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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Could you be so kind as to review and critique my letter of introduction. I've read several examples and advice on this forum, and I hope I've included all the necessary information. Thanks!

Dear Entry Clearance Officer,

My name is WIFE and I am applying for a spousal settlement visa.

I first met my husband, HUSBAND, in Manchester, UK on 16 April 2013. I had been in Manchester from 1 March 2013 as a visiting researcher at the University of Manchester. As a Ph.D. student at UNIVERSITY in the United States, I was awarded a federal fellowship grant that funded a 3-month international research collaboration, which I chose to complete in Manchester.

HUSBAND and I met at the Grand Central pub and soon found we had much in common, including mutual friends I had met during my stay. As I had an extra ticket for a performance the following night, I invited HUSBAND to attend as my guest. We spent the next evening together at the performance and it became clear that there was a strong attraction between us, and that we wanted to spend more time getting acquainted, and developing our relationship. We found that we shared the same diverse taste in music, the same weird sense of humor, and a sense of being completely at ease with each other. For the remainder of my stay in Manchester, HUSBAND and I were inseparable, spending most of our free time in each other’s company. During this time, I also met and spent time with his (then 6 year old) daughter, picnicking in the park and going to see a parade. When I departed Manchester for the United States on 10 June 2013, we knew we wanted a future together and decided to continue our relationship long-distance.

I returned to Manchester for the first time afterward in August 2013, and from then on we arranged to visit each other every 2-4 months. HUSBAND came to my home in STATE, USA for the first time in October 2013, and spent time getting acquainted with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew. In December 2013, I visited Manchester for nearly a month – to celebrate HUSBAND’s birthday and the holidays, and to spend more time getting to know his daughter, GIRL. In April 2014, HUSBAND and GIRL visited the United States. We split our time between touring New Jersey and New York City (it was GIRL’s first visit to the US), and spending time with family – both immediate and extended, as we were celebrating my Aunt and Uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary. In addition to my family and HUSBAND becoming acquainted, GIRL is close in age to my niece and nephew, and we thought it important to give the children plenty of time to meet and play together.

During the above time, my divorce (which was initiated in February 2013) became final on 23 October 2013. We began our relationship after the dissolution of my previous marriage, and though HUSBAND and I knew we wanted to spend our lives together, he remained respectful of the protracted legal proceedings and waited adequate time before planning a proposal. And so it was on my visit to Manchester in June 2014 that HUSBAND proposed marriage to me, and we planned to marry in the United States the following year. After several visits in between, HUSBAND came to the United States in May 2015 for our wedding. We traveled to the Finger Lakes region of New York for a few days prior to the wedding, relaxing in a quiet cabin, seeing the countryside, and visiting local vineyards. On 23 May 2015, we were married in a small ceremony in my Aunt’s backyard in STATE, USA. The wedding was officiated by a judge, and attended by my family and close friends, as well as HUSBAND’s mother and cousin who had flown in from the UK for the occasion. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have found and married HUSBAND, whose kindness, compassion, and sense of commitment I admire greatly. We are constantly told by those around us – family, friends, co-workers – that it is obvious to them how well suited we are for each other and how happy and content we are together. And it is true – neither of us can recall a time in our lives better than when we are together.

After our wedding, HUSBAND returned to the UK. I am currently in the process of completing my Ph.D. in SUBJECT at UNIVERSITY in STATE, and will be defending my thesis in September. It is our plan for myself to join HUSBAND in the UK in October, after completion of my degree. HUSBAND has a daughter (now 8 years old) from a previous relationship, and so we prefer to reside in the UK to remain close to her. GIRL currently lives with her mother in Manchester, and HUSBAND has frequent visitation that is important to him – he is a wonderful father. Upon arriving in the UK, I will live in HUSBAND’s current residence, a 2-bedroom terraced house which he rents in Manchester. I plan to pursue a job once I am legally allowed to work in the UK, conducting research in either the academic or private sector. With over 10 years experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, as well as a recent Ph.D. graduate, I am optimistic that I will find a position to suit my skills.

HUSBAND and I look forward to finally being together full time and settling in the UK as husband and wife, building a family with HUSBAND’s daughter and perhaps children of our own. He has been busy and excited to plan and prepare our home for my eventual arrival. We miss each other terribly when we are apart, but although we have been separated by distance for much of our 2-year relationship, we are fortunate to have remained in communication daily – usually several times a day -- through FaceTime and several messaging platforms.
 

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Far too long and wordy. Cut out unnecessary details like the name of the pub, relaxing in a cabin etc. Keep emotion out, write like a business letter with only essential details to flesh out your relationship history. The last paragraph can be condensed into: 'We look forward to our life together in UK, and while apart, we keep in constant touch through social media.'
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your quick feedback. I have made edits, taking out the emotional stuff and unnecessary details (frankly, I wasn't comfortable putting the emotional details in, but had read some recommendations to do so). Here is the edited version:

Dear Entry Clearance Officer,

My name is WIFE and I am applying for a spousal settlement visa.

I first met my husband, HUSBAND, in Manchester, UK on 16 April 2013. I had been in Manchester from 1 March 2013 as a visiting researcher at the University of Manchester. As a Ph.D. student in the United States, I was awarded a federal fellowship grant that funded a 3-month international research collaboration, which I chose to complete in Manchester.

