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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, I am a British national, living in Japan for the past 9 years. My fiance (soon to be wife and partner of 18 months) is Japanese.

I found out in the last week that I'm going to be starting a job back in the UK on January 13th of next year. Along with the madness of tying all my loose ends here and setting things up in the UK again, I have to start working visa things out for my fiance.

We have seen that if she returns to the UK on a fiance visa and then we marry then she needs to reapply for a change of visa (along with the high fee), so we plan to marry in the next 8 weeks before I return to the UK. She is also planning to take the speaking and listening TOEIC tests in January so she can apply as soon as possible.

I was thinking I would be fine with the financial requirements as the new job will easily cover that, but then I was reading FM 1.7 and read that my salary over the past 12 months must exceed £18,600. Currently, if I go back 12 months my salary would only reach £17,500. Am I right in thinking payslips from my partner do not count towards this 2nd requirement?

If this is right, she might have to wait a month or two until I'm into my new job and can push the past 12 months' income over £18,600.

Also, I would plan to get my payslips translated by a translation company here in Japan. FM 1.7 seems to suggest that income statements will be sufficient evidence in order to reach the financial requirement, but elsewhere I've seen people mention bank statements (which would of course only include post-tax income) too. Would I need a fully translated copy of my bankbook over the past 12 months, or will translated payslips suffice? Would I need the bankbook along with a letter from my bank here in Japan?

And I don't think I can get anything like a P60 as I've not been in the UK for 9 1/2 years.

There is so much to think about before I go, and this is going to be a huge part of it. I'm trying to read as much as I can in the time I have, but would appreciate any thoughts from people.
 

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About the financial requirement. If your current income in Japan is only £17,500, you don't meet that part of the requirement, and you are right, only your income counts. You cannot combine part of your existing income with your projected income through your new job in UK to make up £18,600. The only way is to wait 6 months into your new job and sponsor your partner's visa at that stage. If there is a way you can increase your current income by doing overtime or starting a second job, that will satisfy the first part of the requirement and you can sponsor her visa at the time of returning to UK. I realise that because of Japanese visa regulations, it may not be possible for you to take up a second job. Remember that bonus payment can be added to your basic pay to make £18,600. If your income during the past 6 months is annualised £18,600 (e.g. because you had a pay increase), you will meet the requirement under Cat A.

As for translation, everything you submit that's not in English needs to be professionally translated. You need translated bank statement in addition to your payslips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the excellent advice, which you always seem to have for everyone :)

For the past 6 months I have been working a second part-time job. Pay varies each month, but if it's what I'm expecting then, agonizingly, it would total £18,460 gross.

For the part-time job I've had payslips but the salary has been in in cash so nothing would be on the bank statement - would that be fine?

Or as an alternative, could my wife come over for 6 months as a visitor which I don't believe she needs any visa for, being Japanese (not working or anything, with me giving her a supporting letter of invitation, showing my salary etc and her a return ticket) in April? Then when her 6 months are up she'd go back to Japan and apply for her actual spouse visa.
 

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Cash payment needs to be banked in order to reflect the full before-tax amount. If you bank the full amount, the full pre-tax amount will count, but if you only bank part of your pay, only post-tax amount will be considered.
Can you boost your pay in the remaining months to meet £18,600? Can you get a leaving present - taishokuteate or gratuities?

Yes, your wife can stay as visitor while you meet the income requirement in your new job and return home to apply for her spouse visa.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In fact, scratch that post above and read this one. I modified it but not within the 15-minute time limit.

Thanks for the excellent advice, which you always seem to have for everyone :)

I'm paid according to how many days I work in my main job, which varies from month to month. In addition, I have taken on an extra job since July. I am guessing then that this would count as non-salaried employment, but if it's what I'm expecting then, agonizingly, it would total £18,460 gross. I'll see if I can negotiate a leaving bonus!

But then again, she would need to apply before I left my current job to get my income for a Cat A visa, wouldn't she? Which she couldn't do as her language tests are scheduled for January.

For this new additional job I've had payslips but the salary has been in in cash so nothing would be on the bank statement - would that be fine?

Or as an alternative, could my wife come over for 6 months as a visitor which I don't believe she needs any visa for, being Japanese (not working or anything, with me giving her a supporting letter of invitation, showing my salary etc and her a return ticket) in April? Then when her 6 months are up she'd go back to Japan and apply for her actual spouse visa. If that's the case, does she have to stay in Japan for 6 months before coming back to the UK on a spouse visa (bearing in mind as a Japanese national she didn't need an initial visitor visa)?

You cannot combine part of your existing income with your projected income through your new job in UK to make up £18,600
I wouldn't use projected income - only my first couple of months' payslips from the new job in England (come February or March), combined with the payslips and bank statements from my current job(s) in Japan. Would that be acceptable?
 

