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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After wasting 9 months trying to get a spouse visa to join my wife and 2 daughters who are all UK citizens and now residing out there I have cancelled my application and appeal. I did get a personal letter from a ECM which was shocking really and states that until we meet the income requirement they will be forced to reject my application. With my wife not having full time employment out there yet it made no sense to continue with the appeal until we meet the income threshold. I have been informed by a independent immigration adviser that I will be able to enter as a general visitor. I was told they may ask a lot of questions due to my prior application and appeal. I may even be asked to sign something proving I will leave. Has anyone attempted this as a visitor after cancelling an application and appeal? I am forced to do this just to see my family. As my wife is forced to do everything on her own out there, we hope me being out with them will allow her to seek full time work while I look after my daughters. But mostly it is to bring some form of stability to my daughters lives due to our being apart. I will be bringing stacks of evidence to prove I will be leaving after 6 months such as,


Return ticket purchased
Proof of travelers Ins
Proof of cash funds available to me in both UK and USA
Proof of place to stay in UK
Proof that family in USA and UK will support me should I not be able to
Proof of ownership and Ins. for properties in USA
Proof that I own vehicles currently registered and insured in USA
Proof of employment to return to in USA
Proof of employment in paycheck stubs
All documentation from UKBA during the application and appeal process

I will be very open with any questions at the border about our application and appeal and hope my stack of supporting documents will allow me to be admitted as 6 month visitor. Any advice or experiences would be appreciated. Thanks
 

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My recommendation is to apply for a visit visa in advance, even though as an American you don't have to. For $132, you have the assurance of knowing that once the visa is granted, you are almost certain to be allowed in and not to face the possibility of being put on the next flight home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My recommendation is to apply for a visit visa in advance, even though as an American you don't have to. For $132, you have the assurance of knowing that once the visa is granted, you are almost certain to be allowed in and not to face the possibility of being put on the next flight home.
Thanks, my wife and I discussed doing this. However UKBA site states it is not necessary though recommended. My thinking was since it is not necessary to have the visa before going as a tourist I can at least speak to someone in person about my plans and documentation. I feel it may be easier to prove I will be leaving and be sure they take my documentation into account. Should I do it with the visa by mail I am completely at their mercy with no way to further represent my situation or offer explanations should it be necessary.

By coincidence my wife met another British woman in the same situation just yesterday and her husband just did this exact thing. He too was rejected on a spouse visa started an appeal then withdrew for the same income reasons. He then came in for the 6 months just left and they are re-applying. So it seems like it should be fine, but if anyone can offer any advise or has done it this way I would appreciate any info.
 

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Choice is yours. Don't think you will be in any better position to argue your case at UK border because it depends on whoever is on duty and decision is often subjective.
 

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That is the part that worries me.
That's why the USD 132$ fee for applying for a visit visa is a lot safer option than spending five to ten times as much as that on airfare to press your luck at the border.
 

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I haven't traveled after a rejected visa application, but I have visited on 2 extended trips (first was 4 months but I left early after 3; second was 2 1/2 months) to visit my fiance (girlfriend at the time).

The first time, I got a male* officer who asked a LOT of questions, I provided proof of employment & income (a letter form my employer stating my position, start date, and salary in USD and converted to GBP), finances (last payroll stub, plus bank statements showing the money I had been saving to apply for a fiance visa once it had been in there for 6 months), and proof of need to return (return flight, proof of purchase of cruise ship tickets in America in 4 months); he said that he had doubts, but since I was answering everything truthfully he'll let me in, but not until after filling out the entire back of my landing form with notes, and stamping my passport with a special stamp where he wrote the serial number of the landing form; he said any future trips will require me waiting for an hour whilst they retrieve a copy of the landing form on microfiche (?!).

The second time (the 11-week trip), I got a female* officer who just asked about the stamp, I said it was because I planned on staying for 4 months and he was concerned, but right below that was an entry stamp from US immigration showing I reentered the USA in 3 months (I specifically asked the US agent to stamp right there, knowing I'd need it). She did not pull up the form, so I didn't have to wait. Her only other concern was trying to add up the number of days of all my visits to make sure it wouldn't exceed 6 months in the last 12 months - I then provided her a spreadsheet showing every date of entry and departure, the number of days of each trip, and rolling total of number of days in the last 12 months. That was enough for her to realise I was keeping track of it, and she let me in with no further questions. (I had to do this not just to make it easier to read, but because I'm in the US Trusted Traveler program, so I don't have entry stamps - the one I had from the last trip was because when I asked an information officer how to get an entry stamp, she said to use the Global Entry kiosk, then get in the diplomat queue with my receipt (it had only 3 people in it and moved very quickly) and ask the agent to stamp the passport for me; she did it right under the UK entry stamp for me.)

* (I specified the sexes of the officers only because, whether coincidental or not, both times I had an issue at the border, it was with a male officer (1-in-4 chance that it's coincidence) ; it also shows that it's a 50/50 chance that the next available immigration officer is female - if I received a male again, I might have had more issues; likewise, if I received a female he first time, I might not have gotten the special stamp.)


PS: I went off babbling again and forgot why I replied in the first place - I had considered going to the British consulate in New York before the second trip to get pre-approved for a visitor visa, but never got around to it. (I hadn't researched enough to see if I'd have to go there, if it was just a mail-in process, or if it was online only.) If you want to save yourself the nervousness I had, apply for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's why the USD 132$ fee for applying for a visit visa is a lot safer option than spending five to ten times as much as that on airfare to press your luck at the border.
Well all went according to plan. Had tons of documentation with me to enter as a visitor and it was not even needed. Officer scanned my passport and immediately asked what type of visa I was denied. Only needed to see my return to work letter and proof of return ticket. Asked a bunch of questions and then contacted my wife with the same questions and stamped me through. Getting cleared was only 10 min. Just a relief to be able to spend the Holidays with my family and have a sense of normalcy again however temporary it may be.:)
 

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Glad it worked out for you. But another person may not be so lucky and be put on a flight home.
 

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Why have you not applied for your wife and children to join you in the US?

You appear to have employment, the financial requirements are not so rigorous for a spouse visa for the US and you can have a joint sponsor if your income is not sufficient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Why have you not applied for your wife and children to join you in the US?

You appear to have employment, the financial requirements are not so rigorous for a spouse visa for the US and you can have a joint sponsor if your income is not sufficient.

My wife and daughters are dual citizens (UK/USA). My wife lived in the States with me for the last 10 yrs since we were married. We decided to move to the UK to be closer to my wife's family. With my 4 year old starting school we felt now was the best time to make the move. Just have to get the financial aspect correct before I re-apply.
 

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I have to ask the questions:

- How did you get leave of absence for 6 months from your employer? Having worked in the US for years I can't imagine a US company given such a lengthy absence with a guarantee of job on return.

- how do you keep up payments on property and vehicles being out of work for 6 months?

I'm pleased that things went well for you, but your "ties" to the US seems tenuous at most, something I would have though the Immigration authorities would have picked up on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As far as job goes, I asked and they provided. They know of the eventual permanent move and are great group of people willing to help in any way they can. Support from an employer and co-workers certainly makes the frustrating process I have been in much easier to deal with.

My property is rented, which actually proves a major tie as most people will protect such an investment and I assume treat it as a small business in a sense. As far as vehicles, I do not have car payments, have one in storage and another I let a friend borrow until my return.
 
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