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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK take it easy on me, I new here, so probably some really silly questions

have meet a fantastic woman who is a US citizen, I will be flying over to see here next month for a week, that's fine as it will just effectively be a holiday with no visas required.

But if that goes well she will come over to the UK for an extended stay, its far to early to be talking about marrage so what sort of visa will she need
 

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Just her passport, provided she doesn't say anything about having boyfriend/fiance in UK. Just the usual requirements, such as return ticket, accommodation, itinerary, enough money to support herself etc. She will be allowed in for up to 6 months, but it's best not to have a plan to stay that long, as burden of proof abount funds etc will be higher. If she says she is coming for a few weeks, with (changeable) return ticket, her passport will still be stamped with a 6-month stay.
 

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Well I guess she goes back to see her family for a week or two and then comes back again
I think the UK is like the US in this respect. They do not seem to have specific guidelines regulating how much time a person must spend away before re-entering on a new 6 month visitor stamp. It sounds like it is completely up to the discretion of the immigration officer. If they believe that someone is abusing the system, and is basically living in the UK, they can at any point refuse entry.

I have no idea if there would be a ban of any kind if she were refused re-entry. But I know I have seen this issue arise on those UK Border Agency television programs. So they do scrutinize in order to try to stop people doing... basically what you are talking about doing. It is certainly a risk.

Remaining solidly on the right side of the immigration authorities is a good idea if there is the chance that she will be applying for a spousal visa later. It would be best to not have anything questionable in her passport, which they will definitely be looking at.

Good luck,
Elizabeth
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think the UK is like the US in this respect. They do not seem to have specific guidelines regulating how much time a person must spend away before re-entering on a new 6 month visitor stamp. It sounds like it is completely up to the discretion of the immigration officer. If they believe that someone is abusing the system, and is basically living in the UK, they can at any point refuse entry.

I have no idea if there would be a ban of any kind if she were refused re-entry. But I know I have seen this issue arise on those UK Border Agency television programs. So they do scrutinize in order to try to stop people doing... basically what you are talking about doing. It is certainly a risk.

Remaining solidly on the right side of the immigration authorities is a good idea if there is the chance that she will be applying for a spousal visa later. It would be best to not have anything questionable in her passport, which they will definitely be looking at.

Good luck,
Elizabeth
Thats not good, not exactly a long time to make those sort of decisions. Well I suppose 6 months living together would give us a fair idea, then if we want to continue will look at the fiance route
 

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Between the 6 months as a visitor and the 6 months allowed on a fiance visa, it would give you a year. I find that a little fast, but a lot of people marry within a year.

Is there any chance she might be interested in studying in the UK? I have no idea of your ages or educational background, but undertaking a masters degree will give her a 1 year student visa, and once she graduates she can switch to a 2 year post study work visa.

There is also the student visitor visa for those on shorter courses (less than 6 months).

Other than the tier 2 work visa route, which is difficult unless she has a skill in high demand in the UK, I can't think of any other routes that would minimize your risk of running afoul of the immigration folks.

I'd say to look at the UKBA website and see if anything else pops out at you as possibly applicable. After all, you know the specific circumstances better than I can possibly guess.

I may well be overly cautious, and I'm sure plenty of people manage to use the visitor regulations to spend a lot of time in the UK, but it is all about how much risk you are willing to take. In my case, being allowed to live in the UK permanently is absolutely vital, since I don't fancy being separated from my soon to be husband. Therefore, I'm not willing to take any risk whatsoever...

Best of luck,
Elizabeth
 

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A year does seem a bit quick, will look a the student visa idea, thanks for your help
Remember, the financial requirements for a student visa are quite strict and your friend has to show she can pay the high tuition fee (£8000 to £10000 for overseas student per year; often more for Masters) plus all living expenses. If she says to the British consulate that she will be living with you (i.e. you are responsible for her upkeep), alarm bell will ring and they will begin to suspect she is trying to live in UK with you long term, using student status as a cover. So she must make it clear she is able to pay all her expenses herself (and show evidence for it, such as bank statement).
 

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Joppa raises a good point, and I should elaborate a bit about the good and bad of a student visa.

I've had no problems with living with my fiance while here on a student visa... though I did meet him after I arrived and moved in several months later, so my visa application was unaffected by these developments. However, when I applied, I was NOT required to tell them where I would be living permanently. I did not have a lease signed, so my university advised me to simply tell them where I had temporary accommodation (I had a bed & breakfast booked for my first couple of weeks here) and to just explain that I would be looking for a flat when I arrived.

Obviously, if she had previously stayed with you, it might not be a problem as long as you are careful to not mention a romantic relationship. The fact that she has a friend who will let her stay with them isn't a problem, but it might be a good idea for her to agree to pay you rent (I contribute to the household expenses (mortgage/utility bills/etc) by paying "rent" to my fiance, which is less complicated than trying to split bills when we only have a joint savings account). At the moment, since I am a student, I pay him out of the loan money/savings that I had for living expenses during my studies, just like when I was paying a landlord for my own flat.

£10,000 a year for tuition is about right. I am doing a masters in history and I paid about that for my one year course. Undergrads may pay a bit less, and some technical/science/medicine/law courses can be significantly more. Some universities are also more expensive (I looked at St Andrews but just couldn't afford it, so I went to the University of Edinburgh instead) but nothing is really less than about £9,000 for a masters. They like to see around £7,000 extra in either savings or loans for living expenses.

US student loans, at least for post grad students, will give her as much as she asks for, but I will warn you that the interest rates are highly unfavorable right now (I hate my loans), and the system is no where near as flexible or reasonable as the British system appears to be. If she takes more loans than it turns out she needed, ie there is a chunk of money left over at the end, she can pay it back as a lump sum payment to reduce the loan capital and thus reduce her payments once they go into repayment. I urge caution with US loans, read and re-read every document they send to you along the way, my loans sneaked a .7% interest increase into mine, and I failed to see the change. So I wound up with an ever worse rate than I thought. Caveat emptor.

If you have any more questions, or if your girlfriend does, please don't hesitate to ask!

Best wishes,
Elizabeth
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to everyone, great advice, we are still early in our relationship, but I'm sure she will be here soonner or latter
 

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good luck with it

OK take it easy on me, I new here, so probably some really silly questions

have meet a fantastic woman who is a US citizen, I will be flying over to see here next month for a week, that's fine as it will just effectively be a holiday with no visas required.

But if that goes well she will come over to the UK for an extended stay, its far to early to be talking about marrage so what sort of visa will she need
hey good luck with you new young lady friend in the uk....there's nothing like a good story...my name is bebs, i am stuck here in the middle east Sharjah...do you know anyone else that is in this emirate...
 

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i have been in Sharjah since May this year, does anyone else know what to do here...its not exactly dubai....
 

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i have been in Sharjah since May this year, does anyone else know what to do here...its not exactly dubai....
Hi Bebs

Wouldnt you be better posting this on the Dubai forum page ? ( ... maybe you have already - Ill take a look).

Sue :plane:
 

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hey sue

hope you are ok, yes your right, i will have a go at it later...i just cannot find any expats to join for a chat...coffee...anything really...
 

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hey sue

hope you are ok, yes your right, i will have a go at it later...i just cannot find any expats to join for a chat...coffee...anything really...
Hi Bebs ... which is why I think the Dubai forum may be better for you - that is where the expats already in Dubai and surrounding areas will be posting ..... I know its a pretty busy part of the forum so Im sure you will get some replies and maybe even some suggestions on where to meet people etc.

Take it easy and take care

Sue :plane:
 
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