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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello I am new on here and was just hoping someone could give me some fiance and marriage visa advice for the UK. I just found out about the possible sponsor increase to over £25,000 a year starting in June. Is there any new information on whether this change is going to happen? All the news articles are from March and April. My boyfriend receives public funds for disability and I am a student who doesn't have much money, so if they change the rules we cannot marry and settle there and he cannot come and live in the US because of his needing support. I will have a good amount of savings when I come over and plan on finishing up my schooling there. If we rush the fiance visa through, or get married in the US, could we still be denied the marriage settlement visa if these changes go through? I am open to hiring a company to help with paperwork and rush the application through, but I am not sure in the US who I should go to?
 

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If you have the resources to apply (USD ~1400$) for a UKBA fiancé(e) visa now (or by the end of the month), I'd do so. That way, you'd be assured of the fact that your application would be in process before the changes take place and thus exempt from changes that might be made effective 01 June.

If you apply by 30 May, you would have until the 28th of August to arrive in the UK (well after the end of final exams for the summer semester at most North American colleges and universities)... you would then have a further 180 days after that (i.e. later part of February 2013) to get married.

Good luck to you at school this summer and to you both with your visa application.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply! If we got approved for a fiance visa and the changes went into effect before we could apply for the marriage visa, would we still be exempt? Could we get an ok for the fiance visa now, but be declined in a few months for the marriage because of the new rules?
 

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Once you get your fiancé(e) visa, you don't need a visa to actually get married in the UK, but there are rules in regards to what you must do in order to get permission at the local level to have your wedding (these are more in regards to residency requirements and registering your intent to marry).... just either have a Church of England wedding (a.k.a. Episcopal Church in the USA and Anglican Church in Canada) who will take care of the administrative details for you or self-register to have a Civil Ceremony before your visa expires and you're set.

Once you get married, you would then need to apply for a Further Leave to Remain visa (commonly referred to as FLR(M) on this site and on the 'net in general) before your Fiancé(e) visa expires. Once that is granted, you are allowed to stay in the UK for a predetermined amount of time before applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) which would then lead the way to your applying for citizenship. You must also pass the Life in the UK test before you are granted ILR/citizenship.

Under current legislation, your FLR(M) period would be 2 years (because you are coming over to marry a UK national) then you could apply for ILR.

Under proposed legislation, in addition to the increased minimum income level, the FLR(M) period would be extended to 5 years (like every other ILR applicant) from the current 2 years.

Please keep in mind that these changes are only rumour only and have had no official announcements made in regards to the specifics of the changes or the proposed start date, thus my recommendation that you apply by the end of the month, just to be on the safe side.

In regards to the actual application process, there are numerous threads about these topics in this forum. If you can't find the info that you are looking for, please feel free to post a question... the regulars here (specifically Joppa, 2farapart, and anAmericanInScotland, among others) are a collective wealth of information and a good number of us (myself included) are going through the motions of applying for the Fiancé(e)/Spousal visas, so we can understand what you're going through.

Good luck and enjoy the ride!
 
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Just wanted to add that if you applied by the end of May and got your fiancée visa, you would be subject to any proposed increase in the the change in length of the FLR(M) visa (i.e. you would have to wait however many years the new rules say and you would not be allowed to just wait the 2 years that are currently on the books), as you would not have been eligible to apply for the FLR(M) before the changes take place.

You would still be exempt from the changes in the minimum annual income level.
 

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Unfortunately, all we have right now are recommendations leaked in a letter to a newspaper. We don't yet know which of the recommendations (and to what degree) the UKBA will adopt and so all we can really do is wait (which is hard when you're trying to plan your life around them).

If you have the resources to apply (USD ~1400$) for a UKBA fiancé(e) visa now (or by the end of the month), I'd do so. That way, you'd be assured of the fact that your application would be in process before the changes take place and thus exempt from changes that might be made effective 01 June.
There is unfortunately no guarantee that anyone will be exempt - including those of us with FLR or Spouse visas already. There has been precedent in the past where the UKBA did indeed apply changes backwards, but there's nothing to say they will this time - if the changes are implemented at all. We can hope we're excluded though! :D
 

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Unfortunately, all we have right now are recommendations leaked in a letter to a newspaper. We don't yet know which of the recommendations (and to what degree) the UKBA will adopt and so all we can really do is wait (which is hard when you're trying to plan your life around them).



