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Discussion Starter #1
New Amer. Expat, new to the forum. I've tried searching posts for relevant details but everyone's specific situation is exactly that, super specific.

My Fiancée and I are flying into the UK on Sept 21st, and I've been trying to figure out what type and how much health insurance I need.

Some details:
I'm an American Citizen
34 yr old healthy male, BMI around 25-28, no pre existing conditions and no medications/prescriptions
I have a Visa scheduled to expire on 3rd Feb 2021, it says no recourse to public funds.
We are getting Married Nov 20th 2020 in the UK

The type of Visa I have (FM Partner) was over $2k USD and I'm pretty sure there were no options for me to pay the healthcare surcharge when applying so I will be healthcare-less until I purchase private insurance and that's where I'm hung up.

Should I purchase insurance up until the date the visa expires or should I purchase insurance until a month after we're married? How much insurance is too much insurance?

I read somewhere non EEA nationals living in the UK are subject to 1.5x the amounts for health care services rendered, but I have no idea what the NHS services cost. Is an annual max of $50k USD enough for a healthy 34 yr old male who doesn't go to the doctor? If something bad happens and I break my arm should I buy a $1m policy just in case? What if my appendix bursts? What will that cost?

Furthermore, after we get married on Nov 20th, what comes next? We apply for IRL right off the bat or we apply for an extension of the FM Visa? Should I be able to pay the healthcare surcharge on that application at £400 annually?

Any advice is appreciated

Also, GO REDS
 

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You are entering the UK on a fiance visa - you are not covered by the NHS.
You should obtain a private health insurance to cover you for 6 months at least.
You will be eligible for emergency treatment on the NHS but not hospitalisation.
Get coverage for 50K at least
When you are married you then apply for the FLR (further leave to remain) spouse visa. You then pay the NHS surcharge (going up to 600 GBP per annum) and you can then use the NHS.

You don't get Indefinite leave to remain until you have lived in the UK for 5 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
When you are married you then apply for the FLR (further leave to remain) spouse visa. You then pay the NHS surcharge (going up to 600 GBP per annum) and you can then use the NHS.
You don't get Indefinite leave to remain until you have lived in the UK for 5 years.
Thanks for the response, Crawford!

I have a few more questions that you or someone here may be able to answer. I sent an email to UKVI asking what the next steps were and they advised me to follow a link to the UKVI site (I don't think I can post links yet so Ill try the "code" tag), this was their reply:

UKVI said:
Once you are in the UK please contact the following department, as I can only provide guidance/information on visa applications made from outside the UK. The department below are specifically trained to provide information and guidance on matters relating to the following:
Visas (work, study and extensions)
Link said:
gov uk site + contact-ukvi-inside-outside-uk/y/inside-the-uk
( choose the option inside UK)
Contact UK Visas and Immigration about your application
visas (work, study and extensions)
Call the UK Visas and Immigration contact centre about:
•extending your stay in the UK
•general immigration enquiries
•work and study visas
UK Visas and Immigration contact centre
Telephone: 0300 123 2241
Monday to Thursday, 9am to 4:45pm
Friday, 9am to 4:30pm
If I were to call them it would cost me up to 55p/Minute which seems ridiculous.

Long story short, the link directs me to the same information pasted above in the UKVI quote with a number to call regarding extending my Visa for a price so that was mostly useless.

I've lived in the UK now since Sept 21st, and we've already quarantined and met the minimum time required to give notice of marriage. We went to our appointment and notice has now been given and has been approved. Our ceremony is booked at the town hall on the 20th of November (over 30 days from the date of notice), so we should be all good there. Also, my current visa is displayed in my passport as "D - Marriage/CP Standard" with my fiance's name following it, if that helps.

Here are my questions for you guys:
Do I apply for the extension after we're married, or do it now to get the ball rolling?
What is the gov link to apply to extend, and what type do I say I'm applying for?


