this year before travel bans due to Covid). Are engagement ring receipts proof enough?

You need to include proof that you are planning to marry in the UK within 6 months of the visa being granted, so the US venue booking is irrelevant as it does not proof you intend to marry in the UK... in fact, it essentially proves the opposite: that you are intending to marry in the US, not the UK.

What you need to include is evidence that you are planning a UK wedding, to take place within 6 months of the visa being granted.

So, you want to include:
- email chain with the UK registry office enquiring about potential ceremony dates

You can also include the following if you like/if you have them:
- wedding ring receipts
- wedding dress receipt

Quote
4. Housing. We will be living with my parents for the foreseeable future, they will be writing a letter confirming this. I've seen people have land registry or something as proof of ownership? My parents have paid their mortgage off, will the final letter they have confirming this be enough proof or do I need to request something else? The utility bill as proof, is that one addressed to my parents as the house owners? Do we need pictures of each room, or will dimensions suffice?

You need:
- your parents Land Registry document to prove they own the property
- a letter from your parents giving you both permission to live there, stating the full address and that they own it, plus the total number of bedrooms + living rooms and total number of people who will be living there, to prove it will not be overcrowded

Quote
5. Financial requirements. I graduated from an apprentice to a technician (with a pay increase) within the same company in September. I have a new contract from September last year, and had a lump sum back-payment in June of this year. But basically I've been working for the same company, earning above the £18,600 threshold since September 2015. Should I just have all this explained in my employer letter? Speaking of, I work for a very large company. Who do I get to write the letter confirming my employment? My direct manager? Or someone from HR (in a centralised head office, who would really only know me as a number)? Does the letter need to be on company headed paper? Because I'm not sure my manager has that ability  [smiley=laugh3.gif]

The employer letter must state all of the following:
1) Current employment (job title) and salary
2) Length of employment (date you started at the company)
3) Length of time earning current salary (date you started earning your current salary)
4) Type of employment (full or part-time, permanent or temporary)

Since you have been earning your current salary for more than 6 months, nothing else needs to be explained, since they will only look at the last 6 months of income and they don't care what you earned before that.

The letter must be on official company letterhead (we have seen visas refused because the letter wasn't on the 'right kind of paper' (i.e. not on letterhead) and therefore they didn't believe the company actually existed!).

If your manager is happy to write the letter, that will work. Otherwise, a letter from HR is fine. It just has to confirm all the details listed above.

If your payslips are issued electronically, they must also be verified in the letter. The letter should confirm all of the following for each payslip:
- pay date
- pay period
- gross pay
- net pay
- date deposited into bank account
- an explanation for any discrepancies in the payslip date and the pay deposit date (i.e. if the payslip is dated July 31st, but the money was paid in on July 29th) or discrepancies on the amount on the payslip vs. the amount paid into your bank.

Quote
6. Financial requirements, again. My pay goes in my bank account and matches my payslips, no problem there. But I then move money into another account and savings each month. Is this something I need to provide proof of? Or is my pay going into my main account what they need to see?[/b]/quote]

Nope.

The ONLY reason you have to include your bank statements is so they can confirm that your payslips were paid into a bank account in your name (and not to someone else). They don't care what happens to the money after that.


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Re: My initial Fiance visa questions...
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2020, 06:34:20 PM »
:o Wow! Such a prompt and informative reply! Thank you so much for taking the time!  [smiley=2thumbsup.gif]


The process is:
1. Gather up all the documents and double-check you have them all and they all meet the requirements
2. Fill out the online application
3. When you are ready to apply, submit the application and pay for the visa
4. Register an account with the VFS Global website, where you can book biometrics (if the centres are open) and pay for any extra services, like Settlement Priority Processing, Courier Service for return of your passport etc.
5. Upload your documents to the VFS Global website
6. Attend biometrics at a USCIS ASC, taking your passport and biometrics appointment confirmation sheet with you (they will stamp the sheet at the appointment)
7. You then have 5 days to mail your passport, stamped biometrics sheet, return postage and packaging and priority receipt (if using) to NYC for processing
8. Wait for your visa to be processed and passport mailed back to you

You submit the online application whenever you are ready, and on the application form, for the intended travel date, you put the earliest possible date she may wish to move to the UK. If the visa is not granted by that date, it will simply be made valid for 6 months from when it is actually issued.

