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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys i know this subject has been thrashed but no two circumstances are the same. I will be applying for a de facto unmarried visa for my Japanese girlfriend to come live with me in England. Our story goes like this. We met in Canada in late 2012, we were living together there (shared house) with no proof until feb2013 where we moved into a house and got a tenancy agreement showing both names. we moved out in august 2013 to another house still in whistler, Canada.(i could email the previous head tenant for proof) and lived together there until the end of September,2013 (8 months) i had to leave because my WHVisa expired. We did a 18 day road trip to L.A where she flew back to japan and i flew back to nz on the same day. (i have duel citizenship,uk,nz) to apply for a visa to visit her in Japan. I got my visa and flew to Japan Feb 2nd 2014 and we lived together for 12 months we both have bank statements to the same address in Japan. technically we have been together for 2 years 7 months and proof of living together for 1 year 8 months (i know its below the 2 year threshold but darn visas...) i left Japan feb 2nd 2015 where i arrived in the uk and started working 8th of Feb earning an hourly rate and above the 18,600 i require. we have thousands and thousands of pictures together from holidays in Mexico, USA, Japan, Canada and the UK where she came to visit me last month for 3 weeks.

Things I have:
tenancy agreement feb13- aug13. with both names.
passport stamps and pictures from holiday in Mexico May 2013.
stamps in passport of entering and leaving USA on the same day together.
letters and and cards from when we were separated.
1000s of pictures in many locations including Christmas and birthdays.


Things i need to get:
Japanese bank statements that match same address as one of her bills (i need it translated?)
Email old house mates in Canada who we used to live with as proof of living together from Aug13-sep13.
letter from my boss stating my position, job security, wage ect.
6 months pay slips, 6 months bank statements.
Partner needs to sit an English A1 test.

SORRY for the long winded post :/

Any tips, advise or opinions are welcome! i would rather not waste money on getting a refusal as you can imagine.

thanks in advance, J :)
 

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Travelling together isn't cohabitation and won't be counted.
What kind of visa were you on in Japan? If it was a visit visa, how come you could stay for a year? It's limited to 3 months (6 months for certain nationals like British).
I'm not sure you meet the requirement for 2 years of continuous cohabitation, give or take a few weeks. Is marriage not an option for you?
 

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Get married ....... it's a lot easier to get a visa based on your history.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
i was inJ apan on a 1 year working holiday visa which i got on my nz passport. they only allow 12 months none renewable, i was able to live and work in Japan. we have lived together for 1 year 8 months and only travelled for 1.5 months (usa 3 weeks and uk 3 weeks) and had 3 months appart while i applied for my Japanese visa in NZ. and have been seperated from feb until now (but she did come visit last month) marriage is an option but she lives in Japan and i live in the uk, i think we have plenty of evidence of a genuine relationship?
 

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If you want to apply as an unmarried partner you prove your relationship by having evidence that you have lived together continuously for 2 years not with pictures, cards and travelling together.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, i can see how that wouldn't work. Therfore i have tenancy agreements (rental contracts) and bank statements going to the same address. I understand im fighting an uphill battle as its nearly impossible to physically live continuously together for two years if counties only give one year visas! Does getting married change much? Id still need to prove these things? But i will leave that as a last resort
 

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You still need to show your relationship is genuine and your marriage isn't one of convenience (entered solely for immigration purpose and not out of love, devotion and commitment).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Geez is there a way to not look suspicious when getting married whilst living in separate countries then applying for a visa soon after? They dont exactly make it easy! Can anyone shed some light into the best step to take and enlighten me with some options. Is the de facto visa totally a dud for me you think given 20months living together and 2.7 years together? How to make the marriage inconspicuous?
 

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I think unmarried visa idea is dead in the water.

Genuine marriages is a culmination of genuine relationship so make sure you submit enough evidence to show you are in close, loving and committed relationship. Photos from throughout your relationship (but don't overdo it). Travel tickets, Skype and other social media that show committed relationship. Good covering letters.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
im still unsure on what visa to go for. what are the success rates for people getting marriage visas? obviously depending on circumstances i get that. also a couple of questions. would it be better to marry in the uk or if i were to go to Japan, would it make a difference? roughly how long does the visa take to process? would it look suspicious if i were to get married and basically apply for the visa straight after?
 

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It would be a mistake to concern yourself with "success rates". Other peoples' applications have nought to do with yours; what matters is whether or not you meet the requirements and are able to satisfy the ECO that yours is a genuine relationship.

It's vaguely possible that an unmarried partner visa would be approved, as the ECO does have some leeway in determining what "living together" entails and some people have been granted lenience in the two-year domestic requirement, but I wouldn't suggest spending such an awful lot of nonrefundable money on that chance... Please also note that I am merely a fellow (former) applicant and have no authority to advise you on this. :)

In the context of applying for a spouse visa, it doesn't matter where you get married (it could also be a tertiary country), but if you marry in Japan then the marriage certificate will have to be translated into English. I'm not certain of Japanese marriage requirements, but in the UK, they are relatively strict and rather expensive. To get married in the UK your partner will either need a fiancée visa (which directly leads to settlement and probably makes the most sense if you currently meet the financial requirement) or a marriage visitor visa (which must be applied for from her country of residence and requires her to leave the UK after the marriage). In either case, you will be paying for the cost of two visas. You'd also need to give notice at a UK designated registry office, which involves stringent waiting periods.

>would it look suspicious if i were to get married and basically apply for the visa straight after?

Not if you are able to show evidence of a genuine relationship. I submitted my online application barely two weeks after I married my husband in the US.

Current visa processing times:

https://visa-processingtimes.homeoffice.gov.uk/
 
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