HUSBAND and I met at a local pub and soon found we had much in common, including mutual friends I had met during my stay. As I had an extra ticket for a performance the following night, I invited HUSBAND to attend as my guest. We spent the next evening together and it became clear that there was a strong attraction between us, and that we wanted to spend more time getting acquainted, and developing our relationship. For the remainder of my stay in Manchester, HUSBAND and I were inseparable, spending most of our free time in each other’s company. During this time, I also met and spent time with his daughter. When I departed Manchester for the United States on 10 June 2013, we knew we wanted a future together and decided to continue our relationship long-distance.

I returned to Manchester for the first time afterward in August 2013, and since then have arranged to visit each other every 2-4 months. HUSBAND came to my home in New Jersey, USA for the first time in October 2013, and spent time getting acquainted with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew. In December 2013, I visited Manchester for nearly a month – to celebrate HUSBAND’s birthday and the holidays, and to spend more time getting to know his daughter, GIRL. In April 2014, HUSBAND and GIRL visited the United States. We split our time between touring New Jersey and New York City, and spending time with family – both immediate and extended. In addition to my family and HUSBAND becoming acquainted, GIRL is close in age to my niece and nephew, and we thought it important to give the children plenty of time to meet and play together.

During the above time, my divorce (which was initiated in February 2013) became final on 23 October 2013. We began our relationship after the dissolution of my previous marriage, and though HUSBAND and I knew we wanted to spend our lives together, he remained respectful of the protracted legal proceedings and waited adequate time before planning a proposal. On my visit to Manchester in June 2014, HUSBAND proposed marriage to me, and we planned to marry in the United States the following year. After several visits in between, HUSBAND came to the United States in May 2015 for our wedding. We traveled to the Finger Lakes region of New York for a few days prior to the wedding, and on 23 May 2015, we were married in a small backyard ceremony in New Jersey, USA. The wedding was officiated by a judge, and attended by my family and close friends, as well as HUSBAND’s mother and cousin from the UK.

I am currently in the process of completing my Ph.D. in SUBJECT at UNIVERSITY in STATE. It is our plan for myself to join HUSBAND in the UK in October 2015, after completion of my degree. HUSBAND has a daughter (now 8 years old) from a previous relationship, and so we prefer to reside in the UK to remain close to her. GIRL currently lives with her mother in Manchester, and HUSBAND has frequent visitation that is important to him. Upon arriving in the UK, I will live in HUSBAND’s current residence, a 2-bedroom terraced house that he rents in Manchester. I plan to pursue a job once I am legally allowed to work in the UK, conducting research in either the academic or private sector. With over 10 years experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, as well as a recent Ph.D. graduate, I am optimistic that I will find a position to suit my skills.

HUSBAND and I look forward to our life together in the UK, and while apart, have remained in communication daily through FaceTime calls and messaging.
 

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It's still about 200% too long ;)
 

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You can still cut out details like where you met (a pub), what you did together (going to a concert) etc. The first meeting can be condensed as 'We first met in Manchester in 2013 while I was on research scholarship. I also met his daughter. Our relationship grew and we promised to keep in touch.'
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you. I've edited quite a bit out, but have a question. Is it important to highlight that I've spent time getting to know his daughter (my extended visit to the UK, and her visit to the US with my husband)?
 

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Ok, one more time, if it's not too much of a nuisance. Everyone's advice has been very helpful.

Dear Entry Clearance Officer,

My name is WIFE and I am applying for a spouse settlement visa.

I met my husband, HUSBAND, on 16 April 2013 while in the UK on a research scholarship. We soon found we had much in common, and over the next 2 months, our relationship grew. I also met HUSBAND’s daughter during this time. When I left the UK, we decided to continue our relationship long-distance.

Since then we have communicated daily via video calls and text messaging, and have visited each other ten times, spending time developing our relationship and getting to know one another’s family and friends. In December 2013, I visited the UK for nearly a month, to spend more time getting to know HUSBAND’s daughter, GIRL, and in April 2014, GIRL traveled with HUSBAND to visit the United States.

During this time, my divorce (initiated in February 2013) became final on 23 October 2015. Though our relationship began after the dissolution of my previous marriage, HUSBAND remained respectful of the protracted legal proceedings and waited adequate time before planning a proposal. In June 2014, while visiting the UK, HUSBAND proposed marriage to me, and on 23 May 2015, we were wed in a small backyard ceremony in the New Jersey, attended by my family and close friends, as well as HUSBAND’s family from the UK.

I am currently finishing my Ph.D. studies and plan to join HUSBAND in the UK in October 2015. HUSBAND has a daughter from a previous relationship, and so we prefer to reside in the UK to remain close to her. GIRL currently lives with her mother in Manchester, and HUSBAND has frequent visitation that is important to him. We plan to live in HUSBAND’s current residence, and I will pursue a job once I am legally allowed to work in the UK. HUSBAND and I look forward to our life together in the UK.
 

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Leave out 'backyard' bit. In a small ceremony will do. Visitation is called 'contact' in UK.
Much better!
 
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