American entering UK after wedding to EEA national working in UK for 3 years

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American entering UK after wedding to EEA national working in UK for 3 years


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Old 28th December 2013, 12:57 AM
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Question American entering UK after wedding to EEA national working in UK for 3 years

I have been reading through these forums over the past week or so and have found them extremely helpful – its very kind of many of you to offer so much advice to fellow (future) expats in need. I have a few small questions to ask about my situation, hoping that someone might have a few thoughts to lend...

I am an American-born US citizen and getting married next month to my French girlfriend. She has been living and working in the UK for three years, I have been travelling in and out of the UK on tourist visas for the past decade or so (I work as a freelance photographer so often come to the UK to shoot stories). I recently received a full-time job offer from a UK university so we decided it would make the most sense to finally get married since the job means that I can stay here and we can live together (although the university offered to give me a CoS, I figured the marriage route would be easier – not to mention cheaper). Legally, my residence has always been in the US, so we haven't ever lived together – I have just visited. We are getting married outside the UK at a small wedding with a few friends, and will then come back to the UK a few days later. So here are my questions:

Is the best thing for me to do when we both return to the UK after the wedding (bringing certified, apostilled marriage certificates and both our passports with us) to request a Code 1A stamp at Heathrow under EEA law? Or should I just go through as I always do, getting a tourist visa stamp (maybe even under the new Registered Travellers Scheme, if i can apply in time and get approved) and then after I've entered the UK as a visitor applying for the EEA2 Residence Card in order to show my employer I do have legal right to work? Is there any difference between doing it one way or the other? I will have to apply for the EEA2 eventually since the job is a 2-year job offer and the 1A Stamp would only be for 6 months max, but I'm obviously looking to have as few problems at Border Control as possible.

Another question: Would it look strange to UKBA when I apply for the right to remain with the EEA2 if they see that the most recent time I will have entered the UK, I did so as a tourist (despite having just married an EU citizen a few days earlier)? And is there ever an eyebrow raised from IOs when a couple asks for the 1A stamp just a few days after the actual marriage? Or do their eyebrows not matter because they have to let me in since it is my right to be landed with right to live/work, provided I show that a) i am married to my EEA national wife (with marriage certificate) and; b) my wife is working (with a job contract and 3 months of recent pay stubs)?

Thank you in advance for any advice you might be able to lend. Hope that one day I might be able to give advice back from my own experience.

Cheers
Darren

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Old 28th December 2013, 01:06 AM
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No. What you should do is to get EEA Family Permit after your marriage and enter UK with it. All you need is an official marriage certificate (if in US, issued by the state) and there's no need to get apostilles. Then after arrival, you apply for residence card on form EEA2 based on your wife's employment.
Your concern about your previous entries as visitor has no foundation, as you are now entering as family member of an EEA citizen who is exercising treaty rights in UK. In applying for your family permit, you may like to include some evidence of a genuine relationship such as photos, travel tickets of visits, and some Skype logs.

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Old 28th December 2013, 01:14 AM
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Hi Joppa, thanks so much for your ultra quick response. The problem is that we are going to be getting married in Denmark –*so neither in her country or in mine*– and we won't have time to apply for an EEA Family Permit (and don't plan to be back in either France or the US) before coming to the UK. Is there a problem with asking for a Code 1A stamp at the border given our situation? I was under the impression from some of the posts here that the EEA FP was not a necessity to have in hand and that in fact it can be easier to go the 1A route. Is that not the case?

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Old 28th December 2013, 02:52 AM
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They don't like people asking for Code 1A stamp, as it involves them in extra work, when there is an established procedure with EEA Family Permit.
They issued EEA Family Permit in Denmark all within 5 days, and in many cases in 2 days in November when they had 32 applications. So it's very quick and painless. Apply online, get biometrics done in Copenhagen and submit your documents. You get your passport back by courier delivery in a few days. You need to get Danish marriage certificate professionally translated into English, unless it already comes with an English version.
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Last edited by Joppa; 28th December 2013 at 02:55 AM.
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