The bank statements, payslips and employer letter simply have to be dated no more than 28 days before the date you submit the online application. So, you gather the documents and then make sure that you submit the online application within 28 days of the earliest date on those documents.

i.e. Say your latest payslip is dated August 31st, with the bank statement showing that deposit dated on Sept 15th and your employer letter is dated September 18th... you MUST submit the online application no later than September 28th (28 days after the payslip date of August 31st).

That answered my question perfectly, thank you. I can now set a date I want to aim to submit and can work backwards from there to request bank statements, etc :) I understand now that the 28 day rule doesn't include the biometrics, or actual uploading of the documents. Is that right? We saw there were (expected) delays due to Covid, so just want to get ourselves in the queue ASAP :)

What you need to show for the fiance visa is that you are STARTING to make plans to marry in the UK... i.e. that you have contacted the registry office and simply enquired about possible ceremony dates. You should NOT book anything for the wedding until after the visa has been granted and she has moved to the UK, because you never know how long it will actually take or whether you will even be able to marry on the date you want.

Bear in mind that if you are marrying in England or Wales you both have to be resident in the county where you will marry for 7 days before you can give notice to marry, and then the notice must be displayed for 28 days before you can actually get married... however, this may be extended to 70 days if your case is referred to the Home Office (because she has a visa - this shouldn't happen with a fiance visa as it already gives permission to marry, but you never know).

So, I would enquire about possible ceremony dates maybe in Jan or Feb, but be aware that you may not actually have the visa by then. Then you just include the email chain with your documents to show you are looking into getting married.

Ahh this makes so much more sense! I'll start on the enquiries :D


You need to include proof that you are planning to marry in the UK within 6 months of the visa being granted, so the US venue booking is irrelevant as it does not proof you intend to marry in the UK... in fact, it essentially proves the opposite: that you are intending to marry in the US, not the UK.

So our former wedding plans wouldn't even be relevant as proof as our relationship? In the same vein, we stay in contact primarily via Whatsapp. I've seen people mention call logs and screenshots of messages as proof of continuous contact. Are a few screenshots of call logs (I can't seem to find a way of downloading the entire list...?) and a few screenshots of messages (spaced say around once every month) enough? We also have letters and flight proof. What about flights that were cancelled by the airline due to covid, should we include those?

You need:
- your parents Land Registry document to prove they own the property
- a letter from your parents giving you both permission to live there, stating the full address and that they own it, plus the total number of bedrooms + living rooms and total number of people who will be living there, to prove it will not be overcrowded

I've seen that the £3 copy that I can request online is good enough for the Land Registry doc, is that correct? The number of rooms and number of people living here add up. So no need for pictures or dimensions? Good good :)

The employer letter must state all of the following:
1) Current employment (job title) and salary
2) Length of employment (date you started at the company)
3) Length of time earning current salary (date you started earning your current salary)
4) Type of employment (full or part-time, permanent or temporary)

Since you have been earning your current salary for more than 6 months, nothing else needs to be explained, since they will only look at the last 6 months of income and they don't care what you earned before that.

Sorry, my explanation wasn't clear on this front. I was put on a new contract, but my company messed up on switching my pay over to the higher rate. So I was paid at the previous rate until June, when they injected a massive amount of owed pay into my weekly payslip and then continued to pay me at the correct higher rate. To add to it all, I've just remembered there was a problem where I was put on an emergency tax code for a few months around the same time, again I then had a big tax refund put into my account. I feel like maybe they'll need all that complicated explanation?!  ??? Why did everyone have to mess up my pay at this time?!!  [smiley=bigcry.gif]

Quote
The letter must be on official company letterhead (we have seen visas refused because the letter wasn't on the 'right kind of paper' (i.e. not on letterhead) and therefore they didn't believe the company actually existed!).

