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-   -   Leaving the UK permanently on Spousal visa (https://www.expatforum.com/expats/britain-expat-forum-expats-living-uk/163408-leaving-uk-permanently-spousal-visa.html)

UKSPOUSEVISA 17th July 2013 09:40 AM

Leaving the UK permanently on Spousal visa
 
Hi All,

Thank you in advance for your much needed help.

I am currently living in the UK with my American wife. We have been here together just a little over 8 months and are now just about settled.

The problem arises where I have been offered a job back in the USA (to which I can get a Green card) to begin my career as a pilot. The venture will most probably mean we will be in the USA for about 5 years but I don't doubt that we'd like to return to the UK once I have enough experience.

My question then is what will happen to her visa? She has a Temporary leave to remain visa for 2.5 years as per the new process. Obvious I'd like her to retain this visa and ultimately get permanent residency/citizenship in the UK so that we can have the flexibility to return at any time. Is this possible? Has this happened to anyone before? Does anyone have any advice?

Looking forward to your replies.

Many thanks,

Ben

nyclon 17th July 2013 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UKSPOUSEVISA (Post 1249296)
Hi All,

Thank you in advance for your much needed help.

I am currently living in the UK with my American wife. We have been here together just a little over 8 months and are now just about settled.

The problem arises where I have been offered a job back in the USA (to which I can get a Green card) to begin my career as a pilot. The venture will most probably mean we will be in the USA for about 5 years but I don't doubt that we'd like to return to the UK once I have enough experience.

My question then is what will happen to her visa? She has a Temporary leave to remain visa for 2.5 years as per the new process. Obvious I'd like her to retain this visa and ultimately get permanent residency/citizenship in the UK so that we can have the flexibility to return at any time. Is this possible? Has this happened to anyone before? Does anyone have any advice?

Looking forward to your replies.

Many thanks,

Ben

Her visa will expire and when and if you decide to return to the UK she will have to reapply for a spouse visa under whatever rules are in place at the time. There is no way for her to retain her visa in the situation you describe as her visa expires in 2.5 years and she cannot renew her visa unless she is actually living in the UK. One of the conditions of the spouse visa is that you live with your spouse in UK.

It takes 5 years on a spouse visa to attain ILR and then citizenship. It's only after citizenship is attained that she will have the flexibility to come and go as she wishes.

UKSPOUSEVISA 17th July 2013 10:22 AM

Hi Nyclon,

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post.

That was exactly what I feared would be the case... I guess I have two options. Abandon the visa and reapply at a later date (which might be hard as I won't have a job back in the UK) or we could stay for another 4+ years until she has her Indefinite Leave to Remain and then am I right in saying that she would have the right to come and go as she pleases? Would reapplying for the Visa be any easier than the first time seeing as we've already completed the process once?

Another way of making things work could be leaving for a year and then returning to the UK before the visa expires? Although I know this would mean we have not met the T&Cs of the Visa do you think we would have a case to get another 2.5 year visa in preparation for the ILR at the end of the 5 year probation?

Any advice is appreciated :)

nyclon 17th July 2013 10:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UKSPOUSEVISA (Post 1249376)
Hi Nyclon,

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post.

That was exactly what I feared would be the case... I guess I have two options. Abandon the visa and reapply at a later date (which might be hard as I won't have a job back in the UK) or we could stay for another 4+ years until she has her Indefinite Leave to Remain and then am I right in saying that she would have the right to come and go as she pleases? Would reapplying for the Visa be any easier than the first time seeing as we've already completed the process once?

Only citizenship gives her the right to come and go as she pleases. She can apply for citizenship as soon as she attains ILR. If she is out of the UK for 2 years after attaining ILR it effectively expires. There is no way of knowing what the visa requirements will be in 5 year's time but in general, having a previous visa isn't going to influence applying for a new visa. You'll have to meet whatever requirements and rules are in place at that time.

