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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, thanks ahead of time for helping out.

This is my situation, firstly I know that all these questions have probably been answered but the search for this site isn't prime and rather than piece bits and pieces together and assume I've got the right answer I decided to just put the whole situation out there.

So, 4 years ago I met a lovely woman via friends (I grew up in DC and happened to meet loads of people from across the world, unfortunately I no longer have the emails and so on I was using though with some effort may be able to get some emails and so on that was exchanged), and due to our religious perspectives clicked really well. I am American, she is British. I do not have any close family and decided to study in europe 2 years ago, I have visited her twice. I'm currently on my second visit, on a visitors visa and decided to approach her family for marriage. They not only accepted but insisted it was done immediately. This was a religious ceremony, and not a legal one. The complication is that the wedding has two parts, the first is more an engagement, the second is more an actual wedding. They are saving the second part for when I'm here on a fiance visa or something. Anyways, the complication is that I am currently here as a visitor however they want us to get the legal marriage stat, it would be highly inconvenient and expensive for me to return to the US and reside there for some undisclosed amount of time while awaiting a fiance visa, so are there any alternatives? Additionally, she is a student, and her family is quite poor, so how could I be sponsored? At the moment I am a freelance web designer and developer, however Britain is not cheap so I doubt this would suffice unless I were able to find a web design studio to hire me (which is near impossible, especially since I can't legally search or apply while here on a visitors visa). What is the best plan of action for this, because I keep hearing a million and one different opinions I'd like the opinions of some experienced individuals. Additional information: she may also be pregnant, though we are not yet certain.

Thanks guys and gals
 

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Hey everyone, thanks ahead of time for helping out.

This is my situation, firstly I know that all these questions have probably been answered but the search for this site isn't prime and rather than piece bits and pieces together and assume I've got the right answer I decided to just put the whole situation out there.

So, 4 years ago I met a lovely woman via friends (I grew up in DC and happened to meet loads of people from across the world, unfortunately I no longer have the emails and so on I was using though with some effort may be able to get some emails and so on that was exchanged), and due to our religious perspectives clicked really well. I am American, she is British. I do not have any close family and decided to study in europe 2 years ago, I have visited her twice. I'm currently on my second visit, on a visitors visa and decided to approach her family for marriage. They not only accepted but insisted it was done immediately. This was a religious ceremony, and not a legal one. The complication is that the wedding has two parts, the first is more an engagement, the second is more an actual wedding. They are saving the second part for when I'm here on a fiance visa or something. Anyways, the complication is that I am currently here as a visitor however they want us to get the legal marriage stat, it would be highly inconvenient and expensive for me to return to the US and reside there for some undisclosed amount of time while awaiting a fiance visa, so are there any alternatives? Additionally, she is a student, and her family is quite poor, so how could I be sponsored? At the moment I am a freelance web designer and developer, however Britain is not cheap so I doubt this would suffice unless I were able to find a web design studio to hire me (which is near impossible, especially since I can't legally search or apply while here on a visitors visa). What is the best plan of action for this, because I keep hearing a million and one different opinions I'd like the opinions of some experienced individuals. Additional information: she may also be pregnant, though we are not yet certain.

Thanks guys and gals
I'm no expert but I'm 99% sure that you cannot switch a visitor visa to anything else. You'll have to go back to the US and apply for a Fiancée visa.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm no expert but I'm 99% sure that you cannot switch a visitor visa to anything else. You'll have to go back to the US and apply for a Fiancée visa.
Thanks, I was assuming that would have to be the case, it's the rest of the stuff im trying to figure out in more detail. Thank you for this!
 

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Pregnancy has no bearing on the application, so I have read.

Your sponsor, i.e. your wife to be has to earn a certain amount, rumour has it that it will be changing as of June to £25,700 before tax a year, but now I believe it is around £110 per week.

I'm not sure about the family sponsoring you. Someone will know though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Pregnancy has no bearing on the application, so I have read.

Your sponsor, i.e. your wife to be has to earn a certain amount, rumour has it that it will be changing as of June to £25,700 before tax a year, but now I believe it is around £110 per week.

