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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have asked —and received very helpful answers, thanks!— about relocating in Spain, but after a trip to Spain and some developments in Venezuela where we currently live, my husband and I have decided to try Scotland instead.
My husband is Scottish, I’m Mexican. Our only daughter was born in Mexico and has dual citizenship. My husband has a business in Venezuela but this business was affected by the Government last May and we decide it was the time for us to leave this country; however we though we could stay here till summer 2012, to allow our daughter to finish her high school at the local American School she is attending and for my husband to finish his affairs. Those were our plans six months ago… but nowadays we look how fast the living conditions are deteriorating — 50% inflation, electricity and water rationing, legal uncertainty, shortage of some items but specially security problems— and we think two years and a half is too long to wait. On the other hand, our daughter will start next school year the two year program of International Baccalaureate, so we think this summer is the time to move so she can start and finish the IB program in the same school, however my husband can’t leave the country this year because he still has issues to settle and assets to liquidate.
So, after such long prolegomenon, here is my question: I suppose my daughter won’t have any problem but, what kind of visa can I ask?
Mexican resident in Venezuela, married for 22 year to British citizen, but he is not coming with us at this point.
My husband, British citizen will have to stay in Venezuela for some time more (not sure for how long) and will come to Scotland to visit us as often as he can or we can visit him in school brakes. He has been residing abroad for about 30 years.
Daughter: 16 years old, Mexican and British passport holder. We are checking IB schools in Scotland, so far we don’t have many options: one in Aberdeen, one in Edinburgh and one in St. Andrews.
I have many other questions, but I think this is the most important one! Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I have been looking at UK visa information and I can't find anything that fits my situation. I found spouse's visa, but my husband must be settle in the UK and that is not the case; I found parent Visa, but my child must be settle in the UK and I have to prove I'm dependant, that is not the case either. I don't want to work so non of the Tiers 1...5 is for me. Is there any kind of visa based in my ability to support myself and my child without any help of the government? Joppa? Please, any advice will be very helpful.
We are planning to go to Scotland in March to look at schools and property...maybe is better we wait till then to start any application for visa...I’m really confuse here. To go to Spain seemed so easy and none of us is a national there, maybe I haven’t look in the proper place (UK Border Agency Visa Services Home Page)
 

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You're right about being in a somewhat unusual situation. For the UK, as well as for many other countries, you need a link to the country either via family or via work if you want to qualify for a visa. And the family member supporting your visa request has to be an adult - so your daughter can't sponsor you.

And if your husband isn't relocating back to the UK, he can't sponsor you either.

Maybe someone else has an idea here, but what you're looking to do may not be do-able.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I have been looking at UK visa information and I can't find anything that fits my situation. I found spouse's visa, but my husband must be settle in the UK and that is not the case; I found parent Visa, but my child must be settle in the UK and I have to prove I'm dependant, that is not the case either. I don't want to work so non of the Tiers 1...5 is for me. Is there any kind of visa based in my ability to support myself and my child without any help of the government? Joppa? Please, any advice will be very helpful.
We are planning to go to Scotland in March to look at schools and property...maybe is better we wait till then to start any application for visa...I’m really confuse here. To go to Spain seemed so easy and none of us is a national there, maybe I haven’t look in the proper place (UK Border Agency Visa Services Home Page)
Being married to a Briton won't help you move to UK with your daughter (she can enter on her British passport - no questions asked). You have to qualify on your own term for a visa, not as a spouse, as your husband isn't coming with you. You can 'visit' your daughter as a family visitor, but you can only stay up to 6 months, non-renewable. Mexicans don't need a visa in advance - just your passport plus your supporting documents like bank statement, details of your daughter's school, accommodation and return ticket.
If you want to live in UK long-term, unless you become financially self-supporting through working, you have to wait until your husband can join you, and then apply for a relevanyt spouse visa, either time-limited or for settlement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You can 'visit' your daughter as a family visitor, but you can only stay up to 6 months, non-renewable. Mexicans don't need a visa in advance - just your passport plus your supporting documents like bank statement, details of your daughter's school, accommodation and return ticket
.

This means, I can't stay sixs months, spend the Summer/Christmas somewhere else and come back for another six months and so on...

If you want to live in UK long-term, unless you become financially self-supporting through working, you have to wait until your husband can join you, and then apply for a relevanyt spouse visa, either time-limited or for settlement.
[/QUOTE]

Do I have to be financially self-supporting only through working? What if I can demostrate that I can be finnacially self suporting without working...

