Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I have previuosly posted our situation in another immigration forum. We are posting here to see if we can get any additional advice before seeking legal advice.

I am the US partner of a British Citizen and will hopefully be applying for an Unmarried Partner visa to allow us to settle in the UK. We have an unconventional financial situation and I feel we have exhausted almost all avenues to obtain info. We are hoping someone on this forum might be able to lend some advice!

It’s quite complicated so here’s a little background to explain the situation. Forgive me for the length; I hope it clearly explains the unusual circumstance.

We have been living together for 6 years in the US while my partner attended grad school. In May 2012, my partner’s mother became very ill and she returned to the UK to care for her. Unfortunately her mother passed away in September of 2012. My partner retuned to our home, in the US, in October of last year, finished her research and graduated with her PhD in May. We plan to settle in the UK and she has recently been given a great job opportunity there which will start November 11th of this year. Obviously I would like to join her as soon as possible. As she is just starting her career from being a grad student (poorly paid!) we do not satisfy the requirements of Cat A or Cat B, despite her new income being far above 18,600…I won’t begin a rant regarding the limitations of new income criteria!

Here is where our situation gets complicated. Our only option seems to be to apply under Cat D. My partner was her mother’s sole Executor and was granted probate over her mother’s estate in October 2012. She was able to transfer some of her mother’s savings into her account before returning to the US. Those that required more attention she left for her return post-graduation. For entry into the UK, as the partner of a British Citizen, we understand that we need to demonstrate savings of 62,500 pounds. She has this; however, some is in her personal UK current account and the rest is in savings/bonds/investments still listed under her mother’s name. The premium bonds her mother held are currently being transferred to my partner’s account after being held for 12 months, as is allowed by NS&I, and NS&I are sending a statement to confirm that the bonds have been held at the same level for the past 12 months. Once this is in her account we are just slightly under the required savings. Upon return to the UK she can immediately transfer additional funds from another savings account, formerly her mothers, to satisfy the 62,500 requirement.

The question we have. For the accounts that have been held in her mother’s name, would the official copy of the Grant of Probate, issued by the High Court in October 2012, combined with an official death certificate, issued in Sept 2012, suffice as evidence of ownership/control? We feel this implies control over the Estate and hence the savings but we are unclear about the legality of the term “ownership”. Does is seem feasible that the Grant of Probate would infer ownership? We have no idea who to ask about this. We are currently being referred to an immigration solicitor but if someone is able to lend comment we would much appreciate it!

In addition, with regards to housing, my partner has been responsible for payment of council tax and utilities for her mother’s former property since she passed away. This house was where my partner was raised and is listed as her permanent residence (most of her belongings are still kept there) and is used for all of her UK mailings. The house is large and would only be occupied by myself and my partner, no concerns regarding overcrowding. The council tax was transferred to my partners name and was waived for the first 6 months. It has since been discounted as “unoccupied furnished”. There is no mortgage on the property; however, the deed is still under her mother’s name. What evidence would you suggest in order to satisfy MAA6 and MAA14, with regards to permission to live in and suitability of the accommodation, as we obviously can’t obtain the permission from the named owner? She plans to contact the building society where there deed is maintained and the Land Registry once she is back in the UK but we are not clear about the time-line for this transfer process. Any advice/comments?

Thank you for reading about our situation! I understand that it is rather lengthy! With my partner returning to her mother’s home for the first time since her passing, I feel awful that she will be doing it alone. We are hoping that we won’t need to wait 6 months once she starts work to satisfy Cat A.

Thanks again for reading and any advice given!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sorry, just realized I had posted a previous query at the beginning of Oct. The current thread has a few new developments. Cheers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,103 Posts
It's not as complicated as you make out. Too much reading online is a dangerous thing!
First about your partner's late mother's estate. Once probate is granted and confirms your partner's entitlement, that is sufficient proof and the savings don't have to be in the partner's account for 6 months, once the bank unfreezes the account and allows investment to be transferred to your partner. In my experience, provided you go through the bank and other financial institution's bereavement section, it should be done quite speedily and sympathetically. Official copy (that's all you get; original is kept by the court) should be submitted. Try it get several copies of probate.
About housing, if there's time to transfer the title to your partner, you should do so. It shouldn't require a solicitor and no stamp duty is payable but you should check on it. Then it should be straightforward to submit evidence of suitable accommodation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for reading, Joppa! We really appreciate it.

We probably are looking into this in too much detail. My partner has been pulling apart all of the documents on the UKBA website and looking for additional info for quite a while now. We couldn't find any information regarding the legal ownership of the savings while they are still in the deceased person's name. My partner has had the official copies of Probate since October 2012 (single page, listing my partner as executor and her UK address, with the impressed seal of the court). We have 5 left and intend to include one in our application along with the certified death certificate.

Her mother's savings held as premium bonds are already in the process of being transferred. She kept them with NS&I for 12 months to continue earning potential. They are being transferred directly to her bank account. Her account will be 4K short once this happens. Once she is in the UK she can immediately transfer the necessary amount from an ISA, also currently held in her mother's name. Our worry was that the ECO would a) feel that the savings had not been under the control of my partner for 6 months or b) not accept the Grant of Probate and death cert. as proof of the source of savings.

All of the money will be transferred to my partners current account which already has held a minimum balance of 27K over the past 12+ months. This money is from savings made prior to her commencing grad school (6yrs ago) and we are not sure how to evidence this or if this is even necessary.

Are we making this too complicated? We want to submit a strong application and get approved first time. If we are refused we will wait 6 months for my partner to establish her new job/accrue pay slips and reapply under cat A. If we do need to go this route I would probably head over to the UK on a visitor visa for a few months prior to the application. A refusal may complicate this. Also, we have been told (albeit online) that if my partner is in the UK for 6 months we will no longer qualify for the Unmarried Partner visa and our only route would be spousal or fiance. We have tried to find this information on the UKBA website but have come up with nothing. It seems that if we can justify the time apart (no more than 6 mo and work is a valid reason) and evidence that we have remained in contact, we should still qualify.

Again, thanks for your input. And sorry for any over complication!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,103 Posts
Don't read too much online. Just here.
Home Office allows inheritance as allowable for financial requirement and 6-month wait period is waved.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Joppa!

We had read in the UKBA rules that savings from sources such as bonds and investments which are transferred within the period of 6 months prior to the date of application can be included, as long as they have been owned for at least 6 months are in the relevant account at the time of application. Great to hear that inherited transfers are included.

To clarify, do you feel that the Grant of Probate and Death Certificate are sufficient for proof of ownership?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,103 Posts
Plus transfer record into your account. What the guidance says is a legacy that has been paid can contribute to savings. I am arguing from silence that since there is no stipulation of a six-month wait period, I am assuming it's not a requirement when it comes to a legacy.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top