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Discussion Starter #1
I am purchasing my tickets tonight to go and visit my boyfriend in the UK from November 30- February 21st.
I am very very very nervous about the documents for border patrol to allow me to stay, I have gone and visited him on a normal tourist visa in august with no problem, but that was only for a week, now I will be going for 3 months. I know the odds are unfortunately against me, I am a young female who will be unemployed and going to visit her boyfriend for 3 months, but I am trying to do everything i can to show them I am simply there to visit for the holidays.
These are the documents I will have with me to provide if asked, if anyone could give input to what else I should bring or anything I should leave out, please let me know :
- An invitation letter from both my boyfriend and his parents for me to stay with them in their home expense free until I return home on the 21st of February

- 6 months worth of my bank statements

- My bank account which will equivalent to over 1000 pounds for me to use on my trip

- My home bank debit card (that I have used in the uk before with no problems) and my credit card

- (optional) A letter from my parents saying that they can send me 300 pound a month until my return in February if needed

- 150 pounds on my person for emergencies

-My flight itinerary which will show my return flight purchase for the 21st of February

-A letter from my sister stating that I have that I am returning for her wedding in March to be the Maid of Honor

- A letter from my sister (that I babysit for regularly) that I have family ties to return by the first week of march to take care of my nephews while she is on a university trip

- I will have lists of my family members and show they live near me and that we have strong ties (photos, letters, etc)

Anything else that I should add would be appreciated, I am going to try and get more sufficient documents, unfortunately I am not in school and will not be employed at this time, does anyone have any other ideas what I could add to make it better? I live with my family, the car that I drive is not under my name, im at a loss, any help would be appreciated, I did not overstay the last visa I had and the whole process of getting through was very simple, i know this time it will be more difficult, thank you in advance!
 

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What you should carry in addition is evidence that your boyfriend (and his family) have the means to pay for your expenses for 3 months. His latest payslip and bank statement, his parents' bank statement etc. Evidence of trying to get a job, like correspondence with job agencies, recruiters etc. Any qualifications that will help you to find employment.
 

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I didn't apply in advance for a visit visa. I was detained, questioned, and also had my bags searched on my last entry into UK. They also read nearly every page of my journals/diaries. Embarrassing! Fortunately, I was able to enter after a couple hours of investigation. I just used my smart phone to show my bank account and my funds for supporting myself, as well as my return flight which was five months later. My intention for visiting was to see my boyfriend, but also to seek a work sponsor. I hoped I could get a work visa instead of applying for a relationship visa as it seemed more concrete and straightforward. I had my resume, letters of recommendation and other items related to my teaching certification. I think this helped my case tremendously. They phoned my boyfriend twice as well. I didn't have all those family letters you speak of. I was also unemployed and I admitted to selling everything and living with my parents; I had also been over to UK twice in last six months - first for a month long, the second for two months, so I was high risk, but I still made it in!! Just be honest. I think it was in my favor to be in person rather than applying online. The officer could see our intentions as honest and transparent. I think you shouldn't worry too much, but bringing work related stuff like Joppa said would be wise.
I didn't get a work sponsor. I tried. The teaching council does not do sponsorships, and if I want to do anything related to education, my best hope is to now go for settlement with permission to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you so much! This is all extremely helpful, I am also joining some non profit and charity organizations in my town, so hopefully that will help. I'm staying for a total of 86 days, which is just shy of 3 months, from your experience, will I Lilley be heavily questioned?
 

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After reading again, it seems Joppa was meaning bringing work stuff related to you at home in the states - ensuring that you'd return. Sorry, I misunderstood. I was looking for work in UK, and that's what I brought with me. I honestly don't know if you'll be questioned heavily. I can only share what I've been through. But, what's to worry about if they ask you lots of questions? As long as your honest you'll have no issues answering them, nor will your boyfriend. It's kinda a blurry memory, and I can't remember everything they asked us. I just remember worrying out of my mind that I'd be sent home! I do remember telling them that I would never risk not being able to see my family again and that we had already planned for my boyfriend to come visit me in the states to meet my family in September after my visit visa. And he did. :)
You are bringing way more documentation than I did, if that's any consolation.
 

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Okay thank you! I am feeling a bit more at ease now, honestly I know I have nothing to worry about because I am being 100% honest with them. I keep having to tell myself I shouldn't be nervous because everything im doing is genuine, so I just hope they believe me!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Landing card in the UK

I'm sure people are getting tired of seeing my threads on this site, but I just have alot of questions I need answered from people who have done this more than I have.
I am traveling to the UK to stay with my boyfriend and his family during the holidays from November 30th to February 21st. I will be there for a total of 86 days, so just under 3 months. I am leaving the current sales job I am in to explore other work options, and I figured now while i have my savings built up and leaving my current job now would be a great time to spend Christmas and new years and valentines day with them before I took up work again. However, I understand what red flags being unemployed can give border patrol, so here is my delema:
I am leaving my job to explore more job opportunities for work in the US, however, upon my return (the very beginning of march) my sister wants to hire me to be a live in nanny for several weeks while she is away for university, and she would be paying me hourly. My big questions are would this qualify as a guaranteed job I am returning to? If so, do I need to still put unemployed on my landing card or put something different? and also if so how to I document this for border control? Does it just need to be a document written and signed by my sister explaining my job that I will be doing for her and when I am expected/ required to return to begin said job? and does this need to be notarized or is just having her sign it suffice? thanks in advance!
 

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Being paid by your sister to be a nanny doesn't hold a tremendous amount of weight (as she's a close family member) and I don't think that really counts as "employed" unless she has a registered business and you have a work contract. But, in lieu of anything else, yes, I think it would help to have a letter from her detailing your plans.

You know that you're lacking in ties to your home country and are taking something of a risk, especially with a long visit. Short of actually finding a full-time job, or shortening the visit (it might be a wise idea), you're not really going to improve your odds by how you spin your current situation. Just carry evidence of what you have, you're probably not going to get turned away at the border. Any of us who have travelled on the visa waiver programme have run the risk of being sent home, it's just not very likely when you're a US national.

You've asked a few times here about spouse/fiancé visas. If asked about future plans, it's best if you can answer that in general terms, and state that you'll apply for the proper visa when you're ready.
 

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I also wouldn't show up and say that you're only here "for x amount of time" (i.e. 2-3 weeks) and then try to stay longer - the Home Office can and will hold it against you if/when you go to apply for a settlement visa if you try that stunt.

As you are quite young and have very weak ties to the US (unemployed at time of arrival and no immediate prospects of meaningful employment in the US upon your return - your sister's "nanny" gig won't cut it... it could easily be argued as being nothing more than babysitting your nieces/nephews for a few weeks), I would expect you to be under extra scrutiny from the moment that you step off of the plane. Passports are being routinely checked as passengers depart the UK (my passport was examined as I departed for a short holiday in Vancouver earlier this month), and as your passport will be checked and the length of stay noted when you arrive, it will be easy for the authorities to see just how honest you are about your declared length of stay versus the actual length you stayed.

I would suggest that you go and have a read of this thread from last year, paying particular attention to Joppa's responses at #2, #5, and #7.
 

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Thank you so much for everyone's help, I can honestly say this extremely enjoyable trip I am planning is starting to turn into a nightmare over the issue as I might not even be allowed to stay, I guess really all I can do is show up, be 100% honest and show them what I have, and hopefully they understand and let me in, it breaks my heart that I might get turned away but I guess that's the risk I have to take, so thanks everyone!
 
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