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Hi all,
I was hoping to find someone who has been in a similar situation as me, and get some advice since it's been tricky to figure this out on my own.

So, my husband got an academic job in London and moved here in August and I came with him. I originally did not apply for a visa with him as his wife because I am still enrolled in a US institution as a student and was worried about switching residence to out of the country, so I am just here as a visitor since August. I guess I also naively believed that as long as I left for a few weeks every 3 months or so, I could come and go from the UK as I pleased and thus spend as much time as possible with my husband and pets (we've moved everything over here) while still "being" at my university. Now I'm finding out that I can only be here max 6 months without a visa of some sort and then have to stay out for an equal amount of time! I really don't want to do this as my family is here and don't really have a home in the US anymore.

It seems like I have two options: a 'family visitation visa' and 'spouse visa'. As far as I can tell, the visitation visa is up to a year for academics, but then I would have to return back to the US again, for how much time I don't know (can anyone confirm)?
The spouse visa grants me permanent residence but I'm not sure if the requirements for it are weightier or will make my schooling here in the US tricky (will it prohibit us residence?). I don't know which (visitor or spouse visa) is the better option right now. Any thoughts?

If I do opt for either my main concern is: do I have to go back to the US to do so or could I feasibly do the application from here?
I'm totally fine with returning to the US for a couple of weeks to take care of things like biometrics, but do I have to mail my passport and application docs from the US too?
If I do have to do these things from the US, I am wondering: how much of the other stuff (filling out forms, mailing them etc) could I do from London, so I can minimize the time I would be away from my family?

Any help or advice would be so appreciated!

Thank you thank you thank you
 

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You can't switch from a visit visa to any other kind of visa from within the UK. You will have to return to the US and make your application from there.

What visa is your husband on? Is he a UK citizen?

If you opt for a family visit visa you are expected to return to you home country at the end of the visa. One of the requirements is that you don't intend to live in the UK for extended periods of time through frequent or successive visits. I would expect you would need to allow a significant amount of time 6 months or a year before applying for another visa.
 
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