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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, new forum user and I first want to thank all of the commenters and mods for making this such a great resource! I have been combing through for several hours now and think I have a situation that hasn't been addressed fully.

I am going to summarize first and then provide details below should you find it necessary for an answer.

A. U.S citizen engaged to U.K citizen. Planning U.S marriage for August 2013.

B. History of refused entry at U.K border.

C. Accepted into masters program in the U.K for October 2012 to June 2013.

D. Naively planned a trip to Paris for end of August, prior to 30 day window student visa is valid.

My questions:

1. Am I at risk of getting denied a student visa? I see my risk factors as being: plans to live with fiancee and history of refusal. This postgraduate degree is legitimate to my life goals, but I do not want it perceived as simply a ticket to stay in the country with my fiancee (though in effect, this is what I plan). Via the points system, I should be fine, but on the UKBA website there is a qualifier that says they take into account prior border history.

2. If I am at serious risk of being denied a student visa, is it plausible to *just* (not taken lightly) get a marriage visa before my school starts. My fiancee and I would not be thrilled about this, but if it came to it, we could do the whole put it on paper in a courtroom thing first, and then hold the wedding that is meaningful to us as planned next year. We would have no problem vouching for our 2 year relationship, and can show financial support (my student loans, her full time job). Would this plan be pretty transparent in a visa interview?

3. My course is technically 9 months but is called a "12 month course"- how long can I remain in the U.K on a student visa once the term finishes? Can I continue to work 20 hours/week during this period?

4. Should I forget about the Paris trip on those dates as being too much of a risk?

It has been suggested elsewhere to not mention the significant other bit when entering the U.K (woops)- with my history, I do not see this as an option anymore.

Thank you in advance for any advice you are able to give. Please feel free to say "get professional help!" as this may be a very valid option and asking too much of this forum.

Cheers!!


Details:

A. Dating for 2 years with history of multiple visits. Met in Central America doing volunteer work. I have a full time job now in the U.S, but will be leaving it for school in the UK. My fiancee is a physician in the U.K. From everything I have gathered, a U.S marriage is much easier visa-wise, and it happens to be what we want.

B. I was denied entry in March of 2011. I was on a 6 month tourist visa (received at the border) starting January 2011 and left to visit my sister in Rome. When returning to the UK for an extra month, I was very poorly prepared to prove my intentions to leave and show I had adequate funds (even though both were present). I also had not disclosed my change in itinerary to the UK. It was a mess. I spent the night in a holding cell. I was kicked back to Italy where they detained me as well. Very expensive and not something I want to repeat.

I have since successfully entered the UK for a 2 week stay last month (when I, also successfully, proposed). I was of course detained again for my immigration history, reprimanded for not getting a tourist visa before coming (something I was told by the border agent in my holding cell to be too risky) and then allowed in because I was incredibly well prepared (letter and financials from girlfriend/sponsor, letter form my employer, 6 months financials for me, full itinerary). I was told that my immigration history will forever be a black mark and only start to go away by getting a visa.

C. Highly ranked school (if this makes any difference?), I will be fully supported with US Federal Loans. I would like to live with my fiancee. We plan on remaining in the UK for at least 4 years, during which time I hope to get my citizenship. I also want to work, uninterrupted, for as much of that time as possible (i.e avoid a fiance visa).

D. This trip might be too much of a risk with my history. It would have to go something like: US to UK visitor Visa to France, where I either stay an extra 10 days (costly) to wait for my student visa to kick in OR to UK Visitors Visa to EU somewhere to UK student visa. Of course, a marriage visa would clear all that up.
 

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Hi all, new forum user and I first want to thank all of the commenters and mods for making this such a great resource! I have been combing through for several hours now and think I have a situation that hasn't been addressed fully.
Welcome to the forum!

I am going to summarize first and then provide details below should you find it necessary for an answer.

A. U.S citizen engaged to U.K citizen. Planning U.S marriage for August 2013.

B. History of refused entry at U.K border.

C. Accepted into masters program in the U.K for October 2012 to June 2013.

D. Naively planned a trip to Paris for end of August, prior to 30 day window student visa is valid.

My questions:

1. Am I at risk of getting denied a student visa? I see my risk factors as being: plans to live with fiancee and history of refusal. This postgraduate degree is legitimate to my life goals, but I do not want it perceived as simply a ticket to stay in the country with my fiancee (though in effect, this is what I plan). Via the points system, I should be fine, but on the UKBA website there is a qualifier that says they take into account prior border history.
Any previous immigration offence such as denied entry will be considered. While it doesn't automatically mean rejection of your student visa, you need to address the issues arising from it. You have to disclose it under 'Travel History' and explain in an attached note your take on it - that you accept full responsibility, and any issues have now been addressed and you wish to move on.