If your manager is happy to write the letter, that will work. Otherwise, a letter from HR is fine. It just has to confirm all the details listed above.

If your payslips are issued electronically, they must also be verified in the letter. The letter should confirm all of the following for each payslip:
- pay date
- pay period
- gross pay
- net pay
- date deposited into bank account
- an explanation for any discrepancies in the payslip date and the pay deposit date (i.e. if the payslip is dated July 31st, but the money was paid in on July 29th) or discrepancies on the amount on the payslip vs. the amount paid into your bank.

Thank you for clarifying about the letterhead. That's something I'll have to look into. Weirdly, for a massive company, only stuff from head office is ever printed on company paper. I was wondering about having something from HR because do the addresses and contact information on the employee letter have to match those on the application? As I said, big company. So my paper payslips that I receive weekly have the company's head office (and HR address on them) but I work at a separate location. I had planned on putting the address where I actually work on the application, along with my direct manager's phone no and email address (as I've seen that sometimes they are contacted to confirm employment?) Or would it be better to have my company address details on the application match those on my payslip and try to give someone in HR a heads-up about my situation?

Thank you again for all your help, I feel much clearer about many things now! Even though I've obviously still got many questions!  [smiley=laugh4.gif] Hopefully this thread will live on for people in the future who haven't a clue either!  ;D ;D


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Re: My initial Fiance visa questions...
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2020, 06:55:38 PM »
:o Wow! Such a prompt and informative reply! Thank you so much for taking the time!  [smiley=2thumbsup.gif]

No problem :).

Quote
That answered my question perfectly, thank you. I can now set a date I want to aim to submit and can work backwards from there to request bank statements, etc :) I understand now that the 28 day rule doesn't include the biometrics, or actual uploading of the documents. Is that right? We saw there were (expected) delays due to Covid, so just want to get ourselves in the queue ASAP :)

Yes, that's right. The 28 days only refers to your official application date, which is the date you submit the online application and pay for the visa.

So, you need to make sure you:
a) meet all the visa requirements
and
b) have all the documents ready, with the financial documents dated within 28 days
on the date you submit the online application

Quote
So our former wedding plans wouldn't even be relevant as proof as our relationship? In the same vein, we stay in contact primarily via Whatsapp. I've seen people mention call logs and screenshots of messages as proof of continuous contact. Are a few screenshots of call logs (I can't seem to find a way of downloading the entire list...?) and a few screenshots of messages (spaced say around once every month) enough? We also have letters and flight proof. What about flights that were cancelled by the airline due to covid, should we include those?

Okay, so for your relationship evidence, you need (in order of importance):
- 1 or 2 photos of you together, to prove you have met 1 time in person (i.e. one from the beginning of the relationship and one recent)
- boarding passes from flights you have taken to visit each other to prove you were spending time in person (or if you no longer have the boarding passes you can use the e-ticket confirmations)
- letters/cards sent to each other
- screenshots of messages/call logs/email inboxes to show regular communication while apart

In regards to cancelled flights, I don't think you can include those because the whole point of the flight tickets is to prove you spent time together in person... and if you never took the flights, then the cancelled tickets don't prove anything.

In regards to screenshots, it depends how you communicate as to what evidence you provide - each couple will have different evidence to provide depending on their circumstances:
- If you have only ever communicated by WhatsApp, then you only include WhatsApp messages.
- If you have also used Skype calling, then you include WhatsApp messages and Skype call logs.
- If you have emailed each other as well, you can include screenshots of your inbox showing the list of emails, along with WhatsApp and/or Skype logs etc.

What you want to do is take evenly-spaced screenshots to show regular communcation through the relationship. If they are messages (WhatsApp), you just want to screenshot the part with the name and date on it and crop out the actual message. You should be able to get maybe 20-30 WhatsApp messages on 1 sheet of paper, and you want to include maybe 60 in total covering the entire relationship. i.e. for a 1-year relationship, you might choose 1 message per week. For a 5-year relationship, 1 per month etc.

