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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I moved to Israel to be with my girlfriend in 2006. We lived together until 2008 when we got married in October. I own a property in the UK which I let when I left England and now we're on the verge of buying another larger property as my wife and I want to move back to the UK.

I run my own business (UK registered) and have paid UK taxes since 2006. I intend to employ my wife when we move. We have no problem at all proving that we do not need support from the state owing to years' worth of savings and my earnings.

We are travelling together to the UK next week to check out our shortlist of houses. When we get back a week later I want to begin the visa process. We want to move in early September.

I'd really appreciate it if you guys could help with my questions:

1. Am I right in assuming that my wife *cannot* come to England on a tourist visa and then apply for the spouse visa straightaway?

2. We are just a few months off being married for four years which would mean instant ILR. Is there another visa we could apply to tide us over until four years have passed? The alternative is proving we have lived together since 2006 which would involve an enormous amount of translation work from a notary as the docs are in Hebrew. My thought here is to cut short the time until she can apply for passport/full citizenship.

3. Docs I have include savings statements, business and bank statements for six months, mortgage statement on the existing property, birth certificate (in English), marriage certificate with apostille and gigabytes of pics of us together with her kids (that you can see growing up from year to year - wow!). My wife passed IELTS with a 7.0 grade and we have the cert for that. We can ask her bank for English statements on her savings. Do we need anything else?

Kids are grown up now so it's just the wife that is applying. I guess we're in good shape overall. But any help on these questions would be much appreciated!
 

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Hi,

I moved to Israel to be with my girlfriend in 2006. We lived together until 2008 when we got married in October. I own a property in the UK which I let when I left England and now we're on the verge of buying another larger property as my wife and I want to move back to the UK.

I run my own business (UK registered) and have paid UK taxes since 2006. I intend to employ my wife when we move. We have no problem at all proving that we do not need support from the state owing to years' worth of savings and my earnings.

We are travelling together to the UK next week to check out our shortlist of houses. When we get back a week later I want to begin the visa process. We want to move in early September.

I'd really appreciate it if you guys could help with my questions:

1. Am I right in assuming that my wife *cannot* come to England on a tourist visa and then apply for the spouse visa straightaway?

2. We are just a few months off being married for four years which would mean instant ILR. Is there another visa we could apply to tide us over until four years have passed? The alternative is proving we have lived together since 2006 which would involve an enormous amount of translation work from a notary as the docs are in Hebrew. My thought here is to cut short the time until she can apply for passport/full citizenship.

3. Docs I have include savings statements, business and bank statements for six months, mortgage statement on the existing property, birth certificate (in English), marriage certificate with apostille and gigabytes of pics of us together with her kids (that you can see growing up from year to year - wow!). My wife passed IELTS with a 7.0 grade and we have the cert for that. We can ask her bank for English statements on her savings. Do we need anything else?

Kids are grown up now so it's just the wife that is applying. I guess we're in good shape overall. But any help on these questions would be much appreciated!
On question one-NO. Your wife cannot switch to another visa category whilst in the UK on the visitor visa.

On question two-she should apply for the spouse visa, and depending on the timing, UKBA may or may not append the KOL REQ that would permit her to take the KOL test and then apply for the ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain, the settlement visa). The spouse visa without the KOL REQ endorsement is for 27 months to cover travel delays, and at the 28th day before her 24th month of residing in the UK with you, she applies for the ILR.

After residing in the UK for 3 years, she can apply for citizenship:

UK Border Agency | Who can apply for British citizenship and other forms of British nationality?

On question three-bank documents need to be from the brick and mortar bank, UKBA makes it very clear they will not accept website print-outs because those are so easily tampered with. 'Gigabytes' of pics should be pared down considerably, and submitted as printed snaps.

Other than that, your supporting docs sound great, but to be sure, download and read the Guidance Notes on the visa you will be applying for to be sure you have precisely what the UKBA is looking for:

UK Border Agency | Applying from outside the UK

Remember the forms are one-size-fits-all, and some of the questions will not apply to your wife; directions are on the form explaining how to deal with the N/As:)
 

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Hi,

I moved to Israel to be with my girlfriend in 2006. We lived together until 2008 when we got married in October. I own a property in the UK which I let when I left England and now we're on the verge of buying another larger property as my wife and I want to move back to the UK.

I run my own business (UK registered) and have paid UK taxes since 2006. I intend to employ my wife when we move. We have no problem at all proving that we do not need support from the state owing to years' worth of savings and my earnings.

We are travelling together to the UK next week to check out our shortlist of houses. When we get back a week later I want to begin the visa process. We want to move in early September.

I'd really appreciate it if you guys could help with my questions:

1. Am I right in assuming that my wife *cannot* come to England on a tourist visa and then apply for the spouse visa straightaway?
No. Application will be refused.

2. We are just a few months off being married for four years which would mean instant ILR. Is there another visa we could apply to tide us over until four years have passed? The alternative is proving we have lived together since 2006 which would involve an enormous amount of translation work from a notary as the docs are in Hebrew. My thought here is to cut short the time until she can apply for passport/full citizenship.
They will combine a period of cohabitation and marriage together to arrive at 4 years. You only need something like a rental agreement in joint names to prove cohabitation. It's a period you've lived together outside of UK that counts, so another visa 'to tide you over' won't work. What I suggest you do is while you are visiting UK, your wife tries to take and pass Life in the UK test. You book online and a test can be taken at any of the 70+ test centres. They sometimes require proof of UK address, so have something ready, like bank or mortgage statement bearing your name. It doesn't have to be in her full name as you are a married couple, plus marriage certificate. This, together with 4 years of cohabitation, will give you a visa with instant settlement on arrival. Without the test pass, she will be given a 27-month visa, and have to pass the test and then apply for settlement without having to wait 2 years but she will be charged the full fee.