I'm not sure about the family sponsoring you. Someone will know though.
Thanks, I really appreciate the information. She could easily earn £110 per week with a part time job, and I've paid the flat upfront for the length of my visa, that runs out in october as does the lease on the flat. Looks like she probably won't be earning until during or after june, just poor timing :/ any idea how long she should maintain that income for? And are there any set amounts that either of us should have in savings? If you or anyone else could answer this it'd be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the info :)
 

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You can't switch from a visitor visa to any other visa. Period. You have to apply for a fiancé visa from your normal place of residence which is the US. At the moment, your sponsor must have £111.45/week to support you after paying rent/mortgage and council tax. At the moment, you can be sponsored by your in-laws, but you need to make them aware that they will be held legally responsible for you financially. And you should be aware that all this is subject to change at any time. It's expected that sponsorship will be limited to the spouse and that the spouse will have to have a minimum salary of £18,000-25,700.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You can't switch from a visitor visa to any other visa. Period. You have to apply for a fiancé visa from your normal place of residence which is the US. At the moment, your sponsor must have £111.45/week to support you after paying rent/motgage and council tax. At the moment, you can be sponsored by you in-laws, but you need to make them aware that they will be held legally responsible for you financially. And you should be aware that all this is subject to change at any time. It's expected that sponsorship will be limited to the spouse and that the spouse will have to have a minimum salary of £18,000-25,700.
Is this the change in June mentioned above?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
also, if i were to have x amount of money in the bank would that limit the amount she would be required to have? And if so what would be the minimum of x? And since she is a student, if she had a good amount of savings would that be enough or would it have to be employment?
 

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Yes re the June rules, and it *might* be backwards-applied to everyone not on the final ILR settlement visa (we don't know this yet). Another downer is that you mention your partner might be pregnant - in which case the minimum salary she must earn is increased up to around £32000 a year for one child.

These rules have not yet been announced, but Theresa May (Minister for the Home Office) originally stated that they would be announced in June. Today's media report of immigration still at an all-time high will likely ensure the changes are brought in sooner rather than later.

We don't know exactly what changes will be implemented. One of the possibilities is that only the sponsoring partner's salary will be counted (not savings, migrant's salary or family sponsors). Again, we don't know if the government WILL go to this extent, but it's something to be aware of. Under 'current rules', a good amount of savings (to add up to that £111.45pw after mortgage/rent etc for six months as a minimum) would help.
 

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Thanks, I really appreciate the information. She could easily earn £110 per week with a part time job, and I've paid the flat upfront for the length of my visa, that runs out in october as does the lease on the flat. Looks like she probably won't be earning until during or after june, just poor timing :/ any idea how long she should maintain that income for? And are there any set amounts that either of us should have in savings? If you or anyone else could answer this it'd be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the info :)
No. There is no recommended amount for savings. Between your savings, your sponsor's savings and your sponsor's salary, there must be at least £111.45/week left after rent/mortgage and council tax.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, and it *might* be backwards-applied to everyone not on the final ILR settlement visa (we don't know this yet). Another downer is that you mention your partner might be pregnant - in which case the minimum salary she must earn is increased up to around £32000 a year for one child.

These rules have not yet been announced, but Theresa May (Minister for the Home Office) originally stated that they would be announced in June. Today's media report of immigration still at an all-time high will likely ensure the changes are brought in sooner rather than later.

We don't know exactly what changes will be implemented. One of the possibilities is that only the sponsoring partner's salary will be counted (not savings, migrant's salary or family sponsors). Again, we don't know if the government WILL go to this extent, but it's something to be aware of.
Thanks for the reply. This highly complicates everything, would i be able to just regularly visit on a visitors visa until she graduates and God willing begins earning that much of a salary? If so, how long would I have to be out of the country before returning?
 

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Thanks for the reply. This highly complicates everything, would i be able to just regularly visit on a visitors visa until she graduates and God willing begins earning that much of a salary? If so, how long would I have to be out of the country before returning?
I'd re-iterate first that the rules are *speculated* and we don't yet know what will be introduced. But it's a horrible situation to face when planning a future because the speculations have been leaked nevertheless and it's looking probable that something will be changed very soon. It might be worth having a backup plan of relocating to the US where you could work and be the sponsor until you're both more settled in your lives together (just in case). Is that a possibility?

