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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, I initially posted this over in the NZ forum but was told it was probably more suitable here.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I've been here many times in the past and everyone's been a great help. I'm going to waffle a bit at the start so if you want to get straight to my point, I'll bold where my real query begins.

I apologise in advance that my post isn't as serious as other peoples. I know many people come here who are in distress and at their wits end because there family have been separated. i've been there, only a few years ago and it was a dark time in my life. So it may sound a little selfish that after getting my family together finally and living together in the UK that we're considering moving to NZ. I understand how grateful many people would be just to be together as a family, and I am finally - but we're looking at what we really want in our future and where we want to live permanently as a family.

My wife is American, I'm British, we spent a year in New Zealand (purely to spend time together because of VISA issues) and my daughter was born in NZ (she has dual UK/US citizenship). It has a very special place in our hearts. We returned after our year working holiday VISA only to hit issues with VISAs (I spent a year apart from my wife and daughter while they were in the US and I worked hard to obtain my wife a Spousal VISA)

We both would really like to go back to New Zealand and start a life there, however my wife is 2 years into her 2.5 year UK spousal VISA. I'd love her to get residency. It'd be great for her to be legally allowed to visit, live etc here should we decide to ever come back or backtrack (should anything go wrong with our move). The uncertainty of living together has always been a cloud over our relationship (I currently don't have any right to live in the US either).

With all respect to the UK and its citizens, it's not where we ideally want to spend our lives. Our dream is to go back to New Zealand and live as a family there. We fell in love with the country and new "this is our future home". However, I don't want to jeopardise the VISA I've managed to obtain for my wife and our ability to actually live together as a family. We've undergone hardships simply living together in the past and at the end of the day that's my number 1 priority. I'm really just after advice from similar individuals who maybe underwent the same experience.

So I guess I have two MAIN questions

1. What is the earliest my wife can obtain permanent citizenship for the UK? Would it be after 5 years of her first arriving on the spousal VISA? Or is there further time on top of that?

2. After getting permanent residency, how would a move abroad to NZ affect that? I know permanent residency is usually granted to people "seeking to remain permanently in the UK' - hence the name, so would emigrating to NZ lead to the residency being revoked? Surely it's expected that families move, relocate to other nations etc.

So in summary, we have our hearts set on living our lives in New Zealand, but for security and a nice safety net, I'd like to get my wife the right to stay in the UK (which I feel she's entitled to as the wife and mother of UK citizens). After all, NZ may not work out and we may be forced to return.

Thanks, sorry to waffle and I appreciate everyone's time. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

ps. please ignore my header saying I'm currently in US. That is wrong and I don't know how to change it :confused:
 

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It's important to separate the concept of permanent residency (Indefinite Leave to Remain or "ILR") and citizenship. ILR is a prerequisite to naturalise as a British citizen.

1. 5 years of continuous residence in the UK, plus time for the citizenship application and ceremony

2. ILR can be revoked if she leaves the UK for more than two years. You really can't justify moving to another country whilst holding ILR in the UK; ILR is granted with the stipulation that the holder intends to maintain a permanent home in the UK. She really needs to wait out her 5 years in the UK under a spouse visa (it's just "visa", "VISA" is a credit card) in order to become a British citizen if she wants to secure her right to move back to the UK without restriction.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for clarifying Clever-Octopus, and apologies for the visa/VISA mix up. :eek:

So after spending 5 years (2.5 year spousal visa + 2.5 year extension) she can apply for Citizenship? Or does she have to undergo a period of ILR first?

We don't intend to leave the UK unless/until she gets Citizenship. Moving to NZ is a luxury that is our dream goal, being together as a family is the priority.
 

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ILR is a requirement to naturalise as a British citizen. So after 5 years (2.5+2.5) she can apply for ILR, then immediately after being granted ILR and taking the Life in the UK test (this can be done at any point), she can apply for citizenship
 
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