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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, so I've gotten myself in a bit of a predicament and I guess this would be the most appropriate forum to try find some answers.

I originally moved to London back in 2006 on a work/tourist visa from South Africa. By June 2008 my French girlfriend and I were married and enjoying life. After a few years, the big city lifestyle took a toll on my wife and she became withdrawn and depressed, so we decided to head over to France for a bit, as a bit of a test-run back in July 2012.

A lot of things happened and we stayed longer than expected and we've both decided that France isn't for us and want to move back to London. However, it's October 2013 now and it's been approximately 16 months that we've been away.

With my UK Spouse Visa (and passport) expiring next year, we really want to get situated as soon as possible, but we're afraid that my application for ILR will be rejected when we return in November.

Has anyone had a similar problem? Or perhaps some suggestions?

Cheers
 

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Hi, so I've gotten myself in a bit of a predicament and I guess this would be the most appropriate forum to try find some answers.

I originally moved to London back in 2006 on a work/tourist visa from South Africa. By June 2008 my French girlfriend and I were married and enjoying life. After a few years, the big city lifestyle took a toll on my wife and she became withdrawn and depressed, so we decided to head over to France for a bit, as a bit of a test-run back in July 2012.

A lot of things happened and we stayed longer than expected and we've both decided that France isn't for us and want to move back to London. However, it's October 2013 now and it's been approximately 16 months that we've been away.

With my UK Spouse Visa (and passport) expiring next year, we really want to get situated as soon as possible, but we're afraid that my application for ILR will be rejected when we return in November.

Has anyone had a similar problem? Or perhaps some suggestions?

Cheers
It's extremely unlikely that you'd be successful if you applied for ILR on your return. There is no set time that you can be out of the UK on a spouse visa but as your time away has been excessive and not related to work it's unlikely they would overlook that. Additionally, before you can apply you must pass the Life in the UK test and as a South African from 28 October 2013 you will have to have a speaking and listening qualification in English at B1 CEFR or higher.

What you can do is basically apply to extend your leave as a spouse with FLR (M)-further leave to remain as a spouse and once you have actually lived in the UK for 2 years, then you can apply or ILR. That is assuming your spouse visa was granted before 9 July 2012.

It's odd that you applied for a spouse visa rather than go the EEA route as presumably your wife was in the UK exercising her treaty rights.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for the reply Nyclon. I did say UK Spouse Visa but it's actually a Residence Card of a Family Member of an EEA National, now that I've looked at it, and it was granted 10 August 2009. I was really hoping to get the visas over and done with, but if it comes down to it, I guess an extension is the way to go.
 

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Thanks for the reply Nyclon. I did say UK Spouse Visa but it's actually a Residence Card of a Family Member of an EEA National, now that I've looked at it, and it was granted 10 August 2009. I was really hoping to get the visas over and done with, but if it comes down to it, I guess an extension is the way to go.
I don't know for sure but I don't think and extension is going to be an option for you. You should start a new thread as the EEA requirements are different. I would think that as soon as your wife was no longer exercising her treaty rights your residence card would be invalid and you'd be starting over from the beginning rather than eligible for an extension. There are others who are more knowledgeable about this which is why you should start a thread referencing your EEA status.
 
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