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Spouse (Civil Partner) visa - advice sought - Page 2


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Old 14th December 2011, 02:16 PM
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Under current rules, those who have lived together outside UK for 4 years can be given a visa valid 27 months with KOL REQ. All you have to do then is to pass the test after arrival in UK and apply straightaway for ILR without having to wait 2 years. Or as I've said, if you manage to pass the test on a short visit to UK (can't be taken abroad and though officially you have to show evidence of UK residence, in practice a lot of people have been able to take it as a short-term visitor), you simply attach the pass certificate (letter) to your visa application and you should get indefinite leave to enter visa (immediate settlement). Yes, you use the VAF4A form.

SET(M) covers many situations so some sections don't apply if you already have 'KOL REQ' endorsement.

All this is set to change under revision of rules to be announced soon, when everyone is expected to have to wait 5 years for settlement, including those who have already lived together 4+ years.
OK, clear now. As always - many, many thanks for your invaluable advice, Joppa!

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Old 16th December 2011, 08:00 PM
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Question April 2012

My wife is British and I am Canadian. I was granted a spousal visa in November of 2010. We hope that I will be able to apply for ILR in Nov 2012. However, new Home Office proposals concerning spouse settlement are being proposed. Are the April 2012 changes going to extend my 2 years to 5, or will those changes apply to those who are initially applying for a spousal visa? It's not clear whether or not those already given leave to enter will be under transitional arrangements or if we will go through as was planned under a kind of grandfather clause, or if this will apply only those who go for the 27 month visa after April. Have you any information about this?

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Old 16th December 2011, 08:47 PM
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My wife is British and I am Canadian. I was granted a spousal visa in November of 2010. We hope that I will be able to apply for ILR in Nov 2012. However, new Home Office proposals concerning spouse settlement are being proposed. Are the April 2012 changes going to extend my 2 years to 5, or will those changes apply to those who are initially applying for a spousal visa? It's not clear whether or not those already given leave to enter will be under transitional arrangements or if we will go through as was planned under a kind of grandfather clause, or if this will apply only those who go for the 27 month visa after April. Have you any information about this?
No, none at all, and nothing is ruled in or out. While normally new rules only affect those who are getting their visa after a set date, whether it's April 2012 or not, you can't completely rule out changes that will affect existing visa holders, i.e. with retrospective power.

A case in point. When the qualifying period for settlement for ancestry visa holders (and others) was extended from 4 years to 5, those who were already in UK and were due to apply for ILR after 4 years had to wait another year. The reason was that the rule change was worded in such a way that all those applying from a set date had to meet the new 5-year residence rule, regardless of when they actually got their original visa. There were naturally some unhappy people, but they had no choice - at least extra one year is better than 3 years if the same kind of rule change is introduced this time around.

My hunch is this won't happen, as raising the period from 2 to 5 years is a very major change and is going to affect a lot of people's plans and expectations. But the government is certainly within its powers to do so, and given the enormous political pressure to cut immigration, it certainly can't be ruled out.


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Old 17th December 2011, 12:21 PM
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No, none at all, and nothing is ruled in or out. While normally new rules only affect those who are getting their visa after a set date, whether it's April 2012 or not, you can't completely rule out changes that will affect existing visa holders, i.e. with retrospective power.

A case in point. When the qualifying period for settlement for ancestry visa holders (and others) was extended from 4 years to 5, those who were already in UK and were due to apply for ILR after 4 years had to wait another year. The reason was that the rule change was worded in such a way that all those applying from a set date had to meet the new 5-year residence rule, regardless of when they actually got their original visa. There were naturally some unhappy people, but they had no choice - at least extra one year is better than 3 years if the same kind of rule change is introduced this time around.

My hunch is this won't happen, as raising the period from 2 to 5 years is a very major change and is going to affect a lot of people's plans and expectations. But the government is certainly within its powers to do so, and given the enormous political pressure to cut immigration, it certainly can't be ruled out.
Thanks for your response, we'll have to wait and see, yes.

