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Hi I have a few questions regarding coming to the UK on a spouse visa.
I'm an American citizen, my fiancé is a UK citizen. We've known each other since 2006, been dating since 2010 and got engaged in June of this year. I've been in the UK for the last year for a post graduate degree on a tier 4 student visa. I'm going home in December and we're planning a wedding for October 2013.

Now we did do research and found it would be easier to get married in the US and have him return after we are married and then for me to apply for the spouse visa. I don't think he needs to apply for anything to get married to me as long as he returning to the UK but I don't know exact what I need to do.

I've looked on the UK Border Agency website and they've made some recent changes for those wanting to come to the UK because a spouse is in the UK.
From what I read there are a few things I need to do.

I will need to have a sponsorship of £18,600 in order meet the financial agreement. I'm assuming that means he'll need to make that much minium but I'm not sure.

I have to have accommodation. Now this one was tricky for me. My fiancé and I will be living with his parents when I am over here. I think that is okay but I would like some clarification on that.

I heard I couldn't actually apply for work either until I'm in the country for two months. But I didn't read anything on here about so I don't know where that two month wait has come from.

I do have student loans I need to pay off but while I am in the US preparing for our wedding I am also going to be trying to save up as much money as I can so I can pay these bills while I am not working.

Neither one of us has a criminal record.

Oh and as far as I know we won't be having a joint bank account at least not right away, I don't know if that will change in the future. But the last thing I want to know is how soon can I apply? After we get married and he's in the UK? And how long does the process generally take?

I know this is asking a lot of different things but I'm a bit of a worrywort and I want to make sure we have this all figured out by next year. Thanks!
 

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Hi I have a few questions regarding coming to the UK on a spouse visa.

I'm an American citizen, my fiancé is a UK citizen. We've known each other since 2006, been dating since 2010 and got engaged in June of this year. I've been in the UK for the last year for a post graduate degree on a tier 4 student visa. I'm going home in December and we're planning a wedding for October 2013.

Now we did do research and found it would be easier to get married in the US and have him return after we are married and then for me to apply for the spouse visa. I don't think he needs to apply for anything to get married to me as long as he returning to the UK but I don't know exact what I need to do.

I've looked on the UK Border Agency website and they've made some recent changes for those wanting to come to the UK because a spouse is in the UK.

From what I read there are a few things I need to do.

I will need to have a sponsorship of £18,600 in order meet the financial agreement. I'm assuming that means he'll need to make that much minium but I'm not sure.

I have to have accommodation. Now this one was tricky for me. My fiancé and I will be living with his parents when I am over here. I think that is okay but I would like some clarification on that.

I heard I couldn't actually apply for work either until I'm in the country for two months. But I didn't read anything on here about so I don't know where that two month wait has come from.

I do have student loans I need to pay off but while I am in the US preparing for our wedding I am also going to be trying to save up as much money as I can so I can pay these bills while I am not working.

Neither one of us has a criminal record.

Oh and as far as I know we won't be having a joint bank account at least not right away, I don't know if that will change in the future. But the last thing I want to know is how soon can I apply? After we get married and he's in the UK? And how long does the process generally take?

I know this is asking a lot of different things but I'm a bit of a worrywort and I want to make sure we have this all figured out by next year. Thanks!
I will offer some comments based on experience and observation and not professional expertise; others may answer more authoritatively later.

The 'housing' point is quite subjective. In one case I was peripherally involved in, the American spouse appeared alone at the Consulate General in New York and brought architectural plans of the family residence that showed sufficient space. Also a council tax bill and proof of ownership. One of my offspring showed proof of part ownership of a flat. (The fact that it was, and still is, rented to another was not volunteered and was not asked. As it happened for the duration of their stay in London they lived in the basement of a London house we own. Then he got a job elsewhere and they left the country with a child born in the UK who (quite correctly) got a British passport. (Actually he didn't, at first: the Passport Agency courier put the envelope containing the rush-order passport into the mailbox of the vacant adjacent house and they had to send another; and then it was a big deal to find someone with keys to the vacant place and retrieve the first one, which the Agency urgently wanted back.)

