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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I am a UK expat living in Hong Kong for many years. My wife is Hong Kong born Chinese. We have a young daughter who has a British passport.

We are aiming to return to the UK in July 2016. So I am now looking at the spouse visa situation. The site here appears really useful so I will post my questions:

1. Although much cheaper, is it better to handle the application by yourself or through a visa consultant?

2. Is there a comprehensive checklist anywhere of all of the documents and papers needed?

3. Is there any government website that provides such a list?

4. I have not heard about the biometric check here in Hong Kong?

5. I was told my wife will need an English test as part of the application process, is that so?

6. Do we need to have our own property in the UK before we complete the application, or just an address of where we are living?

7. If we aim to live in the UK from July 2016, the completed visa should be applicable from when? I am thinking whether of not to head to the UK a month earlier or not?

I know many have successfully been through the same process so your advice is helpful.

Thanks
 

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Hi,

I am a UK expat living in Hong Kong for many years. My wife is Hong Kong born Chinese. We have a young daughter who has a British passport.

We are aiming to return to the UK in July 2016. So I am now looking at the spouse visa situation. The site here appears really useful so I will post my questions:

1. Although much cheaper, is it better to handle the application by yourself or through a visa consultant?
Unless you have a complicated situation including a criminal record, visa refusals or bad immigration history you should be able to handle it yourself. The most difficult part is gathering documents and a consultant can't do that for you.

2. Is there a comprehensive checklist anywhere of all of the documents and papers needed?
No. Everybody's situation is different due to how you meet the financial, accommodation and relationship requirements so there is no definitive list. Do a forum search for document checklists to get an idea.

3. Is there any government website that provides such a list?
No. As above.

4. I have not heard about the biometric check here in Hong Kong?
Everyone submits biometrics which are fingerprints and a photo. When you complete the online application and pay you will be prompted to book a biometrics appointment.

5. I was told my wife will need an English test as part of the application process, is that so?
Yes.

6. Do we need to have our own property in the UK before we complete the application, or just an address of where we are living?
No but you need to have adequate accommodation set up before she arrives. Staying with friends or family is acceptable as long as there is no overcrowding.

7. If we aim to live in the UK from July 2016, the completed visa should be applicable from when? I am thinking whether of not to head to the UK a month earlier or not?
You can apply no sooner than 3 months before you intend to travel. Depending on how quickly applications are being processed it should be either the date you indicated or if that date has passed it will be the date the decision was made. Her passport will be issued with a vignette which is gives her 30 days to enter the UK. Once she arrives she will have 10 days to retrieve her biometric resident permit from a designated post office. See the sticky above for more information.

know many have successfully been through the same process so your advice is helpful.

Thanks
Read through FM 1.7 to understand the options for meeting the financial requirement:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploa...pendix_FM_Annex_1_7_Financial_Requirement.pdf

Other info:

https://www.gov.uk/join-family-in-uk

You must also pay the NHS Surcharge of £600 before you apply:
https://www.gov.uk/healthcare-immigration-application/pay
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Spouse VIsa English Test

Someone told me today that if you have a degree you do not need the English test. My understanding was if your degree was in English this is true but otherwise you need the test?

How to know where to get the biometrics test done in the country where you live, Hong Kong for example.
 

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Did you read through the links that I provided above? The answer is there:

You can prove your knowledge of English by either:

passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening

having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree
I believe there is only 1 visa application centre which is where you would enrol your biometrics but you will be prompted when you fill out the online application and pay.

http://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/hongkong/applicationcentre.html#1
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi,

That is really useful information. We still have some time to go, but hard to plan to immigrate if you dont know if the visa will be ok. I am guessing no problem, but still searching for checklist.

After applying online is it you submit all documents to the VSA in Hong Kong, we dont get bank ststements anymore so need to fix that one.

Now checklist hunting...
 

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Hi,

I am a UK expat living in Hong Kong for many years. My wife is Hong Kong born Chinese. We have a young daughter who has a British passport.
Does your Hong Kong born wife holds British National (Overseas) status? If she does, I would suggest that she should apply her UK spouse visa using her British National (Overseas) passport for the following reasons -

1) British National (Overseas) passport holders are treated as Commonwealth citizen, which means that your wife would be able to register to vote in UK elections. Being on the electoral roll means that she can build up her credit history in the UK.

2) When your wife wishes to become a British Citizen, she can gain citizenship via registration using form B(OTA) which is cheaper than naturalisation.
 

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Does your Hong Kong born wife holds British National (Overseas) status? If she does, I would suggest that she should apply her UK spouse visa using her British National (Overseas) passport for the following reasons -

1) British National (Overseas) passport holders are treated as Commonwealth citizen, which means that your wife would be able to register to vote in UK elections. Being on the electoral roll means that she can build up her credit history in the UK.

2) When your wife wishes to become a British Citizen, she can gain citizenship via registration using form B(OTA) which is cheaper than naturalisation
Hi HKG3, are you sure can use B(OTA) to apply British Citizenship,
my wife is in same situation, she got 4 years spouse visa from Jun-2013 to Jun-2017,
Does she need to have apply for ILR first and does she need to have life in UK test and B1 English before?
 

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Hi HKG3, are you sure can use B(OTA) to apply British Citizenship,
my wife is in same situation, she got 4 years spouse visa from Jun-2013 to Jun-2017,
Does she need to have apply for ILR first and does she need to have life in UK test and B1 English before?
I did use form B(OTA) when I applied for British Citizenship, however, I did not apply via the spouse visa route. In order to register as a British Citizen, one must have ILR for at lease a year and stayed in the UK for at lease 5 years.

From my very limited understanding of the spouse visa route, your wife would get ILR at the end of the 5 year and as a spouse of a British Citizen, she can apply for British Citizenship once she got ILR.

Using form B(OTA) is cheaper, but your wife will need to wait for a year after getting her ILR before applying for registration.

I am sorry that I cannot help you on the 'Life in the UK' and English requirement part of your question. I applied for British Citizenship before these were required.
 

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I did use form B(OTA) when I applied for British Citizenship, however, I did not apply via the spouse visa route. In order to register as a British Citizen, one must have ILR for at lease a year and stayed in the UK for at lease 5 years.

From my very limited understanding of the spouse visa route, your wife would get ILR at the end of the 5 year and as a spouse of a British Citizen, she can apply for British Citizenship once she got ILR.

Using form B(OTA) is cheaper, but your wife will need to wait for a year after getting her ILR before applying for registration.

I am sorry that I cannot help you on the 'Life in the UK' and English requirement part of your question. I applied for British Citizenship before these were required.
Thanks for that, i grant my Citizenship also seems to be like you , i got it 2011, i m via armed force route, but funny things , most of spouse visa is 2.5 years+2.5 years, However my wife spouse visa is 4 yrs, that's why i m still seeking some advice.
 

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Thanks for that, i grant my Citizenship also seems to be like you , i got it 2011, i m via armed force route, but funny things , most of spouse visa is 2.5 years+2.5 years, However my wife spouse visa is 4 yrs, that's why i m still seeking some advice.
You may wish to get in touch with the Gurkha Welfare Advice Centre for help.

https://www.gwt.org.uk/welfare-support-in-the-uk
 
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