The government seems selective in those that they would like to keep out (or expel) and those whom they would welcome. For example, reading through the MAC report, it seems that anyone not white, or especially an Indian Muslim (and add to that many in this group are poor), is unwelcome... and if you're not an Indian Muslim, if you're white and poor, forget it! The government doesn't have to say it or spell it out to tell them that Muslims and the poor are the ones being targeted.

Not being Indian, Muslim or poor, I must say still--that I've never been made to feel as unwelcome as I do in the UK as a foreigner. Shame, really.

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Old 17th December 2011, 12:54 PM
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Thanks for your response, we'll have to wait and see, yes.

The government seems selective in those that they would like to keep out (or expel) and those whom they would welcome. For example, reading through the MAC report, it seems that anyone not white, or especially an Indian Muslim (and add to that many in this group are poor), is unwelcome... and if you're not an Indian Muslim, if you're white and poor, forget it! The government doesn't have to say it or spell it out to tell them that Muslims and the poor are the ones being targeted.

Not being Indian, Muslim or poor, I must say still--that I've never been made to feel as unwelcome as I do in the UK as a foreigner. Shame, really.
There is hardly a European country that welcomes immigration from outside EEA except in limited circumstances (e.g. Bill Gates wants to make a home in), and for good reasons. The worst recession in a generation (maybe since 1930s), worsening Euro crisis, dismay of many citizens at rise in immigration putting further presure on already depressed job market and overstretched public services (health and social care, education etc). Granted that family migration isn't primarily economic, but surely many couples decide to make UK their home because of perceived better standard of living, opportunities, safety and security, compared to many Third World countries. This anti-immigration sentiment isn't just directed at non-white migrants: the greatest numbers are from newer EU states on the peripheries of EU who cannot be kept out because of treaty rights, except Bulgarians and Romanians who face some restrictions. So the policymakers target the only group over whom they have some control - non-EEA citizens. While no country can restrict its citizens' right to marry or enter into permanent relationship with anyone they choose, it still retains the right and power to determine whom they allow to come in, based on economic and social factors. While setting clear criteria for entry is fraught with difficulties, the governmen is at least making an effort to create definite guideline as to who will be admmitted for eventual settlement in UK.

I don't think there is anything basically wrong in this, and people should consider immigration issues carefully before they enter a long-term relationship. Education is just as effective in controlling migration as change in law.

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Old 17th December 2011, 03:52 PM
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There is hardly a European country that welcomes immigration from outside EEA except in limited circumstances (e.g. Bill Gates wants to make a home in), and for good reasons. The worst recession in a generation (maybe since 1930s), worsening Euro crisis, dismay of many citizens at rise in immigration putting further presure on already depressed job market and overstretched public services (health and social care, education etc). Granted that family migration isn't primarily economic, but surely many couples decide to make UK their home because of perceived better standard of living, opportunities, safety and security, compared to many Third World countries. This anti-immigration sentiment isn't just directed at non-white migrants: the greatest numbers are from newer EU states on the peripheries of EU who cannot be kept out because of treaty rights, except Bulgarians and Romanians who face some restrictions. So the policymakers target the only group over whom they have some control - non-EEA citizens. While no country can restrict its citizens' right to marry or enter into permanent relationship with anyone they choose, it still retains the right and power to determine whom they allow to come in, based on economic and social factors. While setting clear criteria for entry is fraught with difficulties, the governmen is at least making an effort to create definite guideline as to who will be admmitted for eventual settlement in UK.

I don't think there is anything basically wrong in this, and people should consider immigration issues carefully before they enter a long-term relationship. Education is just as effective in controlling migration as change in law.
I agree with you to a point. Granted, many students have abused their limited leave to remain in various countries. I'm familiar with this in the States and Canada which in turn have led to the respective governments pouring ridiculous sums of public funds into their coffers. So yes, that category needs rethinking and the recent overhaul was a good decision.