Quote
I've seen that the £3 copy that I can request online is good enough for the Land Registry doc, is that correct? The number of rooms and number of people living here add up. So no need for pictures or dimensions? Good good :)

That's correct. The £3 copy is considered official. And the letter just has to mention the number of rooms and number of people (i.e. 3 bedrooms, 1 living room, with 4 people total living in the property). No need for photos or dimensions.

Quote
Sorry, my explanation wasn't clear on this front. I was put on a new contract, but my company messed up on switching my pay over to the higher rate. So I was paid at the previous rate until June, when they injected a massive amount of owed pay into my weekly payslip and then continued to pay me at the correct higher rate. To add to it all, I've just remembered there was a problem where I was put on an emergency tax code for a few months around the same time, again I then had a big tax refund put into my account. I feel like maybe they'll need all that complicated explanation?!  ??? Why did everyone have to mess up my pay at this time?!!  [smiley=bigcry.gif]

Ah, yes, if that happened in the last 6 months then it will need explaining so they know why the payslips show different amounts than expected. I'm not sure that UKVI will see the tax refund in your account (as they will only be looking for the payslip deposits), but it's worth explaining in the employer letter so that they will know you have in fact paid the correct amount of tax.

I had the issue of being on the emergency tax code for almost a year back when I was just out of uni - it was nice though, I got a tax refund cheque for £1,500, and for the next 6 months I got a tax credit on my payslips instead of tax being taken out :).

Quote
Thank you for clarifying about the letterhead. That's something I'll have to look into. Weirdly, for a massive company, only stuff from head office is ever printed on company paper. I was wondering about having something from HR because do the addresses and contact information on the employee letter have to match those on the application? As I said, big company. So my paper payslips that I receive weekly have the company's head office (and HR address on them) but I work at a separate location. I had planned on putting the address where I actually work on the application, along with my direct manager's phone no and email address (as I've seen that sometimes they are contacted to confirm employment?) Or would it be better to have my company address details on the application match those on my payslip and try to give someone in HR a heads-up about my situation?

No, it's fine if your letter comes from HQ and not from your local office address. I don't think it matters too much which address you put on the application form - I would think your office location address is probably best.

I don't think I've heard of a manager being contacted to confirm employment in the last 10 years or so, so that is extremely unlikely to happen. It's your responsibility to provide all the required employment documents...it's not UKVI's responsibility to chase it up.

All UKVI will do is check that the employment documents you sent meet the requirements, and tick off the relevant boxes on their checklist to indicate that you meet the requirement. If any documents are missing or they need more information they usually contact the applicant, not the employer, to ask them to send them that information.


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Re: My initial Fiance visa questions...
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2020, 07:59:54 PM »
As you work for a large company, they mail likely be used to this request already.  :D


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Re: My initial Fiance visa questions...
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2020, 11:55:31 AM »

b) have all the documents ready, with the financial documents dated within 28 days on the date you submit the online application

Oh I see. And the financial documents that need to be dated within 28 days are just the last payslip, last bank statement, and employer letter. Actually, something about bank statements that maybe you could confirm? I thought I had to get them stamped and signed in branch, but I've just read something that made me think that might not be necessary. I still get paper statements sent in the post (I'm old school!) so they're on that A5 paper from the bank, is that official enough without being stamped/signed?

Okay, so for your relationship evidence, you need (in order of importance):
- 1 or 2 photos of you together, to prove you have met 1 time in person (i.e. one from the beginning of the relationship and one recent)
- boarding passes from flights you have taken to visit each other to prove you were spending time in person (or if you no longer have the boarding passes you can use the e-ticket confirmations)
- letters/cards sent to each other
- screenshots of messages/call logs/email inboxes to show regular communication while apart

What you want to do is take evenly-spaced screenshots to show regular communcation through the relationship. If they are messages (WhatsApp), you just want to screenshot the part with the name and date on it and crop out the actual message. You should be able to get maybe 20-30 WhatsApp messages on 1 sheet of paper, and you want to include maybe 60 in total covering the entire relationship. i.e. for a 1-year relationship, you might choose 1 message per week. For a 5-year relationship, 1 per month etc.