From what I can gather, I should now be applying for a Family Visa Extension? I found this link to begin the process.
Link said:
gov uk site + /uk-family-visa/partner-spouse
Halfway down that page it says "In the UK You must apply online."
I clicked that link and it took me to another page that outlines some preliminary info and at the bottom is a green button that says "Apply now." I've clicked that and began to fill in all of my information and I have arrived at a page that asks the following:
"Your current permission to be in the UK"
With the following options:
UKVI GOV SITE said:
What type of visa, leave to enter or remain or other permission do you have to be in the UK?
(Required)
You can find out this information on the document which shows you are allowed to be in the UK
Visit
Work
Study
Family
EEA residence permit or card
Settlement
Other
I'm pretty sure at this junction, I should be selecting "Family", so I did.
I have now arrived at a question that prompted me to post this reply. it's now asking for "Family and Friends" with the question posed like this:
UKVI site said:
What family or friends do you have in the country where you were born and/or any other country whose nationality you hold?
This made me think I was applying for the wrong type of Visa Extension.
Am I in the right place?

Thanks expats.
 

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You submit your application for a spouse visa when you are married.
You apply for Further Leave to Remain (FLR)
You apply online using this website:

https://www.gov.uk/uk-family-visa

You apply for family

If you have family in the US provide brief details i.e mother, father
 
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Discussion Starter #5
You submit your application for a spouse visa when you are married.
You apply for Further Leave to Remain (FLR)
You apply online using this website:

gov uk link + /uk-family-visa
You apply for family

If you have family in the US provide brief details i.e mother, father
Awesome, thanks again Crawford.

I read on their COVID notice that applications can take up to 8 weeks to be processed from within the UK. That worries me because my Visa currently expires 3rd Feb 2021, and we're to be married on 20th Nov, that's 10 weeks apart. Do you think that's cutting it close, especially with possible COVID delays/possible government shutdowns?

I think it may be better to wait to see if something changes I suppose and if they do shut down, I should be able to still obtain some kind of FM Partner extension. Are you aware of any sort of COVID extensions for people in my situation?
 

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Awesome, thanks again Crawford.

I read on their COVID notice that applications can take up to 8 weeks to be processed from within the UK. That worries me because my Visa currently expires 3rd Feb 2021, and we're to be married on 20th Nov, that's 10 weeks apart. Do you think that's cutting it close, especially with possible COVID delays/possible government shutdowns?

I think it may be better to wait to see if something changes I suppose and if they do shut down, I should be able to still obtain some kind of FM Partner extension. Are you aware of any sort of COVID extensions for people in my situation?
You apply before your current visa expires...... this is important.

While your application is being processed you will still be in status to remain in the UK
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You apply before your current visa expires...... this is important.

While your application is being processed you will still be in status to remain in the UK
Got it. I'm going to apply almost immediately after we get married so we should be alright then, even if I'm approved after my visa expires?

To obtain my FM Partner Visa we used Cash Savings to meet our financial requirement. Are we allowed to use the money or must we keep the cash savings untouched throughout the process? Somewhere along the process I outlined in my earlier reply today it looked like the cash savings threshold was significantly lower than the requirement for the first FM Partner Visa when applying for an extension. If memory serves it was £14,500 or 15.5.
 

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Got it. I'm going to apply almost immediately after we get married so we should be alright then, even if I'm approved after my visa expires?

To obtain my FM Partner Visa we used Cash Savings to meet our financial requirement. Are we allowed to use the money or must we keep the cash savings untouched throughout the process? Somewhere along the process I outlined in my earlier reply today it looked like the cash savings threshold was significantly lower than the requirement for the first FM Partner Visa when applying for an extension. If memory serves it was £14,500 or 15.5.
The financial requirements for FLR(M) are exactly the same for the initial visa.; 18,600 GBP in income or if no income then 62,500 GBP in savings.

You can top up income with savings....

Read the following carefully:

https://assets.publishing.service.g...-fm-1-7-financial-requirement-v3.0-gov-uk.pdf

You don't have to keep any savings untouched throughout the visa process, but you do need to have the necessary financial level at time of each visa application.
 

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Awesome, thanks again Crawford.

I read on their COVID notice that applications can take up to 8 weeks to be processed from within the UK. That worries me because my Visa currently expires 3rd Feb 2021, and we're to be married on 20th Nov, that's 10 weeks apart. Do you think that's cutting it close, especially with possible COVID delays/possible government shutdowns?

I think it may be better to wait to see if something changes I suppose and if they do shut down, I should be able to still obtain some kind of FM Partner extension. Are you aware of any sort of COVID extensions for people in my situation?
If your new visa is still being processed when your previous visa expires you are covered by what is called 3C leave. As Crawford said, you are covered by the terms of your current visa until your new visa is being processed.
 