However in the marriage category, unless it's a sham, immigration issues shouldn't foreclose long term relationships. Being strategic about forming relationships opens a different kettle of fish which would cast doubt onto the validity of the relationship. Fraudsters tend to make calculations regarding relationships and immigration, genuine couples do not. We were married for 7 years before even dreaming of moving to the UK. Moving to the UK wasn't the impetus for our coming here, a job was.

You're mistaken regarding accepting those who are massively rich like Gates: should a well known rich blackguard be welcomed here just because he has money to jumpstart a bad economy? Hardly--unsavoury unethical people would be harmful to any country they might live in! Bill Gates may be a solid guy, an absolute diamond even, but what makes him so is his character, not his money.

I fear the government is making an effort to be re-elected in 2015, full stop. What we're seeing is control for control's sake, which is a reactionary formula, and in this case, an occasion for all kinds of discrimination and bigotry: Immigrants tend to work in positions most "natives" will not or cannot occupy: menial labour or highly skilled work. As a highly skilled worker who has lived abroad, I've seen this first hand in Germany, Australia, the States and Canada. UK citizens who blame immigrants for the current economic crisis because they fill these positions are misinformed, and the political leaders are doing the country a disservice by not making this clear. Using non EEA immigrants as well as Bulgarian and Romanian EEA citizens as economic scapegoats simply because these are the most vulnerable groups reeks of Hitler's Germany, a place we dare not return.

This government is reactionary and does not have a clear and realistic vision of what it is or should be to serve us UK taxpayers. In many ways it is as virulent, reckless and destructive as the Bush Administration in the States, which I was unfortunate enough to have lived under from beginning to end. As a citizen of a commonwealth country, I'm glad I have the right to vote in the UK, and that's why I may stick it out here, whichever proposals come into force: not because I'll have a better quality of life than I would in Canada (which I suspect I won't), but simply because the bigoted monsters in the present government need to be voted out of power.

The answer is not to make blanket proposals that are selectively racist and religiously bigoted in nature to suit whichever government might be holding office, but to get the lazy bones in the UKBA to work harder in going over each application with a fine toothed comb--they have a proven track record for inefficiency. It's the inefficient ones among them that need to be kicked to the kerb, not immigrants who are doing their bit to contribute to improving this otherwise dreadful economy.


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Old 17th December 2011, 05:23 PM
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I agree with you to a point. Granted, many students have abused their limited leave to remain in various countries. I'm familiar with this in the States and Canada which in turn have led to the respective governments pouring ridiculous sums of public funds into their coffers. So yes, that category needs rethinking and the recent overhaul was a good decision.

However in the marriage category, unless it's a sham, immigration issues shouldn't foreclose long term relationships. Being strategic about forming relationships opens a different kettle of fish which would cast doubt onto the validity of the relationship. Fraudsters tend to make calculations regarding relationships and immigration, genuine couples do not. We were married for 7 years before even dreaming of moving to the UK. Moving to the UK wasn't the impetus for our coming here, a job was.

You're mistaken regarding accepting those who are massively rich like Gates: should a well known rich blackguard be welcomed here just because he has money to jumpstart a bad economy? Hardly--unsavoury unethical people would be harmful to any country they might live in! Bill Gates may be a solid guy, an absolute diamond even, but what makes him so is his character, not his money.

I fear the government is making an effort to be re-elected in 2015, full stop. What we're seeing is control for control's sake, which is a reactionary formula, and in this case, an occasion for all kinds of discrimination and bigotry: Immigrants tend to work in positions most "natives" will not or cannot occupy: menial labour or highly skilled work. As a highly skilled worker who has lived abroad, I've seen this first hand in Germany, Australia, the States and Canada. UK citizens who blame immigrants for the current economic crisis because they fill these positions are misinformed, and the political leaders are doing the country a disservice by not making this clear. Using non EEA immigrants as well as Bulgarian and Romanian EEA citizens as economic scapegoats simply because these are the most vulnerable groups reeks of Hitler's Germany, a place we dare not return.