That's really helpful, thank you. I've been stressing about what is enough and what is too much! Because I'm sure no one in immigration wants to scroll through hundreds of pages of my lovey-dovey whatsapp chats!  [smiley=laugh4.gif] [smiley=laugh4.gif]

That's correct. The £3 copy is considered official. And the letter just has to mention the number of rooms and number of people (i.e. 3 bedrooms, 1 living room, with 4 people total living in the property). No need for photos or dimensions.

Good good, saving £4 is great news at this point, and I don't have to tidy my room!  ;D

Ah, yes, if that happened in the last 6 months then it will need explaining so they know why the payslips show different amounts than expected. I'm not sure that UKVI will see the tax refund in your account (as they will only be looking for the payslip deposits), but it's worth explaining in the employer letter so that they will know you have in fact paid the correct amount of tax.

I had the issue of being on the emergency tax code for almost a year back when I was just out of uni - it was nice though, I got a tax refund cheque for £1,500, and for the next 6 months I got a tax credit on my payslips instead of tax being taken out :).

Sounds good, I've got a lot of explaining to do! Haha yes the good thing about the emergency tax code is the money coming back to you! It's like a savings account you never asked for lol

No, it's fine if your letter comes from HQ and not from your local office address. I don't think it matters too much which address you put on the application form - I would think your office location address is probably best.

All UKVI will do is check that the employment documents you sent meet the requirements, and tick off the relevant boxes on their checklist to indicate that you meet the requirement. If any documents are missing or they need more information they usually contact the applicant, not the employer, to ask them to send them that information.

Thank you. I can't decide if I'm being prudent or overthinking this whole thing!  [smiley=anxious.gif] It's so lovely to have someone listen to and answer my rambles, thank you again  :)
« Last Edit: August 26, 2020, 12:10:11 PM by VictoriaSt »


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Re: My initial Fiance visa questions...
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2020, 11:57:31 AM »
As you work for a large company, they mail likely be used to this request already.  :D

This hadn't occurred to me before!  [smiley=goofy.gif] but you're right! I bet HR have dealt with this hundreds of times! I'm off to call them today  ;D


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Re: My initial Fiance visa questions...
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2020, 12:13:23 PM »
Oh I see. And the financial documents that need to be dated within 28 days are just the last payslip, last bank statement, and employer letter?

Yes - the most recent payslip, bank statement and the employer letter must all be dated no more than 28 days before the date you submit the online application.

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Actually, something about bank statements that maybe you could confirm? I thought I had to get them stamped and signed in branch, but I've just read something that made me think that might not be necessary. I still get paper statements sent in the post (I'm old school!) so they're on that A5 paper from the bank, is that official enough without being stamped/signed?

The only time you need to get statements stamped/signed by the bank branch is if you have printed them at home from online banking... because UKVI need to make sure you haven't tampered with them or forged them before printing.

If the statements are either mailed to you by the bank or printed by the bank themselves, they are considered official documents and do not need to be stamped/signed.

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That's really helpful, thank you. I've been stressing about what is enough and what is too much! Because I'm sure no one in immigration wants to scroll through hundreds of pages of my lovey-dovey whatsapp chats!  [smiley=laugh4.gif] [smiley=laugh4.gif]

Yeah, the important thing is the evidence of REGULAR communication. They don't care what you talked about, just that you actually talked to each other regularly.

Think of it as if you were applying before the internet existed and you only communicated by landline telephone... as your evidence to prove you called each other regularly, the only evidence you would have would be an itemised phone bill stating the date, number called and length of call. You wouldn't have a recording of the conversation you had.

It's the same here - they just need to see the dates, names and times of the messages, not the actual conversation.