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Got it. I'm going to apply almost immediately after we get married so we should be alright then, even if I'm approved after my visa expires?

To obtain my FM Partner Visa we used Cash Savings to meet our financial requirement. Are we allowed to use the money or must we keep the cash savings untouched throughout the process? Somewhere along the process I outlined in my earlier reply today it looked like the cash savings threshold was significantly lower than the requirement for the first FM Partner Visa when applying for an extension. If memory serves it was £14,500 or 15.5.
You are applying under Category D. See the requirements here:


https://assets.publishing.service.g...-fm-1-7-financial-requirement-v3.0-gov-uk.pdf

As Crawford said, the financial requirements for FLR (M) are exactly the same as for a fiance visa.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm getting worried now.
Lockdown is in place until 2nd Dec and my wedding was to take place on 20th Nov.
The Town Hall we were scheduled to be wed at was closing down for renovations for 2-3 years, to begin this December. Given that many people were cancelled on this month, the Town hall is allowing those marriages to take place at City Hall using their existing notice of marriage, but not until 11th Jan through 27th Feb. There is a slim chance they will allow marriages to continue in the month of December but as of yet that is undetermined. I was told to call back every week or so to see if there had been any changes.

My visa expires 3rd Feb. If I get married 12th Jan, that means I'll only have 21 days to submit my visa application. I won't have any issues submitting an application the day of or the next day, but, will I leave with some kind of documentation proving marriage that day? Will I need to wait for any documentation in the post to use for my FLR application?

As you guys have mentioned above, as long as I apply before my expiration date of 3rd Feb, I have nothing to worry about, right?

Should I be applying for some kind of a Covid Extension? If so what the F is that called? The woman at the City Hall who I'm working with on scheduling said she has heard of something called a Stay of Execution. My searches show this may not be relevant to my circumstances.
 

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If you get married 12 Jan, as you say, you have 21 days to submit the next application FL(M). You should leave the ceremony with a marriage certificate. If not then, then very soon after.
Once you have submitted, even if the process goes beyond your visa expiry date, you are OK to remain.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If you get married 12 Jan, as you say, you have 21 days to submit the next application FL(M). You should leave the ceremony with a marriage certificate. If not then, then very soon after.
Once you have submitted, even if the process goes beyond your visa expiry date, you are OK to remain.
FL(R) or FL(M)? In an earlier reply you had said FLR, I’m just not familiar enough with the terminology to confidently know the difference.
 

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FL(R) or FL(M)? In an earlier reply you had said FLR, I’m just not familiar enough with the terminology to confidently know the difference.
Sorry typo ...you will be applying for Further leave to Remain - FLR(M)
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Hey guys, more questions.

TL;DR = If I buy a motorcycle, can I get insured without FLR(M) and is my US Motorcycle/Drivers license valid here? Also what's the process like when buying something used from a private party?

I've heard that I'm ok to ride a motorcycle and drive a car here in the UK for up to a year, then the UK Govt expects you to get licensed again? I'm curious to know if I can indefinitely use my Drivers License & M Class without needing to obtain a UK License with an M Class endorsement? Will I be forced to buy a small learner's bike under 500 cc's if I'm already an experienced rider? Are there any loopholes around this? I'm 6'6" and anything that small means I'm looking like a donkey screwing a football. You should see me on a Vespa haha.



My experience/License info:
I worked in and ran dealerships the Motorcycle industry In the US, so I could tell you pretty much everything about it over there but I'm a complete noob here. Once you have your M Class in the US, you can buy and insure any Motorcycle, regardless of CC's, with no learners restrictions. Your rate or premium depends on your years experience, how long you've had the license, and the size of the motorcycle you're insuring. I have a Drivers license with a Full Motorcycle endorsement, aka Motorcycle License or "M" Class. I've been driving for 20 years, and riding motorcycles on and off road for 30 years. I have been licensed to drive for 18 years, with an M Class motorcycle endorsement for 2 years obtained in the state of New York. I've taken advanced US Motorcycle classes (MSF Basic course 2) recently (within the past 2 years) and have the certification to prove it. I've had motorcycle insurance up until the day I left the US on 20th Sept 2020 for a period of 2 consecutive years. My license expires in 2023. What is the licensing process for expats living in the UK?