Quote:

Another way of making things work could be leaving for a year and then returning to the UK before the visa expires? Although I know this would mean we have not met the T&Cs of the Visa do you think we would have a case to get another 2.5 year visa in preparation for the ILR at the end of the 5 year probation?
This is a more workable scenario. If the non-UK spouse is accompanying the UK spouse for a temporary work assignment out of the country (of course there will have to be proof) it's more likely she will be able to renew her visa for another 2.5 years if you both return before the visa expires. But, she will not be eligible for ILR until she has completed 5 years as a resident so she will need to renew her spouse visa AGAIN for 2.5 years.

UKSPOUSEVISA 17th July 2013 10:51 AM

Ok that makes more sense. So leaving the visa completely is more or less out of the question.

So as I understand it she will continue to be given 2.5 year visas until she has remained in the UK for 5 consecutive years with no more than something like 30 days absent per year?

Is there any way that we could renew her visa in 2.5 year time without declaring we were out of the country for an extended period? If/When we leave we will have a house here in our names to which we'll still be paying bills and I will be receiving a salary into my UK bank account with all utility bills still being drawn from there. Do you think this may be a viable option?

candyann 17th July 2013 11:06 AM

I think I understand what you are getting at, UKSPOUSEVISA, but I don't think it will help you. As nyclon says, there is no way to predict what the visa rules will be in x number of years (they are forever tweaking them). But it is likely to remain a requirement, as it is now, that you declare every period you were absent from the country, as your spouse needs to verify how many days she was out of the UK. These are counted for the purposes of Leave to Remain and, eventually, naturalization if she becomes eligible for that.

Just out of curiosity, have you considered emigrating to the USA? If you are eligible for permanent residence ("green card") there as you say, have you looked into sponsoring your spouse there? If you worked in the US as a permanent resident for 5 years you would be eligible to apply for US citizenship. Of course, you may not want to live there. I am just wondering rather than start all over again in the UK, as you will have to do if you're absent for years.

nyclon 17th July 2013 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UKSPOUSEVISA (Post 1249409)
Ok that makes more sense. So leaving the visa completely is more or less out of the question.

So as I understand it she will continue to be given 2.5 year visas until she has remained in the UK for 5 consecutive years with no more than something like 30 days absent per year?

Is there any way that we could renew her visa in 2.5 year time without declaring we were out of the country for an extended period? If/When we leave we will have a house here in our names to which we'll still be paying bills and I will be receiving a salary into my UK bank account with all utility bills still being drawn from there. Do you think this may be a viable option?

No. Well, 1st of all that's deception which could lead to a 10 year ban. There are several questions on the FLR (M) form about where you live like: "Is this your sponsor's main address?", "Do you live with your sponsor permanently in the UK?". 2nd, the application asks you to detail your absences from the UK. 3rd, she has to submit her passport which will show that she has been out of the country and for how long. 4th, just like her current visa you'll have to provide details of your employment including a contract, letter of employment, pay slips all of which will point to you working for a US employer IN the US.

UKSPOUSEVISA 17th July 2013 03:30 PM

Ok, that makes sense. Honesty is the best policy!

I'm sure if we disappear for a year or there abouts then it wouldn't be a problem as long as I can prove that I needed to be away for my career and she came with me.

By time we need to re-apply I just need to ensure I meet all criteria about 6 months previous so that all of my paperwork is in order. Would you agree?

nyclon 17th July 2013 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UKSPOUSEVISA (Post 1249816)
Ok, that makes sense. Honesty is the best policy!

I'm sure if we disappear for a year or there abouts then it wouldn't be a problem as long as I can prove that I needed to be away for my career and she came with me.

By time we need to re-apply I just need to ensure I meet all criteria about 6 months previous so that all of my paperwork is in order. Would you agree?

You have to meet the same requirements financial, accommodation and relationship (although since you are now married you don't have to prove keeping in touch so much--marriage certificate, joint bills are more important) as you did with your 1st visa.

AmyD 17th July 2013 05:22 PM

I don't see how a UK citizen can sponsor anyone when he himself is out of the country. I know there are some exceptions to this like compassionate circumstances but I just feel like this scenario is not going to work.


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