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Sounds good, I've got a lot of explaining to do! Haha yes the good thing about the emergency tax code is the money coming back to you! It's like a savings account you never asked for lol

Exactly - I was hardly earning anything at that time (working in retail to save money before my masters degree) so that refund was a nice chunk of money I didn't realise I had saved :P.

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Thank you. I can't decide if I'm being prudent or overthinking this whole thing!  [smiley=anxious.gif] It's so lovely to have someone listen to and answer my rambles, thank you again  :)

Don't worry, we answer these types of questions every single day - and it's better to be thorough and make sure you have everything in order, than to just assume and not check :).

The financial document requirements and formatting in particular are very specific, so these are all good questions to ask :).


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Re: My initial Fiance visa questions...
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2020, 12:25:03 PM »
Since you mentioned above that you still receive paper bank statements, one thing I will say is that you will want to make sure that you continue to receive paper statements all the time for at least the next 5 years.

The requirements for the next visas after the fiance visa (1st FLR(M), 2nd FLR(M) and ILR) are that you and your partner/spouse must prove you have lived together for the length of each visa... and you do this by proving you both received official mail in the post at the same address as each other (to show you were both living there at the same time) - this can either be joint mail or individually addressed mail (but dated in the same month) and needs to be evenly spaced over the time you've lived together, 6 documents in each name.

So, as soon as your fiance arrives in the UK, you will want to do the following:
- get their name added to as many bills and statements as possible (council tax, utility bills etc.)
- turn OFF paperless billing for as many bills as possible so that you receive everything in the post
- save ALL your mail for the next 5 years
- have your fiance register with an NHS GP (once they have some mail in their name as proof of address), and they should hopefully send through a welcome letter with their NHS number on it
- see if your fiance can open a bank account (either individually or be added to your account) and make sure they send paper statements

So, once you are married and are applying for the first FLR(M) visa, you will need to provide 6 official documents in each name, from at least 3 different official sources, evenly-spread over the time you have lived together, up to 2 years. Since your fiance will have only arrived in the UK a few months earlier, you may not have time to get 6 documents in their name before applying for FLR(M)... but don't worry, you just need to write an explanation to say why you don't have enough documents yet - which will be because you haven't lived together very long and have not had time to get much mail gathered.


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Re: My initial Fiance visa questions...
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2020, 05:13:45 PM »
Thank you again for all the answers  ;D And for the heads-up about keeping everything paper for the next few years. That's good to start thinking about now :)

More questions!  :o

1. I get paid weekly, and have the weekly payslips sent in the mail. Do I need to scan 6 months worth of payslips (for example from the first week of April to the last week of September, because there are some months with 5 weeks worth...) or just 6 x 4 = 24 payslips? I Would imagine the former?

2. How long is the Land Registry document valid for? I think I remember reading somewhere that it's for 3 months?

3. I've seen that people write Sponsor letters. Is this necessary? Or a good plan to explain our relationship/situation/intent? What would one include?

4. I'm working on sorting most of the visa stuff because my fiancee (the applicant) is busy with work. Am I able to scan and upload everything from my end? Or does that have to be done in the states? I mean I guess I can scan everything either way, instead of posting it...but am I also able to upload from here?
« Last Edit: August 31, 2020, 05:29:57 PM by VictoriaSt »


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Re: My initial Fiance visa questions...
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2020, 05:41:08 PM »
Little update: After the advice that my large employer would be used to requests to confirm employment for visa reasons, I sent a preliminary "Hi, not sure this is the right email address but I'm looking for someone to confirm my employment" to an email address I found that seemed to be more aimed at mortgage application related things. No email back, but a few days later I received a fancy company letterheaded letter confirming my employment! My initial email was very vague so the most I hoped for was a "you've got the right department, what do you need?" reply. I'm not sure if the letter they sent is thorough enough though? My payslips are mailed out and are broken down with all details (basic pay, overtime, tax, national insurance contributions, etc), with Net and Gross pay clearly stated. So I believe that I don't need my employer letter to individually confirm each individual payslip?

This is basically the letter they sent:
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My name, NI number, etc.