Regarding insurance:
I checked the comparethemarket site for insurance quotes on the motorcycle I'm interested in on Autotrader, and there was a question there that made me think twice. It asked for a "date of residency" if living within the UK. I selected September 2020 as that's the month I moved here on my Fiancé/Marriage Visa. The date I actually obtained the visa was August 2nd 2020, should I be using the date it was approved or the date I entered? Or am I even eligible for insurance until I subsequently apply for FLR(M)?? Am I putting the carriage before the horse? Should I wait until after I receive FLR(M) status before buying anything? I'm itching to ride..

Regarding purchasing the vehicle:
What's the procedure for buying a used vehicle from a private party? Should I type up a basic bill of sale? Will I be taxed by HMRC or DVLA on the purchase price? Does it matter what type of reg the motorcycle has? What does it mean when I see 62 reg, 61 reg etc? All of that is nonsense to me. Do I need the seller to sign anything aside from a bill of sale?
Also, are there any other sites you guys recommend to view used motorcycles for sale by private party in the UK? (Other than autotrader.co.uk) I don't use Facebook, so please don't suggest it.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hey guys, more questions.

TL;DR = If I buy a motorcycle, can I get insured without FLR(M) and is my US Motorcycle/Drivers license valid here? Also what's the process like when buying something used from a private party?

I've heard that I'm ok to ride a motorcycle and drive a car here in the UK for up to a year, then the UK Govt expects you to get licensed again? I'm curious to know if I can indefinitely use my Drivers License & M Class without needing to obtain a UK License with an M Class endorsement? Will I be forced to buy a small learner's bike under 500 cc's if I'm already an experienced rider? Are there any loopholes around this? I'm 6'6" and anything that small means I'm looking like a donkey screwing a football. You should see me on a Vespa haha.



My experience/License info:
I worked in and ran dealerships the Motorcycle industry In the US, so I could tell you pretty much everything about it over there but I'm a complete noob here. Once you have your M Class in the US, you can buy and insure any Motorcycle, regardless of CC's, with no learners restrictions. Your rate or premium depends on your years experience, how long you've had the license, and the size of the motorcycle you're insuring. I have a Drivers license with a Full Motorcycle endorsement, aka Motorcycle License or "M" Class. I've been driving for 20 years, and riding motorcycles on and off road for 30 years. I have been licensed to drive for 18 years, with an M Class motorcycle endorsement for 2 years obtained in the state of New York. I've taken advanced US Motorcycle classes (MSF Basic course 2) recently (within the past 2 years) and have the certification to prove it. I've had motorcycle insurance up until the day I left the US on 20th Sept 2020 for a period of 2 consecutive years. My license expires in 2023. What is the licensing process for expats living in the UK?

Regarding insurance:
I checked the comparethemarket site for insurance quotes on the motorcycle I'm interested in on Autotrader, and there was a question there that made me think twice. It asked for a "date of residency" if living within the UK. I selected September 2020 as that's the month I moved here on my Fiancé/Marriage Visa. The date I actually obtained the visa was August 2nd 2020, should I be using the date it was approved or the date I entered? Or am I even eligible for insurance until I subsequently apply for FLR(M)?? Am I putting the carriage before the horse? Should I wait until after I receive FLR(M) status before buying anything? I'm itching to ride..

Regarding purchasing the vehicle:
What's the procedure for buying a used vehicle from a private party? Should I type up a basic bill of sale? Will I be taxed by HMRC or DVLA on the purchase price? Does it matter what type of reg the motorcycle has? What does it mean when I see 62 reg, 61 reg etc? All of that is nonsense to me. Do I need the seller to sign anything aside from a bill of sale?
Also, are there any other sites you guys recommend to view used motorcycles for sale by private party in the UK? (Other than autotrader.co.uk) I don't use Facebook, so please don't suggest it.

Thanks
 

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Hi - I also have a motorcycle licence in the US. I brought my 300cc bike to the UK in 2015 and just wound up selling it because it was such an enormous faff.