There is unfortunately no guarantee that anyone will be exempt - including those of us with FLR or Spouse visas already. There has been precedent in the past where the UKBA did indeed apply changes backwards, but there's nothing to say they will this time - if the changes are implemented at all. We can hope we're excluded though! :D
This is all very true.
The only sure thing is those who are already on ILR or have gained British citizenship will be unaffected. Everyone else has the potential of being caught up in the changes, to a varying degree, depending on the specifics. Under law, the fact that you were granted a 2-year probationary period doesn't mean it cannot be lengthened to 5 years, for example, while you are on it. This has happened in the past (e.g. when qualifying period for ancestry visa holders were extended from 4 to 5 years) and resulted in those affected having to extend their visa (leave) before eligible for settlement. And there is a warning on UKBA site that the rules are subject to change, and the rules current at the time of application will be used. Any exception or concession, or transitional arrangement will be specifically announced. I'd have thought that in view of the urgency to reduce immigration substantially by 2015 to meet electoral pledge, the government is less likely to make too many exceptions and would want as many people as possible to be brought within the new rules.
 

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Unfortunately, all we have right now are recommendations leaked in a letter to a newspaper. We don't yet know which of the recommendations (and to what degree) the UKBA will adopt and so all we can really do is wait (which is hard when you're trying to plan your life around them).



There is unfortunately no guarantee that anyone will be exempt - including those of us with FLR or Spouse visas already. There has been precedent in the past where the UKBA did indeed apply changes backwards, but there's nothing to say they will this time - if the changes are implemented at all. We can hope we're excluded though! :D
True that... I still think that it would be worth OP's time and effort to get her paperwork in now (i.e. by the end of May), on the chance that they don't make the changes retroactive... it would be a shame if she didn't at least try to get it all in before the changes are announced and the changes (whenever they end up coming effective) end up not being retroactive to May 1st (just arbitrarily pulling a date out of the air here).

Here's hoping that the changes are a long time in coming and not very broadly sweeping.
 

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Here's hoping that the changes are a long time in coming and not very broadly sweeping.
The government is running out of options to make a substantial dent in the stubbornly high net immigration, of nearly 250,000. Family migration route is one of the last throws of the dice, and I suspect they hope to catch as many people as possible in the new, much stricter, restrictive rules. That's how I look at it.
 

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If you apply by 30 May, you would have until the 28th of August to arrive in the UK (well after the end of final exams for the summer semester at most North American colleges and universities)... you would then have a further 180 days after that (i.e. later part of February 2013) to get married.
Just want to clear this up-the visa, if issued, will have a specific validity period of six months from date to date. The clock begins ticking on the 'valid from' and expires at 'valid to'.

The visa holder's clock does not begin ticking upon arrival, so the OP will need to pay close attention to the dates on his/her visa-he/she will not have 180 days upon arrival, he/she will have only to the expiry date on the visa.

@Valeskagart-if your visa is dated as valid from 28th August, it will expire exactly six months later.

You can arrive to the UK at any time during the six months, marry, and apply for the FLR(M). But you don't want to cut things too close when it comes to the application for the FLR(M) because it can take a while to process that.

Several options are available for making that application and the best one is the more expensive one-day service because obviously one-day means you should have a determination on the same day. (Depends on the complexity of your application, check the various FLR(M) threads and I highly recommend the ones by 2FarApart). The only trouble is booking the appointment-you want to book your application ASAP after the wedding/civil partnership because sometimes appointment dates can be as much as a month out from the day you book.
 

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Just want to clear this up-the visa, if issued, will have a specific validity period of six months from date to date. The clock begins ticking on the 'valid from' and expires at 'valid to'.

The visa holder's clock does not begin ticking upon arrival, so the OP will need to pay close attention to the dates on his/her visa-he/she will not have 180 days upon arrival, he/she will have only to the expiry date on the visa.

@Valeskagart-if your visa is dated as valid from 28th August, it will expire exactly six months later.

You can arrive to the UK at any time during the six months, marry, and apply for the FLR(M). But you don't want to cut things too close when it comes to the application for the FLR(M) because it can take a while to process that.

Several options are available for making that application and the best one is the more expensive one-day service because obviously one-day means you should have a determination on the same day. (Depends on the complexity of your application, check the various FLR(M) threads and I highly recommend the ones by 2FarApart). The only trouble is booking the appointment-you want to book your application ASAP after the wedding/civil partnership because sometimes appointment dates can be as much as a month out from the day you book.
I was going on the assumption that OP applies by the end of May, arrives in the UK at the end of August and gets married by the end of February... that gives a 90 day window to (hopefully) beat the rule change and 180 day window to get married.
 