I'm employed by (Company)
My start date with the company
Full time & Job title
Permanent. Gross salary of (£not enough for my liking :P)
Please contact if further info needed

Is that sufficient? I'm going to get back in contact with them because I want it dated on a later date (I'm not ready to submit the application yet!!) but not sure whether to ask them to add any other info??


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Re: My initial Fiance visa questions...
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2020, 06:10:38 PM »
Thank you again for all the answers  ;D And for the heads-up about keeping everything paper for the next few years. That's good to start thinking about now :)

More questions!  :o

1. I get paid weekly, and have the weekly payslips sent in the mail. Do I need to scan 6 months worth of payslips (for example from the first week of April to the last week of September, because there are some months with 5 weeks worth...) or just 6 x 4 = 24 payslips? I Would imagine the former?

2. How long is the Land Registry document valid for? I think I remember reading somewhere that it's for 3 months?

3. I've seen that people write Sponsor letters. Is this necessary? Or a good plan to explain our relationship/situation/intent? What would one include?

4. I'm working on sorting most of the visa stuff because my fiancee (the applicant) is busy with work. Am I able to scan and upload everything from my end? Or does that have to be done in the states? I mean I guess I can scan everything either way, instead of posting it...but am I also able to upload from here?

1- It doesn't matter about the number of payslips, the important thing is to cover the correct time frame with both the payslips and the bank statements.

2- Land registry is good as long as you still own the property.

3-Sponsor letter is mandatory. You need to basically cover how you meet each of the requirements. So how you are meeting the financial and accommodation requirements, a brief history of your relationship and a mention of your marriage plans and why you are choosing to live in the UK.

4-I think so.
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.


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Re: My initial Fiance visa questions...
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2020, 09:56:01 AM »
1- It doesn't matter about the number of payslips, the important thing is to cover the correct time frame with both the payslips and the bank statements.

2- Land registry is good as long as you still own the property.

3-Sponsor letter is mandatory. You need to basically cover how you meet each of the requirements. So how you are meeting the financial and accommodation requirements, a brief history of your relationship and a mention of your marriage plans and why you are choosing to live in the UK.

4-I think so.

Thank you, I've got a lot of weekly payslips to scan!  :o

For the sponsor letter, is there some kind of template in order to cover everything they want? I'm also wondering whether to give them the whole story of how we ended up wanting to apply for the fiancee visa. We had originally planned to marry in the US in October 2020 (we even had our venue, photographer, everything booked and paid for) but when Covid happened we decided that we'd have to postpone due to travel restrictions and general health and safety concerns for everyone. Originally we wanted to get married in the US, then apply for a Spouse visa for the UK, and for my fiancee to then move to the UK. And  so, we figured due to the Covid situation, the quickest way we could marry and for her to move here and for us to be together was to instead apply for the fiancee visa, her to move here, and us get married here in the UK. Would it be a good idea to explain all this in the Sponsor letter? We also obviously have receipts for venue, photographer, etc in the US which although they don't show our intent to marry here (I've been in contact with a registry office for that) they do show the seriousness of our relationship (weddings are not cheap! :o we are keeping all our bookings for a recommitment ceremony October 2021)

Thank you again, it seems answers lead to more questions!  [smiley=laugh3.gif]


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Re: My initial Fiance visa questions...
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2020, 10:42:05 AM »
There's no specific template for the sponsor letter, but the stucture should be:

Paragraph 1: How you qualify to be a sponsor (your UK citizenship)

Paragraph 2: Your employment details and which financial category you meet.

Paragraph 3: Where you will live together in the UK, including full address property type, who owns it, and how many bedrooms + living rooms, along with total number of people who will be living there, to show it won't be overcrowded

Paragraph 4: Short, factual history of your relationship... facts and dates only, no personal feelings. No more than 4 or 5 sentences.
Basically: when and where you met, what date you entered into a relationship, what date you got engaged, when and where you plan to marry, how often you visit each other, how you keep in touch while apart (email, Skype, messages etc.), and the reason you are choosing to settle in the UK together.


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