A visitor visa allows you to visit for up to 6 months in any 12-month period (ie it would be frowned upon to visit for 6 months, go home for a month and then return for another 6 months). What you need to be able to do is convince the UKBA that you are here for a visit (ie have something ready to prove your return to the US - like return flights, work to go home to or something like that).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'd re-iterate first that the rules are *speculated* and we don't yet know what will be introduced. But it's a horrible situation to face when planning a future because the speculations have been leaked nevertheless and it's looking probable that something will be changed very soon. It might be worth having a backup plan of relocating to the US where you could work and be the sponsor until you're both more settled in your lives together (just in case). Is that a possibility?

A visitor visa allows you to visit for up to 6 months in any 12-month period (ie it would be frowned upon to visit for 6 months, go home for a month and then return for another 6 months). What you need to be able to do is convince the UKBA that you are here for a visit (ie have something ready to prove your return to the US - like return flights, work to go home to or something like that).
Yes it is quite horrible, unfortunately she has a great relationship with her family and simply going to uni 5 days a week is hard on her. She would not be very willing to go to the US especially since I have next to no family there.
 

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Thanks for the reply. This highly complicates everything, would i be able to just regularly visit on a visitors visa until she graduates and God willing begins earning that much of a salary? If so, how long would I have to be out of the country before returning?
You can generally spend 6 months (whether at one time or spread out)in the UK on a visitor's visa during a 12 month period. However, entering the UK on a visitor's visa for any length of time will always be at the immigration officer's discretion.
 

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Yes it is quite horrible, unfortunately she has a great relationship with her family and simply going to uni 5 days a week is hard on her. She would not be very willing to go to the US especially since I have next to no family there.
It might be worthwhile talking it over with her. It could mean taking a gamble on applying for the UK under the current rules in the hope that the new rules won't be applied to existing visa holders, but having in mind what you can do if the rules are applied to everyone not lucky enough to be on ILR. Easier said than done, I realise - so much easier said than done. My own personal suspicion is that the financial limit will be brought in, but it might well be that savings and sponsor contributions are still admissable in which case you may well be fine. I don't know any more than anyone else though - all guesswork at this point. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It might be worthwhile talking it over with her. It could mean taking a gamble on applying for the UK under the current rules in the hope that the new rules won't be applied to existing visa holders, but having in mind what you can do if the rules are applied to everyone not lucky enough to be on ILR. Easier said than done, I realise - so much easier said than done. My own personal suspicion is that the financial limit will be brought in, but it might well be that savings and sponsor contributions are still admissable in which case you may well be fine. I don't know any more than anyone else though - all guesswork at this point. :(
Is there any idea as to how long savings would have to last in that hypothetical situation? By that i mean if she has enough in her account to last us say 3 months by the standard that may be established then would that be acceptable? I'm just trying to get a feel here how it works, what is the current system for that?
 

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On savings as an only 'salary', I'm afraid that's something I don't know. Usually, the advice is that the savings contribute to any salary so as to leave that £111.45pw after housing costs have been deducted. You need to show that you'd have enough to live on for the full 6 months though.

The other common visa routes are work visas and student visas. My knowledge of these is absolutely minimal though so I've put links in to the UKBA site which will set out requirements for each. I believe a work visa can eventually lead to ILR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
On savings as an only 'salary', I'm afraid that's something I don't know. Usually, the advice is that the savings contribute to any salary so as to leave that £111.45pw after housing costs have been deducted. You need to show that you'd have enough to live on for the full 6 months though.

The other common visa routes are work visas and student visas. My knowledge of these is absolutely minimal though so I've put links in to the UKBA site which will set out requirements for each.
Thank you, I know you said your knowledge is absolutely minimal, and im sorry to keep hitting you guys with all these questions but maybe you or someone else will know this answer: when it comes to applying for university in the UK would I be able to apply from the UK and then leave to receive a student visa? I was studying in eastern europe for 2 years before and the way it worked there is you came on a tourist visa, had 90 days to remain and received your student visa in those 90 days, would it be similar here?
 
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