3. Docs I have include savings statements, business and bank statements for six months, mortgage statement on the existing property, birth certificate (in English), marriage certificate with apostille and gigabytes of pics of us together with her kids (that you can see growing up from year to year - wow!). My wife passed IELTS with a 7.0 grade and we have the cert for that. We can ask her bank for English statements on her savings. Do we need anything else?

Kids are grown up now so it's just the wife that is applying. I guess we're in good shape overall. But any help on these questions would be much appreciated!
So the kids aren't coming over?
You need proof of accommodation in UK you hope to move into. If you haven't bought or rented a property yet, you need to supply alternative accommodation such as the one owned by relatives you are going to move into together at least temporarily.

Also required is a letter of support by you and a letter of introduction by your wife. You briefly describe your relationship from the start to the present time from your own perspective, and your hope for the future - to settle in UK. Both letters should broadly agree but don't copy from each other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No. Application will be refused.
I thought as much but just wanted to check. This is exactly what I did in Israel mind you, so just thought I'd ask!

They will combine a period of cohabitation and marriage together to arrive at 4 years. You only need something like a rental agreement in joint names to prove cohabitation. It's a period you've lived together outside of UK that counts, so another visa 'to tide you over' won't work.
We have the rental agreements for each year that we've lived here. The problem is that they're fairly lengthy documents (about 3-4 pages of A4) and they're all in Hebrew. Would we not require notarised translations? How many of these agreements would we need to get translated? We've lived in three different homes (years 2006-2008, then 2008-2011, and finally 2011-2012)

What I suggest you do is while you are visiting UK, your wife tries to take and pass Life in the UK test.
Great idea. I'll look into it. My concern is that she wouldn't pass though as she's only visited the UK (albeit on many occasions) and despite speaking amazing English, she's not steeped in the culture at all. What is the pass threshold?

So the kids aren't coming over?
Nope. One will be doing national service, the other is older and not especially interested in moving. They will visit occasionally on tourist visas and if the situation changes, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Massive indifference at the moment!

You need proof of accommodation in UK you hope to move into. If you haven't bought or rented a property yet, you need to supply alternative accommodation such as the one owned by relatives you are going to move into together at least temporarily.
Can I not use the mortgage statement from my existing property to cover this off?

Also required is a letter of support by you and a letter of introduction by your wife. You briefly describe your relationship from the start to the present time from your own perspective, and your hope for the future - to settle in UK. Both letters should broadly agree but don't copy from each other.
Not a problem, thanks!
 

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I thought as much but just wanted to check. This is exactly what I did in Israel mind you, so just thought I'd ask!
Some European countries allow that with some nationalities, but not UK!

We have the rental agreements for each year that we've lived here. The problem is that they're fairly lengthy documents (about 3-4 pages of A4) and they're all in Hebrew. Would we not require notarised translations? How many of these agreements would we need to get translated? We've lived in three different homes (years 2006-2008, then 2008-2011, and finally 2011-2012)
All you need is a translated rental agreement covering the 'missing' period prior to your marriage.

Great idea. I'll look into it. My concern is that she wouldn't pass though as she's only visited the UK (albeit on many occasions) and despite speaking amazing English, she's not steeped in the culture at all. What is the pass threshold?
17 passes out of 24 questions or 80% I think. There is a book she can study, and all questions will be taken from it:
Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship - 2nd Edition: Amazon.co.uk: The Home Office - Life in the UK Advisor: Books


Nope. One will be doing national service, the other is older and not especially interested in moving. They will visit occasionally on tourist visas and if the situation changes, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Massive indifference at the moment!
Fine.

Can I not use the mortgage statement from my existing property to cover this off?
Possibly, but you said it's rented out? Not that they are going to find out about it unless you tell them. But be careful. If you include your rent in your income, they may ask for details.
 

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Excellent - but it still needs a notary approved by the government to do the translation? While the words may be in Hebrew, the numbers/dates are self-evident really.
Performed by a professional translator (with credentials attached) will do. There may be translation agencies used to doing it for UK visa applications and know what is expected. Also as it's in the target language (i.e. official language of Israel), there's sure to be a Hebrew-speaking member of staff who can verify the translation when needed. You send the original, translation and photocopy of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just an update to this, I'm now going through the visa application form and preparing it.

In terms of the guidelines, it asks for documents to prove that we were free to marry when we did. I still have my notary's document for this for when I applied for my Israeli visa.

Would we need something similar here for my wife? She is divorced. Would her divorce agreement do? Or would we need a notary's declaration?
 

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Just an update to this, I'm now going through the visa application form and preparing it.

In terms of the guidelines, it asks for documents to prove that we were free to marry when we did. I still have my notary's document for this for when I applied for my Israeli visa.

Would we need something similar here for my wife? She is divorced. Would her divorce agreement do? Or would we need a notary's declaration?
Divorce decree translated into English. No need to be notarised, but translation must be done professionally, with official stamp of translator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi everyone,

I just wanted to thank you all for your advice on this matter.

We submitted our application and docs on June 6, and two months later to the day we received a text message saying that the passport was ready to pick up - but no indication whether we'd got the visa or not! Of course, the consulate wasn't picking up the phone.

A quick - and fast - journey to the consulate followed and I was delighted and relieved to see that all the hard work paid off and my wife now has the spouse visa on her passport.

Not sure I would have had the courage to do it all myself without your encouragement, but I did and everything turned out great - so thanks!
 
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