Unlike some (many) other countries, immigration status is not, or not yet, in the USA relevant to eligibility to marry. Even tourists can marry. In Nevada they can do it in 10 minutes, perhaps even while drunk.

My daughter-in-law was able to work upon arrival although in fact she worked for her own (US) company and engaged a local ("employee leasing") firm to handle the payroll and PAYE so her own firm didn't have to register for that. (An alternative is to register with HMRC as quasi-self-employed, the way British employees of foreign embassies usually do, but that's more complicated.) She got two visas: first a visa for marriage which was easy to get and relatively cheap. Some months later she got a spousal visa that took some time and a lot of money, and then the local UKBA contractor in California lost their documents and they had to do some of it over.

As it happens, she left Britain before 2 years was up and so she couldn't get the conditionality removed from her visa. This causes a kerfuffle every time she comes back for a visit and it means she may have to do the process all over again some day. Whereas
her son who got his settlement visa at the same time gets to keep it for life so long as he can satisfy the border police that he is still "UK-resident" in some vague way. (One would like to think there are objective tests but in real life there aren't.)

I don't understand the comment about "looking for work" since anybody can do that. It's actually getting hired and satisfying the employer that you have the right to work that is troublesome.

Hope that helps until you get more authoritative and better advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I will offer some comments based on experience and observation and not professional expertise; others may answer more authoritatively later.

The 'housing' point is quite subjective. In one case I was peripherally involved in, the American spouse appeared alone at the Consulate General in New York and brought architectural plans of the family residence that showed sufficient space. Also a council tax bill and proof of ownership. One of my offspring showed proof of part ownership of a flat. (The fact that it was, and still is, rented to another was not volunteered and was not asked. As it happened for the duration of their stay in London they lived in the basement of a London house we own. Then he got a job elsewhere and they left the country with a child born in the UK who (quite correctly) got a British passport. (Actually he didn't, at first: the Passport Agency courier put the envelope containing the rush-order passport into the mailbox of the vacant adjacent house and they had to send another; and then it was a big deal to find someone with keys to the vacant place and retrieve the first one, which the Agency urgently wanted back.)

Unlike some (many) other countries, immigration status is not, or not yet, in the USA relevant to eligibility to marry. Even tourists can marry. In Nevada they can do it in 10 minutes, perhaps even while drunk.

My daughter-in-law was able to work upon arrival although in fact she worked for her own (US) company and engaged a local ("employee leasing") firm to handle the payroll and PAYE so her own firm didn't have to register for that. (An alternative is to register with HMRC as quasi-self-employed, the way British employees of foreign embassies usually do, but that's more complicated.) She got two visas: first a visa for marriage which was easy to get and relatively cheap. Some months later she got a spousal visa that took some time and a lot of money, and then the local UKBA contractor in California lost their documents and they had to do some of it over.

As it happens, she left Britain before 2 years was up and so she couldn't get the conditionality removed from her visa. This causes a kerfuffle every time she comes back for a visit and it means she may have to do the process all over again some day. Whereas
her son who got his settlement visa at the same time gets to keep it for life so long as he can satisfy the border police that he is still "UK-resident" in some vague way. (One would like to think there are objective tests but in real life there aren't.)

I don't understand the comment about "looking for work" since anybody can do that. It's actually getting hired and satisfying the employer that you have the right to work that is troublesome.

Hope that helps until you get more authoritative and better advice.
Okay thanks! This does help quite a bit.
 

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In brief, the main requirement for you is that your UK fiancé has been in a job for at least 6 months receiving an annual salary of £18,600 or over at the point of your applying for your spouse visa. Alternative is savings (your, his or joint) amounting to £62,500 kept untouched for 6 months. Or a combination of the two. If, for example, his salary is £2000 short, you need savings of 2.5 x 2000 + 16,000 = £21,000.
Housing requirement is simple. If you are staying with his parents, you need a double bedrooom of your own, and the house isn't otherwise overcrowded. You don't need a separate flat or wing or ensuite bathroom.
 