It must be a way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You're right about being in a somewhat unusual situation. For the UK, as well as for many other countries, you need a link to the country either via family or via work if you want to qualify for a visa. And the family member supporting your visa request has to be an adult - so your daughter can't sponsor you.

And if your husband isn't relocating back to the UK, he can't sponsor you either.

Maybe someone else has an idea here, but what you're looking to do may not be do-able.
Cheers,
Bev
Thanks for your answer Bev,
I hope you are wrong!!! We are really in an unusual situation. For us it would be much better to stay here till our daughter finishes her high school and then she can go to University, but we are afraid that given the present situation in the country we could be force to leave in the middle of a school year. We decided against Spain because we don’t know one soul over there and my husband want us to be near family given that he won’t be with us… We have plans to travel to UK in March t look at schools and property… I never thought this would be a problem! We may need to check also immigration lawyers? Or, maybe set an appointment with the British consul here?... God, I’m getting nervous!
 

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.This means, I can't stay six months, spend the Summer/Christmas somewhere else and come back for another six months and so on...
What it means is you have to leave after 6 months - you cannot apply to have your stay extended as a visitor. While how long you must stay away before being allowed back in isn't set in stone, the Border Agency usually takes the view that a visitor's stay must not exceed 6 months in every 12 months.

Do I have to be financially self-supporting only through working? What if I can demostrate that I can be finnacially self suporting without working...
It must be a way!
No there isn't, really. Only EU/EEA nationals can come over and live off pensions, savings or investments. Everyone else has to get a visa, but the UK has recently abolished a longterm visa for those of independent means. So you need to be economically active through working, or making substantial investment and creating local jobs (minimum is £200k, but most applicants have a million or more to plough in). The UK, like other European countries, are trying to stop non-EU citizens coming over to live without being economically active and making positive contributions to society. Living off pensions, savings and investment isn't considered so, and can be used as a pretext for illegal work when their funds run out. So, given your current situation, coming over as a visitor is just about the only way.
 

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Thanks for your answer Bev,
I hope you are wrong!!! We are really in an unusual situation. For us it would be much better to stay here till our daughter finishes her high school and then she can go to University, but we are afraid that given the present situation in the country we could be force to leave in the middle of a school year. We decided against Spain because we don’t know one soul over there and my husband want us to be near family given that he won’t be with us… We have plans to travel to UK in March t look at schools and property… I never thought this would be a problem! We may need to check also immigration lawyers? Or, maybe set an appointment with the British consul here?... God, I’m getting nervous!
Bev isn't wrong, as I've stated. There isn't an appropriate UK visa to cover your situation. Your daughter can still come over and attend school/college here, as she is a British national. The only sticking point is you as a non-EU citizen parent wanting to come over to live with your daughter. You can only stay here as a visitor. The Home Office will argue that your husband can live with her, or all of you move over as a family or she can live with another relative or attend a boarding school (most popular option for people in similar situation).
 

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Thanks for your answer Bev,
I hope you are wrong!!! We are really in an unusual situation. For us it would be much better to stay here till our daughter finishes her high school and then she can go to University, but we are afraid that given the present situation in the country we could be force to leave in the middle of a school year. We decided against Spain because we don’t know one soul over there and my husband want us to be near family given that he won’t be with us… We have plans to travel to UK in March t look at schools and property… I never thought this would be a problem! We may need to check also immigration lawyers? Or, maybe set an appointment with the British consul here?... God, I’m getting nervous!
Spain is a couple of hours fly away at most from most parts of the UK.

I you have a way to settle there in a big town with good fly connections to the UK you could have the best of both words until the time when your husband can join you in the UK, it would not be unthinkable to stay in Spain during the school term and then fly back to your family in the UK for holidays.

Once your husband was back in the UK the eventual issuing of a visa for you would be almost a non issue.

Also keep in mind that as a Mexican your rights to relocate in other EU countries as the spouse of another EU citizen are greater than the ones of spouses of Britons relocating to the UK (my wife is German and it was plain sailing, very slow sailing I have to say, to obtain visa and eventually permanent residency), but I believe it is still a condition for settlement that your husband is working in your country of choice before you are issued an spouse visa (Spain may be different in relation to Mexicans, given our historic links, but funnily enough I don't know :) ).

Saludos y mucha suerte.
 