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Last part first, no, as you can't combine incomes from jobs in Japan and UK. Returning to UK puts a clear blue water in your work history and you have to keep the two separate.

There is a stipulation that your final pay slip and corresponding bank statement must be dated within 28 days of visa application date - when you apply online. And she needs her English test pass when she applies.

With your cash-in-hand job, if part of the pay is banked, only the actual amount banked (post-tax) will be considered. If none is banked, none will count.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gotcha - thanks for that. So it's not looking so good on her returning right away on a spouse visa :(

How about the visitor thing (enter as a visitor for 6 months - should be fine and she won't need any visa), and then return to Japan, sort out paperwork and right away apply for a spouse visa, for a return as soon as it's accepted?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
One more tiny question: when applying for a spouse visa, do they take into account how long you've been married (i.e. would they frown upon a visa application very soon after a wedding date)?
 

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No problems about the wedding/application date, as long as you satisfy the other requirements of the application (especially the financials)... lots of couples do it this way (get married then lodge the application)... whilst my husband and I went the Fiancée route, we'd only known each other <12 months and had only barely been engaged for 6 when we applied last year, they were fine with that.

The fact that you've been together for >1 year (and have proof to support this claim, ne?) is a good point in your favour... if you'd only just met and gotten married and applied, then I'd tend to think that the Home Office in all of its wisdom (?) would tend to think "sham"/marriage of convenience, but given your history, you're fine.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and good luck to you both! I hope that you have a happy life together!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
We'd have a LINE chat history going as far back as we met, as well as dated photos of us (and we've both changed in a year so it'd show we've been together for a while).

Thanks for the congrats. The possible silver lining that she might be able to do the visitor visa and then go back and as soon as she gets her spouse visa application (filed in Japan) accepted she could return, without having to wait another 6 months, is a huge boost.

We'll have a happy life together, I'm sure. She's part of the reason I got off my behind and am going to be starting a new career with a big company back home instead of just plodding along here :)
 

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Konyaku omedeto gozaimasu. Congratulations on your engagement.
There have been a few UK/Japanese couples who have successfully applied for visa recently, and I'm sure they will chip in. If you do a search, you can read about their experience, including tiniest details about translation, documents to prepare in Japan and many other points, as wells as the ins and outs of applying in Japan through visa centre in Tokyo or Osaka.
Ganbatte kudasai. Seiko wo inotteimasu. Best of luck. Praying for success.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks - I'll do that, and ask which one the wife would prefer dealing with (she lives in Okinawa, and so Osaka is a 2-hour flight away and Tokyo 3-hours - not ideal if multiple trips are needed). I'm calming down a little now, finding threads and subscribing to them all to read later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well I'm now in the UK, and counting down the days until my (now) wife comes over in April as a Family Visitor. She'll stay 5 1/2 months before going back to Japan and applying for the spouse visa as soon as she lands.

Reading up on what other folks have been doing, and have also started putting together my spouse's visa application pack. Things like, in no particular order:
Engagement ring & wedding ring receipts
Wedding certificate (submitted to the British Consulate in Osaka for official translation
Photos from wedding (picking up certificate at the city hall), engagement, and photos through our relationship
Council tax & utility statements
My work contract including salary information
Photocopy of my passport bio page
Apartment contract
Skype call log showing calls each day, plus screenshots of LINE chat logs

And as my work progresses, payslips and monthly statements will be in there too. Will be posting more as this goes on, but right now I'm looking at an October visa application.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ah OK. I wasn't aware of that. Thanks for the info; it'll make the pack I'm putting together that little bit smaller!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just printing out my VAF4W (I know it's way in advance but like to get things ready way in advance) and a couple of other things for reference.

6 months of pay slips and bank statements will be needed as part of the financial requirement. Will I be ok if I include 7 or 8 months, just to make sure everything is covered? Probably a silly question but just want to be sure.

Also, I'll include an electoral roll copy as well as a council tax statement. Should utility statements be included too for completeness?
 

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Just printing out my VAF4W (I know it's way in advance but like to get things ready way in advance) and a couple of other things for reference.

6 months of pay slips and bank statements will be needed as part of the financial requirement. Will I be ok if I include 7 or 8 months, just to make sure everything is covered? Probably a silly question but just want to be sure.
No. Only include what you need to meet the requirement. Extra pay slips and bank statements could cause confusion. They could instead think that you meant to apply under Category B and in fact are missing statements. Or they could look at the 6 oldest statements instead of the 6 newest.

Also, I'll include an electoral roll copy as well as a council tax statement. Should utility statements be included too for completeness?
You really only need the council tax bill as it's adequate proof that you live where you live.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Excellent. Thank you. and it's 6 months prior to the date of online application completion, or the date that the documents will be submitted and my wife will have her biometrics taken in Osaka?

Thanks to people as always for their guidance :)
 

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Prior to online application, not when you go to biometrics and hand over documents to VFS at Osaka.
 
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