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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I'm a british citizen, I was born here. I have since met an aussie girl who lives in the UK and has done now for 4 1/2 years. The problem is that she doesn't like her current position and is looking to move, the only problem is she is tied to her employee for the visa. She has had 2 job offers this year but both fell through becasue they didn't want to go through the sponsorship angle.

What can we do? We have known each other since Aug 2008 and have effectively been living together since January 2009. We still have separate places but don't spend any nights apart. To make matters more complicated we plan to move over to Oz in late 2010 as I've just received my highly skilled.

Is there anyway we can get a partner visa for her and if so what do we need to do?

Thanks
 

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Hi,
I'm a british citizen, I was born here. I have since met an aussie girl who lives in the UK and has done now for 4 1/2 years. The problem is that she doesn't like her current position and is looking to move, the only problem is she is tied to her employee for the visa. She has had 2 job offers this year but both fell through becasue they didn't want to go through the sponsorship angle.

What can we do? We have known each other since Aug 2008 and have effectively been living together since January 2009. We still have separate places but don't spend any nights apart. To make matters more complicated we plan to move over to Oz in late 2010 as I've just received my highly skilled.

Is there anyway we can get a partner visa for her and if so what do we need to do?
If your girlfriend has lived on work visa for 4 1/2 years, then she should be eligible to apply for ILR (indefinite leave to remain) within 6 months (4 years 11 months from when first entering UK). After gaining her settled status, she can do what she likes, and can stay in UK indefinitely, to take up any job without sponsorship, to live with you as unmarried partner or get married without further need to change her visa status. It's the same if she has been on ancestry visa - ILR after 5 years. This would be a much better move than applying for a change in visa status (switching) to an unmarried partner now. Remember there is a fee of £820 for ILR (plus £200 for same-day application), and £640 for naturalisation (plus £80 for citizenship ceremony). As part of her application for ILR, she will have to pass 'Life in Britain' test.
ILR remains valid for up to 2 years while she lives outside UK. If you both move to Australia, unless she returns to UK within 2 years with the intention of resuming her permanent residence, ILR lapses and she will become subject to immigration rules again with visa etc (she cannot just nip back to UK on a short holiday and reset the two-year clock). Alternative is to apply for British citizenship, but she will then need to live in UK for at least one more year after being granted ILR, and wait for her naturalisation to go through (maybe 6 months). If she gets married, she can apply for naturalisation as soon as she gets ILR.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Joppa,

when she first came over she was on a working holiday which I think doesn't count towards this status. Its unfortuate that she did this so I'm not sure she can do that.
 

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Hi Joppa,
when she first came over she was on a working holiday which I think doesn't count towards this status. Its unfortuate that she did this so I'm not sure she can do that.
You are right there :(
So if she wants to stay in UK longer, she will either have to extend her visa under PBS (Tier 2) - for which she needs sponsorship, as noted, or apply as unmarried partner. She can apply in-country as she has a long-stay visa here. It has very detailed requirements, and she will have to submit evidence of a long, steady relationship with the intention of living together permanently, joint financial responsibility, tenancy in joint names, joint bank account and so on. One sticking point is that you need to be living together under the same roof for 2 years at the time of application. So I'm not sure she will meet all the requirements. Once granted, it's only valid for 2 years, and towards the end of the period she can then apply for ILR, provided the relationship is still subsisting and she intends to make UK her home. If you are both to leave for Australia during this probationary period, she won't be able to apply for ILR as she will be out of the country and no longer living here. If she then intends to return to UK, she will have to make a fresh application for a partner visa. The same applies if she returns to Australia at the expiry of her current visa to await your arrival, and then applies to return to UK as your partner.
 
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