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Spain may be different in relation to Mexicans, given our historic links, but funnily enough I don't know :).
Latin Americans (Iberoamericans) can often obtain Spanish nationality after a relatively short residence in Spain, such as two years. With a Spanish (i.e. EU) passport, all your problems about living and working (or not) in UK will be solved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
[...] coming over as a visitor is just about the only way.
OMG!!! I would hate to do that. I wouldn’t go to UK, buy/rent a house, register my daughter in a very expensive school to live in fear to be stopped at the airport because I’m “visiting” too much

The Home Office will argue that your husband can live with her, or all of you move over as a family or she can live with another relative or attend a boarding school (most popular option for people in similar situation).
There are only 3 IB schools in Scotland, none of them in Glasgow where our relatives live. My husband has to stay for business — part of his business was expropriated by the Government, but he still has to see how can he liquidate the other part that was not taken by the Government but that cannot operate without the part that was taken…too complicated even to explain! — I went to boarding school at the age of 14 and believe me I have talk to my daughter about it, but she doesn’t want, I can’t force her.

Sorry to be insisting Joppa, but we have already a date to go for my daughter entrance test at “her” school in Scotland…we really never thought this would be so difficult, having the means to live there without any assistance from the government.

Is there any kind of visa, like limited residence? In two years my daughter will be 18 and that will be a different story: she can stay by herself to go to University, my husband can join us or we can both go to Spain while she stays in the UK.

Another possibility. Not the straightforward solution that I would prefer but, what if we all go and my husband travels back and forward to take care of his pending business in Venezuela? He was going to be traveling anyway. How much time he can be outside the UK being resident?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Spain is a couple of hours fly away at most from most parts of the UK.

I you have a way to settle there in a big town with good fly connections to the UK you could have the best of both words until the time when your husband can join you in the UK, it would not be unthinkable to stay in Spain during the school term and then fly back to your family in the UK for holidays.

Once your husband was back in the UK the eventual issuing of a visa for you would be almost a non issue.

Also keep in mind that as a Mexican your rights to relocate in other EU countries as the spouse of another EU citizen are greater than the ones of spouses of Britons relocating to the UK (my wife is German and it was plain sailing, very slow sailing I have to say, to obtain visa and eventually permanent residency), but I believe it is still a condition for settlement that your husband is working in your country of choice before you are issued an spouse visa (Spain may be different in relation to Mexicans, given our historic links, but funnily enough I don't know :) ).

Saludos y mucha suerte.
Gracias paisano!

You must be right about the convenience of Spain but I don’t know if I want to go to a “foreign” country without my husband. Spain was in our plans thinking he was coming with us, he even went in October to make a visit and check schools, but things have complicated and he can’t leave. In Scotland even when we won’t be in the same city as our relatives, we would be at a short distance and there is always comfort to have someone to call, someone familiar with all the questions and matter that can arise when you are in a new country. There is also the school problem, in Spain we have to find an IB school that is also an International school (English speaking)… I think before doing that I would better risk staying here. We may go anyway to Scotland for the entrance tests and see if we can convince our daughter about the board option (although my husband doesn’t like it either)…
My head is spinning…we have gone through so much stress in the last 7 months and the pressure went down a lot when we though we have found a solution… I don’t want to start all over again, we only have 5 months before the school year finishes!
 

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Sorry to be insisting Joppa, but we have already a date to go for my daughter entrance test at “her” school in Scotland…we really never thought this would be so difficult, having the means to live there without any assistance from the government.

Is there any kind of visa, like limited residence? In two years my daughter will be 18 and that will be a different story: she can stay by herself to go to University, my husband can join us or we can both go to Spain while she stays in the UK.