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In brief, the main requirement for you is that your UK fiancé has been in a job for at least 6 months receiving an annual salary of £18,600 or over at the point of your applying for your spouse visa. Alternative is savings (your, his or joint) amounting to £62,500 kept untouched for 6 months. Or a combination of the two. If, for example, his salary is £2000 short, you need savings of 2.5 x 2000 + 16,000 = £21,000.
Housing requirement is simple. If you are staying with his parents, you need a double bedrooom of your own, and the house isn't otherwise overcrowded. You don't need a separate flat or wing or ensuite bathroom.
The bedroom part wouldn't be an issue because it's a three bedroom house and me and him already share his bedroom atm since I'm out of my accommodation and not yet going home.

However he does not make enough, he doesn't think he will even if he gets a better job, he recently applied for a better position that he didn't get and even that didn't meet the £18,600 requirement. He lives in Northern England and he says salaries are far different here than in places like London.

I find it already bad enough that I have to separated from him for a year before the wedding since I can't stay here. We seem to meet every requirement but the money part. At least we have a year to figure this out before it becomes an issue.
 

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The bedroom part wouldn't be an issue because it's a three bedroom house and me and him already share his bedroom atm since I'm out of my accommodation and not yet going home.

However he does not make enough, he doesn't think he will even if he gets a better job, he recently applied for a better position that he didn't get and even that didn't meet the £18,600 requirement. He lives in Northern England and he says salaries are far different here than in places like London.

I find it already bad enough that I have to separated from him for a year before the wedding since I can't stay here. We seem to meet every requirement but the money part. At least we have a year to figure this out before it becomes an issue.
Remember some financial categories need employment during the 6 to 12 months prior to application, and savings need to remain untouched for 6 months. So you must start now to plan how to meet the financial requirement.
 

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Remember some financial categories need employment during the 6 to 12 months prior to application, and savings need to remain untouched for 6 months. So you must start now to plan how to meet the financial requirement.

Well we have talked more about it. We are wondering if his mom should be my sponsor since it is her home and she will be family as well as the fact she'll have the income to meet it. There's also a few other factors I think too. Do you know if there would be a problem with that?
 

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Well we have talked more about it. We are wondering if his mom should be my sponsor since it is her home and she will be family as well as the fact she'll have the income to meet it. There's also a few other factors I think too. Do you know if there would be a problem with that?
I'm afraid external sponsor under the new rules isn't allowed. The only thing his mother can do is to give you cash gift, which you leave in your account untouched for 6 months, and it will count towards your savings to meet or make up the shortfall in financial requirement.
 

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Hi there,

We were a UK and US citizen and applied for a UK spouse visa in the US in 2011. We had only been together for a year, and had never lived in the UK, and were both unemployed, but our visa was approved in under 3 working days. When we got it back so quickly we assumed it has failed to be honest.

We were both in the states when we applied and we demonstrated the following:

A marriage certificate (which we got about a week before we made the application)
An income from a property, and savings (which were in excess of required)
Letters from family, pictures etc
A letter of an offer of employment for me upon return
Letter from family saying they would put us up if required

We laid it out very simply, point by point (with the help of a very nice immigration adviser) and realised we did meet the requirements to prove the relationship was genuine and we could support ourselves. We are now happily living in the UK employed and planning on starting a family (and worrying about ILR!).

I hope that helps put things into perspective.

Alex
 

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There was a major change in rules for family route (spouse, partner, fiancé(e) etc) last July so your experience is only of historical interest. Sorry.
 

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Watch for changes

I find it already bad enough that I have to separated from him for a year before the wedding since I can't stay here. We seem to meet every requirement but the money part. At least we have a year to figure this out before it becomes an issue.
I only wanted to add that while it is very wise to be planning ahead, you also need to keep a watch here for any changes that might come in the requirements over the next year. There is always the chance that they will increase the financial requirement which would make it even more difficult.

I hate to sound negative, but I just wanted to throw that out as a factor to be considered. I will be applying in August and have to do so under the changes of last July. I sure wish I'd been able to apply before then!!

I was totally overwhelmed when I first started looking into this process, but take the time to read through the threads here. You will find a lot of good information, and hints of what to do and NOT do for your application. I think if you take it one step at a time, it will work out in the end. But - definitely read these posts!!!!

Good luck!
Laurel
 
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