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Hi all!

I am Irish and have lived in the UK since childhood. My wife (USA national) entered the country 2 months ago on a VAF4a fiancée visa and we were recently married in the UK after this.
We are applying for a Residence Card under EEA (FM), as I understand this is the easiest form of proof to exercise treaty rights of bringing a partner to live with you. We are aware this process will tie up our passports for 6 months! [Side-note: If I were British we would apply for the FLR(M)].

Questions:

1. What benefits does the VAF4a fiancée settlement visa confer once it expires 6 months after issue? (Does it grant you settlement as the name implies -- if so why the need for EEA (FM)?)

2. Can we apply for the EEA (FM) residence card after the VAF4a fiancée visa expires (6 months post-issue), or does it have to happen while valid? This is relevant as we want to visit the USA shortly after the VAF4a fiancée visa lapses meaning we need to a) allow her entry to the UK, and b) passports available. It seems this would work if she could enter the UK and apply for EEA (FM) on a visitors visa?​

Many thanks!

Kidaz
 

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If you had lived together for two years, i.e. in 'durable' relationship, she could have entered on EEA family permit costing nothing and switched to residence card paying £65. Or she could have got marriage visit visa and then switched to residence card. But there are other considerations as well.

About your other questions:
#1 The greatest advantage is you are insulated from possible ramifications in the event of Brexit - UK leaving EU after the referendum, which will put those under EU rules in a precarious and uncertain situation. Both routes take 5 years for settlement/permanent residence.
#2 Yes, though it's better to apply while the visa is still valid, as it gives you better protection in the event of a refusal. If she leaves UK without residence card or spouse leave to remain, she should apply for EEA family permit before returning to UK. The permit takes about 2 weeks to come through. She can try asking for EEA dependant ink stamp at UK border, as you are with her, which has the same effect as EEA family permit, but they don't like her doing it (as it involves them in extra work) and she may not get it, which will put her in a pickle. They don't like granting her leave to enter as visitor, because that's not her status in UK.
 

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Hi kidaz how are you??


If your welling to move to Northern Ireland you can still apply for a eea family/ permanent residence in Northern Ireland

And with being a Irish citizen & your wife living with you, in Belfast or where ever in n.ireland..

Dublin still see Northern Ireland as there territory,

The way is that an non eu wife,husband same sex partner married to a Irish citizen living on the island of Ireland they can become an Irish citizen after 3 years.

It only works for Irish citizens & if willing to move to Northern Ireland

Hope this helps kidaz

Take care & happy new year
 
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