Another possibility. Not the straightforward solution that I would prefer but, what if we all go and my husband travels back and forward to take care of his pending business in Venezuela? He was going to be traveling anyway. How much time he can be outside the UK being resident?
There just isn't a convenient visa that meets your requirement. From the UK government's point of view, a spouse visa is there to enable a couple to live together in UK, in fulfilment of their marriage vows. If your husband isn't coming over, for whatever pressing business reasons, that won't entitle you to a marriage visa. Also the desire to live with a 16-year old daughter to enable her to complete her schooling in UK isn't considered a pressing matter - they would say why don't you go for the boarding option like most other parents, or why can she not live wth other relatives already in UK (and why does it have to be restricted to Scotland - there are many IB schools in England). As for your husband maintaining two homes in Venezuela and UK, that might be an option worth pursuing. UK will have to be his main home, spending most of his time and a main base of his operation. There are many business executives dividing their time between various homes in the world, and they seem to manage their affairs, including immigration matters, well (though they may have a team of experts to advise). I don't think the definition of which is his main home is set in stone - Home Office will take all available evidence into account. Put the rental agreement for your property in UK in joint names. Get his name on electoral register and on council tax bill. Keep half his wardrobe in UK. And keep all airline receipts (you get them even for E-tickets) and boarding passes to substantiate his travel patterns. Then apply for your spouse visa.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There just isn't a convenient visa that meets your requirement. From the UK government's point of view, a spouse visa is there to enable a couple to live together in UK, in fulfilment of their marriage vows. If your husband isn't coming over, for whatever pressing business reasons, that won't entitle you to a marriage visa. Also the desire to live with a 16-year old daughter to enable her to complete her schooling in UK isn't considered a pressing matter - they would say why don't you go for the boarding option like most other parents, or why can she not live wth other relatives already in UK (and why does it have to be restricted to Scotland - there are many IB schools in England). As for your husband maintaining two homes in Venezuela and UK, that might be an option worth pursuing. UK will have to be his main home, spending most of his time and a main base of his operation. There are many business executives dividing their time between various homes in the world, and they seem to manage their affairs, including immigration matters, well (though they may have a team of experts to advise). I don't think the definition of which is his main home is set in stone - Home Office will take all available evidence into account. Put the rental agreement for your property in UK in joint names. Get his name on electoral register and on council tax bill. Keep half his wardrobe in UK. And keep all airline receipts (you get them even for E-tickets) and boarding passes to substantiate his travel patterns. Then apply for your spouse visa.
Thanks Joppa for your advice, it’s been very helpful although I haven’t enjoyed to be called a “sticking point” :)
I’m sorry if you think I was trying to bend the law to fit my purposes, I was asking, just to have a better idea of the whole situation and I have to say you have been very clear and helpful.
I will never pretend to go to any country to “visit”, when I really want to live there; my husband will certainly travel frequently to be with us, wherever we are; but I don’t think he will be able or willing to count days.
As for “my desire” to be with my 16 year old daughter… well yes, it is my desire but also my obligation as a parent to provide the best environment and education for my child and nobody can argue with me which is that environment, not even the Home Office. Of course they are not compelled to help me provide that environment either.
Yes I know there are a lot of IB schools in England, but that is not the matter: we could try schools in England if the ones in Scotland don’t have a place for our daughter, but the visa problem will prevail.

I don’t know what I will do, which will be our next step… First I have to brake the news to my husband, he is quite content thinking his family will be soon safe away from all this chaos…
 

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Thanks Joppa for your advice, it’s been very helpful although I haven’t enjoyed to be called a “sticking point” :)
I’m sorry if you think I was trying to bend the law to fit my purposes, I was asking, just to have a better idea of the whole situation and I have to say you have been very clear and helpful.
I will never pretend to go to any country to “visit”, when I really want to live there; my husband will certainly travel frequently to be with us, wherever we are; but I don’t think he will be able or willing to count days.
As for “my desire” to be with my 16 year old daughter… well yes, it is my desire but also my obligation as a parent to provide the best environment and education for my child and nobody can argue with me which is that environment, not even the Home Office. Of course they are not compelled to help me provide that environment either.
Yes I know there are a lot of IB schools in England, but that is not the matter: we could try schools in England if the ones in Scotland don’t have a place for our daughter, but the visa problem will prevail.

I don’t know what I will do, which will be our next step… First I have to brake the news to my husband, he is quite content thinking his family will be soon safe away from all this chaos…
Oh I do think your motives are anything but honorable and worthy. Except that that doesn't help your application for a residence visa. Visas are issued under strictly-defined purposes, which take into account not just your needs but also the immigration, economical and social needs of the country that is admitting you. Immigration rule is often a careful balancing act between fairness to would-be migrant and the needs of the host country. As long as UK - and just about every EEA country - is under enormous political pressure to reduce immigration by non-EEA citizens, they aren't likely to make things easy for those who don't quite fit into any of their visa categories. Home Office do sometimes admit people on exceptional ground - called exceptional leave to enter. But there must be an overwhelming humanitarian reason why you should be admitted into the country long-term, and arguing your case will be far from straightforward, with wholly uncertain outcome. A failed visa application can screw up all your future applications, as you have to mention it each time (and they will check up their record as well - concealing material facts is a sufficient reason to reject your application).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Still appalled by all the information; still thinking and planning our next move… I’ll keep you posted. This is a great forum!

PS. I have my first daily electricity 2 hour cut today; apparently the big public hospital near my house has now a generator so there is no reason to spare us from the rationing :-(
 
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