2. If I am at serious risk of being denied a student visa, is it plausible to *just* (not taken lightly) get a marriage visa before my school starts. My fiancee and I would not be thrilled about this, but if it came to it, we could do the whole put it on paper in a courtroom thing first, and then hold the wedding that is meaningful to us as planned next year. We would have no problem vouching for our 2 year relationship, and can show financial support (my student loans, her full time job). Would this plan be pretty transparent in a visa interview?
It's up to you. There will be no visa interview. Everything will be decided through the papers you submit, plus possibly a phone call. While settlement visa has more detailed requiremrents than a student visa, it also takes your plan to another level and and provided you can meet them, you are also more likely to be approved.

3. My course is technically 9 months but is called a "12 month course"- how long can I remain in the U.K on a student visa once the term finishes? Can I continue to work 20 hours/week during this period?
4 months after you finish the course. You can work full-time.

4. Should I forget about the Paris trip on those dates as being too much of a risk?
Best thing to do is to bypass UK and meet up in France, and then enter UK on or after the 'valid from' date of your UK visa.


It has been suggested elsewhere to not mention the significant other bit when entering the U.K (woops)- with my history, I do not see this as an option anymore.
You don't need to volunteer the information, but if they ask you msut answer truthfully.

Thank you in advance for any advice you are able to give. Please feel free to say "get professional help!" as this may be a very valid option and asking too much of this forum.
You may not need it but useful to have at times.

Details:

A. Dating for 2 years with history of multiple visits. Met in Central America doing volunteer work. I have a full time job now in the U.S, but will be leaving it for school in the UK. My fiancee is a physician in the U.K. From everything I have gathered, a U.S marriage is much easier visa-wise, and it happens to be what we want.
That is so.

B. I was denied entry in March of 2011. I was on a 6 month tourist visa (received at the border) starting January 2011 and left to visit my sister in Rome. When returning to the UK for an extra month, I was very poorly prepared to prove my intentions to leave and show I had adequate funds (even though both were present). I also had not disclosed my change in itinerary to the UK. It was a mess. I spent the night in a holding cell. I was kicked back to Italy where they detained me as well. Very expensive and not something I want to repeat.
Lessons learnt!

I have since successfully entered the UK for a 2 week stay last month (when I, also successfully, proposed). I was of course detained again for my immigration history, reprimanded for not getting a tourist visa before coming (something I was told by the border agent in my holding cell to be too risky) and then allowed in because I was incredibly well prepared (letter and financials from girlfriend/sponsor, letter form my employer, 6 months financials for me, full itinerary). I was told that my immigration history will forever be a black mark and only start to go away by getting a visa.
Getting a visitor visa is in fact a sound advice. You'll have to disclose your immigration history every time you apply for a visa, and they will probably find out each time you enter UK (being on UK warning index of immigration database). It's true, as I've alluded to, that until you successfully get your settlement visa, the past will haunt you.

C. Highly ranked school (if this makes any difference?), I will be fully supported with US Federal Loans. I would like to live with my fiancee. We plan on remaining in the UK for at least 4 years, during which time I hope to get my citizenship. I also want to work, uninterrupted, for as much of that time as possible (i.e avoid a fiance visa).
Yes, for immigration purposes, colleges and unis are graded. To get citizenship, you have to marry and stay in total three years in UK, with the last year being free from immigration control (on indefinite leave to remain or ILR). So when you get married, change your visa to spouse, and after 2 years you can get ILR, and a further year, you can apply for naturalisation. While on student visa you can work 20 hours/week in term time and full-time at weekends and vacations, and as spouse you can work full-time.

D. This trip might be too much of a risk with my history. It would have to go something like: US to UK visitor Visa to France, where I either stay an extra 10 days (costly) to wait for my student visa to kick in OR to UK Visitors Visa to EU somewhere to UK student visa. Of course, a marriage visa would clear all that up.
As I said, avoid UK and fly straight to France for a holiday and then enter UK when your student visa kicks in (a month before course starts). Or bring forward your wedding and get spouse settlement visa before leaving US.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Joppa! Either the UKBA is being very intelligent and paying someone to handle social outreach like this or expatforum is lucky enough to have a mod who clearly has first hand experience. Hugely appreciated.
 
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