You CAN get insurance as a new resident without FLR(M) but expect insurance to be very expensive (for your residency, you should use the date you entered the UK). This is inevitable if you only have a foreign licence right now. Also, you can ride a bike on your US licence for up to 12 months but after that point you will need a UK motorcycle licence, which means you'll need to get a provisional licence and start the motorcycle licence process from scratch at some point after you've received FLR(M) - It's not as easy as it is in the US, and it's done by "tiers" according to the power output of the bike, so if you want to ride a 1000cc you will need to take the practical exam on a comparable bike. There is compulsory basic training (CBT), a theory test, and a practical exam. Since you're over the minimum age, you can go directly to a full motorcycle licence (no power restriction) without testing on smaller bikes first, but you do have to go through the whole testing process no matter what, there's no shortcut. I was licenced in Connecticut and it was incredibly trivial compared to what you need to do in the UK (for good reason).

I actually sold my bike on ebay, though I certainly wouldn't recommend buying a bike there unless you are 100% familiar with what you'll need to do. Autotrader is very reputable. When you buy any vehicle you will get a log, register with DVLA (should be done with the seller present), pay your first year of road tax. Any vehicle you're looking at, you should check the registration (lots of free websites for this) and get an idea of how much MOT is left on it, since you'll need to get MOT every year and most people are wary of buying vehicles with only a month or so of MOT left and will need an inspection soon. You should eventually get a V5C (log book) after purchasing the vehicle.

One of the downsides to being a new driver/rider in the UK is that insurance companies essentially see you as a 17 year old, I haven't found any insurance companies yet who give any credit for clean foreign driving records
 

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It's not a question of can you get insurance, you HAVE to have insurance to drive any vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi - I also have a motorcycle licence in the US. I brought my 300cc bike to the UK in 2015 and just wound up selling it because it was such an enormous faff.

You CAN get insurance as a new resident without FLR(M) but expect insurance to be very expensive (for your residency, you should use the date you entered the UK). This is inevitable if you only have a foreign licence right now. Also, you can ride a bike on your US licence for up to 12 months but after that point you will need a UK motorcycle licence, which means you'll need to get a provisional licence and start the motorcycle licence process from scratch at some point after you've received FLR(M) - It's not as easy as it is in the US, and it's done by "tiers" according to the power output of the bike, so if you want to ride a 1000cc you will need to take the practical exam on a comparable bike. There is compulsory basic training (CBT), a theory test, and a practical exam. Since you're over the minimum age, you can go directly to a full motorcycle licence (no power restriction) without testing on smaller bikes first, but you do have to go through the whole testing process no matter what, there's no shortcut. I was licenced in Connecticut and it was incredibly trivial compared to what you need to do in the UK (for good reason).

I actually sold my bike on ebay, though I certainly wouldn't recommend buying a bike there unless you are 100% familiar with what you'll need to do. Autotrader is very reputable. When you buy any vehicle you will get a log, register with DVLA (should be done with the seller present), pay your first year of road tax. Any vehicle you're looking at, you should check the registration (lots of free websites for this) and get an idea of how much MOT is left on it, since you'll need to get MOT every year and most people are wary of buying vehicles with only a month or so of MOT left and will need an inspection soon. You should eventually get a V5C (log book) after purchasing the vehicle.

One of the downsides to being a new driver/rider in the UK is that insurance companies essentially see you as a 17 year old, I haven't found any insurance companies yet who give any credit for clean foreign driving records
So, for all intents and purposes (correct me if I’m wrong) I should wait until after I have FLR(M) in hand, buy something with a recent MOT and search the free online resources for details on the bike in question (got my eye on a clean R1100GS), set up an insurance policy so I can ride it home (I’ll probably do a monthly policy so I can cancel and renew after I obtain my motorcycle license for a lower premium at that point), fill out and send the reg forms to pay the road tax with DVLA as soon as I purchase, and carry on riding on my license and begin and complete the license process as soon as possible.

I’m still curious to know what the sellers mean by a 61 reg or 62 reg, what does that mean if it’s in the ad? Is this of any importance for my purposes? Is this what determines the road tax? What does road tax typically cost for a Motorcycle?

What do you mean by “do this with the seller present”? Should both parties be at a DVLA office to sign the vehicle over or would I bring something for the seller to sign that I mail in to the DVLA? Will the DVLA send me the V5C after I send in the registration forms or should the seller have this to hand over to me?
 
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