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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

My first post on the forum ....how exciting!

I am a Canadian who married a Brit last July. I am now in the process of moving to the UK and had a few questions which I could not seem to have answered on the UKBA site (am I the only one that finds it super confusing?)

1) I have received my VISA but I am not clear on what type of VISA it is. It is valid for 27 months and I used a form VA4 I believe. Is this considered a settlement visa? It also says "SPOUSE"

2) With this type of VISA, am I eligible to work in the UK as soon as I arrive? Do I have to apply for something similar to the Canadian SOCIAL INSURANCE NUMBER?

3) The VISA explicitly states "no public funds" but does this include healthcare? Would I still be able to visit a doctor for free or would it be a paid service?

4) Last but not least for this post ....can someone recommend a good sports bar to watch the NBA playoff in West London? :)

Thanks in advance for your help!
 

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Hello and welcome!! I hope these boards offer you as much help as they have been to me and many others.

1) I have received my VISA but I am not clear on what type of VISA it is. It is valid for 27 months and I used a form VA4 I believe. Is this considered a settlement visa? It also says "SPOUSE"
That's correct: it's a spouse visa and is classed as a settlement visa. They run for a period of 27 months at the end of which you can apply for Indefinite Leave To Remain (ILR) - a permanent entitlement to reside in Britain without being subject to any further immigration control.

2) With this type of VISA, am I eligible to work in the UK as soon as I arrive? Do I have to apply for something similar to the Canadian SOCIAL INSURANCE NUMBER?
Yes, you can work. You need to apply for our equivalent: the National Insurance Number. More info about this can be found in our government web site: Applying for a National Insurance number : Directgov - Money, tax and benefits

3) The VISA explicitly states "no public funds" but does this include healthcare? Would I still be able to visit a doctor for free or would it be a paid service?
You can register with the National Health Service by registering with your local doctor (take your passport and proof of address). Health care is not under the same umbrella as 'public funds' (which are state payments such as unemployment benefit, disabilty benefits etc). I recall that there are some "ifs and buts" relating to free health-care (Joppa or someone more knowledgeable than me will likely chip in) but if your sponsor pays National Insurance, you should be fine to receive free health care too.

As the most unsportslike person on the planet, I can't help with your last! :D
 

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That's correct: it's a spouse visa and is classed as a settlement visa. They run for a period of 27 months at the end of which you can apply for Indefinite Leave To Remain (ILR) - a permanent entitlement to reside in Britain without being subject to any further immigration control.
You are eligible for ILR after being in the UK or 24 months. The visa is in fact good for 27 months which gives you an extra 3 months to get yourself to the UK. So, you may be eligible for ILR before your the end of 27 months depending on when you choose to arrive.

As for NBA playoffs, you do realize that the time difference means at best (should you even be able to find a place) you will be watching a replay of a previous day's game. Pubs close at 11 to 11:30.
 

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Congrats on your VISA Raptorgirl!

Deeper question about the 24 months...my VISA is good starting June 21, but I might not be able to move until Sept 24, maybe even a little later. My VISA is good through Sept 2014. What happens in 2 years when I want to apply for ILR, if I'm a smudge under 24 months in the UK? Will the fact that I've lived with my hub in the US for almost 6 yrs count as something?
 

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Congrats on your VISA Raptorgirl!

Deeper question about the 24 months...my VISA is good starting June 21, but I might not be able to move until Sept 24, maybe even a little later. My VISA is good through Sept 2014. What happens in 2 years when I want to apply for ILR, if I'm a smudge under 24 months in the UK? Will the fact that I've lived with my hub in the US for almost 6 yrs count as something?
If your visa was not issued with "KOL req", then you have a spouse visa which requires you to reside in the UK for 24 months before being eligible for for ILR. So if you arrive with less than 24 months left on your visa you'll have to apply for an extension(even though you'll only need it for a few days) before you can apply for ILR.
 

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Congrats on your VISA Raptorgirl!

Deeper question about the 24 months...my VISA is good starting June 21, but I might not be able to move until Sept 24, maybe even a little later. My VISA is good through Sept 2014. What happens in 2 years when I want to apply for ILR, if I'm a smudge under 24 months in the UK? Will the fact that I've lived with my hub in the US for almost 6 yrs count as something?
You may just scrape through as you can apply 4 weeks short of 2 years, but better still, try not to delay your arrival beyond the middle of September at the latest. If the worst comes to the worst, you may have to extend your visa at the present cost of £561 or £867 by face-to-face premium service, and then after a few weeks pay again the full cost for ILR (£991 or 1377 - ouch).