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Don'cha love this place-whilst typing all that I was thinking 'And if I've got it wrong, someone will come along and correct me'; it's fantastic how we can depend on the others!
You are all too fast for me, especially when I am posting from work near end of shift!!!:D I am addicted to this place so much that not only do I have this place set up as one of my home pages on my laptop, I'm typing my reply on my phone in the carpark at work... if that doesn't show loyalty to the cause (of getting my visa and wanting to make a positive contribution to British society (ie do things the British way), I don't know what will.

As much as I changed my last post, I do not attempt to deny that I still very much stand corrected. :)
 

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The government is running out of options to make a substantial dent in the stubbornly high net immigration, of nearly 250,000. Family migration route is one of the last throws of the dice, and I suspect they hope to catch as many people as possible in the new, much stricter, restrictive rules. That's how I look at it.
Yes, and with a UK average salary still substantially less than the speculated new threshold, it's easy to see how they'll achieve it if they put all onus on the sponsoring partner to earn the threshold. Given the enormous amount of pressure falling on the current government to actually deliver on at least something and their failure thus far to stem immigration by previous changes, I too think it more likely they would apply any new changes across the board to everyone not already on ILR or beyond - and it would be perceived as a reasonable (and potentially popular) change by the public and so won't put the government in bad light.
 

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You are all too fast for me, especially when I am posting from work near end of shift!!!:D I am addicted to this place so much that not only do I have this place set up as one of my home pages on my laptop, I'm typing my reply on my phone in the carpark at work... if that doesn't show loyalty to the cause (of getting my visa and wanting to make a positive contribution to British society (ie do things the British way), I don't know what will.

As much as I changed my last post, I do not attempt to deny that I still very much stand corrected. :)
Immigration is a minefield. I think I know about 0.2% of it now based only on mine and my partner's bit of experience, and so I'm frequently corrected by people more knowledgeable too. At the end of the day, I'm just SO grateful for the help that we received that I too want to 'give back' to others going through the same.

And I'm rather glad when I'm corrected so I don't send people headlong into an incorrectly perceived situation. :D
 

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Yes, and with a UK average salary still substantially less than the speculated new threshold, it's easy to see how they'll achieve it if they put all onus on the sponsoring partner to earn the threshold.
Latest statistics from 2011 put average weekly gross UK pay as £499, which is almost £26,000 a year, very close to proposed income level. Of course because of income disparity, some people earn substantially more than that and some quite a bit less (in parts of Lancashire I live in, the average is more like £18,000 a year, but in London it's around £32,000) but the median average comes to around £500 before tax. UK citizens and others settled here are eligible for tax credits and benefit payments if their income is on or less than £15860 (a couple without children), which can sometimesbe be taken into account in working out maintenance requirement.
 

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And here it is - back in the headline news AGAIN today, BBC News - Migration to UK more than double government target

"The problem is that non-EU migrants are simply not leaving. It is time the Lib Dems understood the extent of public concern, including among 75% of their own supporters.

"The coalition must now take tough measures to reduce this unacceptable scale of immigration."
That comment relating to net migration (more people joining the UK than are leaving). I expect we'll hear announcements shortly.
 

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And here it is - back in the headline news AGAIN today, BBC News - Migration to UK more than double government target

That comment relating to net migration (more people joining the UK than are leaving). I expect we'll hear announcements shortly.
Ooooooooooh, great catch!

The Guardian has it now too, The Telegraph not yet-haven't checked The Daily Mail:D Same story, pretty much, on The Guardian.

I thought it was especially interesting that the articles say the biggest numbers come from student visas, that the changes to student and worker visas are making a difference (student visa apps, are they really down 62% or did I read that wrong?!), yet the push is to reduce family migration route visas by 2/3rds.

Both articles say the changes to family migration routes will be announced soon.
 

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That comment relating to net migration (more people joining the UK than are leaving).
Currently around 590,000 are entering UK annually to live and 340,000 leaving (emigrating), so net inflow of 250,000. The figure includes EU citizens, but the majority are from outside Europe, with a large number of students from China, Russia, India, South Korea etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks everyone for all your advice! My boyfriend and I are trying as fast as we can to get the visa application submitted, but as he needs to send documents over from the UK, I don't see how we can make a June 1st deadline. I'm dreading any upcoming announcements. I think putting £26,000 a year income completely on the sponsor is way too drastic! Many starting jobs even with degrees don't appear to pay that much. Teaching which is what my degree will be in, starts lower (although I am not an expert on "levels" of UK teaching qualification) and no one I know in the UK makes that much. These forums have been very helpful. My boyfriend and I are committed to being together, so we will work it out. :)
 
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