This government is reactionary and does not have a clear and realistic vision of what it is or should be to serve us UK taxpayers. In many ways it is as virulent, reckless and destructive as the Bush Administration in the States, which I was unfortunate enough to have lived under from beginning to end. As a citizen of a commonwealth country, I'm glad I have the right to vote in the UK, and that's why I may stick it out here, whichever proposals come into force: not because I'll have a better quality of life than I would in Canada (which I suspect I won't), but simply because the bigoted monsters in the present government need to be voted out of power.

The answer is not to make blanket proposals that are selectively racist and religiously bigoted in nature to suit whichever government might be holding office, but to get the lazy bones in the UKBA to work harder in going over each application with a fine toothed comb--they have a proven track record for inefficiency. It's the inefficient ones among them that need to be kicked to the kerb, not immigrants who are doing their bit to contribute to improving this otherwise dreadful economy.
Presumably you came as a family migrant, but given your skills level, you could have come as skilled migrant on points based system - the sort of skilled workers UK is short of and would want to attract. The question is of course that not every family migrant is so skilled, and many just about keep their head above water. It is said that average family migrant makes around 15k a year, a lot lower than average wage of around 26k, with regional variations. OK they aren't on poverty line but they will, after two years, access public funds and make demand on services.

How can a policy be racist just because those most affected come from non-white background? If you draw a line on financial resources, Third World migrants will feel the blunt of it, just as requirement to speak English will affect non-white migrants disproportionately. Requirement for adequate finance and reasonable English ability isn't racist as such - there are sound reasons why they should form part of the conditions to be met by would-be migrants.

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Old 17th December 2011, 06:12 PM
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Presumably you came as a family migrant, but given your skills level, you could have come as skilled migrant on points based system - the sort of skilled workers UK is short of and would want to attract. The question is of course that not every family migrant is so skilled, and many just about keep their head above water. It is said that average family migrant makes around 15k a year, a lot lower than average wage of around 26k, with regional variations. OK they aren't on poverty line but they will, after two years, access public funds and make demand on services.

How can a policy be racist just because those most affected come from non-white background? If you draw a line on financial resources, Third World migrants will feel the blunt of it, just as requirement to speak English will affect non-white migrants disproportionately. Requirement for adequate finance and reasonable English ability isn't racist as such - there are sound reasons why they should form part of the conditions to be met by would-be migrants.
No, I came on a Tier 2 skilled worker visa but switched over because my wife and I decided that we would like to be committed to living here, with a view to time beyond the initial 3 year limit.

Britain's history is one of dominating third world countries, and after the war and the formation of the commonwealth, actively recruiting these very people they subjected--non-whites from poor commonwealth & former countries of the Empire who didn't speak English well or have much money--to drive buses and trains, work in textile factories, and hold various other positions native Britons wouldn't think of holding. Those of us from Canada, Australia or New Zealand who on the whole were richer, at least marginally Christian and spoke English were never considered for such menial work, but never had any restrictions put on us either. (It must have been because we had plenty of cash to throw around, never mind issues of religion or race!)

As you've said, most immigrants from the countries we've been discussing (Indian, African, S. E. Asian) are poor and ignorant of English. Because the Home Office knows this, they can discriminate against them under the coating of an economic concern for the UK. That's why its racist.

I massively agree with you that English should be required, even for a basic work permit and student visa! However, as I said before, the UK is unfair in targeting the most vulnerable groups simply because they're the only ones they can control--like a bully at school! Bullying won't fix the problem of a bad economy, a failing NHS, and fraudsters from afar who outsmart the UKBA and various councils and then sap public funds. You don't cure a sore thumb by cutting off the hand: you seek to find why it's sore, understand it's importance for the whole body, and seek to fix it so that the thumb works the way it is supposed to and benefits the whole!

So to make a short story long: again, the answer is for the UKBA to work harder in examining each application thoroughly and interviewing candidates carefully--whatever these candidates seek in the UK for however long or short their intended stay.

But I suppose it's easier and cheaper (money's of greatest importance) to make great sweeping blanket policies than to improve the overall quality of the UKBA's operation.

I think we irreconcilably differ on these points for now, sorry.

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