Your time together in US has no bearing at all.
 

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@nyclon Unfortunately I didn't request KOL-req, so it sounds like I've got to serve my 2 years.

@Joppa Thx for the advice. Sounds like the best course of action is to get there sooner rather than later. Methinks after living in
London for 24 months I won't have the extra cash to spare!
 

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@nyclon Unfortunately I didn't request KOL-req, so it sounds like I've got to serve my 2 years.

@Joppa Thx for the advice. Sounds like the best course of action is to get there sooner rather than later. Methinks after living in
London for 24 months I won't have the extra cash to spare!

As a Londoner, I can confirm that there a few things more exciting/necessary than visas that you may want to/have to spend your pounds on.
 

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Raptorgirl...

Congrats on your VISA... will be going for a Fiancée visa this summer.

Perhaps we may meet in London one of these days this coming winter.
 

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In regards to your question about watching the NBA playoff... may I suggest the Maple Leaf bar in Covent Garden?

As the name would imply, it is a Canadian bar that carries most of your major Canadian brews (Molson, Labatt, Sleeman, Moosehead etc), serves (crappy) poutine (I don't recommend it) and also plays N.A. sports off the satellite (was there on the 7th of May and was able to catch the Rangers/Capitals hockey game).

The bar is located in Covent Garden and is down the street from a shop that sells Canadian goodies

On the first Monday of every month, there is a group of expat Canucks who meet up for chat and wings and beer.

Congrats again on your visa and (if)/when I get my visa, perhaps see you one
day in London (after Canadian Turkey Day, God willing).

Kate
Vancouver, BC
 

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In regards to your question about watching the NBA playoff... may I suggest the Maple Leaf bar in Covent Garden?

As the name would imply, it is a Canadian bar that carries most of your major Canadian brews (Molson, Labatt, Sleeman, Moosehead etc), serves (crappy) poutine (I don't recommend it) and also plays N.A. sports off the satellite (was there on the 7th of May and was able to catch the Rangers/Capitals hockey game).

The bar is located in Covent Garden and is down the street from a shop that sells Canadian goodies

On the first Monday of every month, there is a group of expat Canucks who meet up for chat and wings and beer.

Congrats again on your visa and (if)/when I get my visa, perhaps see you one
day in London (after Canadian Turkey Day, God willing).

Kate
Vancouver, BC
This sounds Like great Fun! Does anyone know of an American place like this where Americans get together and have Wings, beer and convo?
 

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Not any more! :D And it's all thanks to the wonderfully helpful people on these boards who were able to point out potential pitfalls that weren't terribly obvious in the UKBA guidance.
Yes and we are quite happy although yet another VISA (FLR) has me up in nerves again.

This board is invaluable for those trying to wade through the UKBA site as a lot of it is unclear or written for someone with a political phd bordering on having a psychic mind to know what the heck they were thinking when they wrote all this.

Everyone here has been quite supportive and helpful and for that we are eternally grateful.:D
 

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:D

I sympathise with them a little. Having been responsible for trying to document internal government financing rules for the uninitated (nearly everybody except those who came up with the rules!), the 'user guide' became longer and longer and longer.

I think the UKBA have tried to cover information for every type of scenario as best they can, and now all of us are bewildered! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Kate - Thanks for the Canuck info. That sounds like alot of fun! I pplan to be in London just before the Olympics so maybe I will go there to cheer for some Canadian atheletes! (Although we do so much better in the Winter Games!)

I really do appreciate how helpful everyone is on this site. Thank you thank you thank you!

I had a question on the National INsurance Number. Is this something I can apply for before I arrive or must I do this in person. Also, how long does it usually take to obtain the NIN?

I have a few more questions re drivers licenses but will post in a separate thread that is more relevant.

Starting to get excited about the big move :)
 

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Actually roundabouts are pretty easy once you get the hang of them. I much prefer them to traffic lights any day....the "Magic Roundabout" in Swindon is the one to be afraid of! lol It's a roundabout with 5 smaller roundabouts within it... The Magic Roundabout
It's not as bad as it looks if you understand the logic behind it! Yes, I have been to Swindon a few times, and you always know which driver is a visitor!
There is a similar one in Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire
 
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