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Hello! My name is Nicole [31/f] and I currently live in New York, USA. My husband, Rhys [38/m], and I were married two weeks ago in America. We have known each other since the beginning of 2014 and began our relationship in December 2015. Aside from daily communication, we have visited each other 4 separate times in both the US and UK (three 2-week stays and one 2-month extended stay where I lived with him at his/our residence in the UK).

Rhys is a British citizen living in South Yorkshire, UK and we are in the process of submitting my VAF4A+Appendix 2 UK family settlement visa application. Now I'm just waiting on his evidence to arrive via post to be included with the rest of my many documents before sending to Sheffield (i.e. - certified copy of his current passport & original previous passport, financial requirement proof, accommodation proof, divorce decree absolute from his previous marriage, cover letter). I am waiting to book my biometrics appointment until we can track that his parcel is in the US.

Although I have pored over UKVI's guidelines and various appendices, I still have some questions that I was hoping someone could clarify. Thank you very much for taking the time to read my post.

I have no children or dependents. Rhys has two children under 18 (both British citizens with valid passports) from his previous marriage that reside at his/our home 3 days out of every week. He does not pay child support as the divorce was mutual/amicable with no such terms laid out.

  • In part 1.28 of Appendix 2, it is asked if my sponsor (Rhys) is responsible for supporting his children. My husband has estimated this as about £100/month for food and sundries for both children. Is it correct to list this estimated amount since it is not in an "official" capacity (i.e. - child support)? If so, should I note that this is not child support to avoid confusion?
  • In part 2.7 of Appendix 2, it is asked if anyone other than my sponsor lives at the property we intend to reside at. Is it correct to list his children and note that they only live there part-time (3 days per week)? The childrens' official address (for school registration and whatnot) is their mother's residence.
  • At the beginning of part 3 in Appendix 2, it reads "Children who are British Citizens or not subject to Immigration Control do not need to be considered when calculating the financial requirement." Are we correct in assuming that we need only meet the £18,600 salaried income (applying with no child dependents under 18)? In any case, we can meet the £24,800 for two dependent children, but I want to make sure I tick the correct box in part 3.2.

And now for some documentation questions...

  • My current US passport is my second passport. My first US passport expired and was never returned to me when I sent it in for renewal (the renewal being for my current, second passport). I know that my first passport has the same passport #, but I am unsure of the issue and expiry months, though I do know the years. Is it correct to estimate the dates (i.e. 01 Jan 2002 - 01 Jan 2012) and choose "Retained by Passport Issuing Authority" as to its status?
  • We are awaiting a revised tenancy agreement from Rhys's current landlord to include me. Should the revised tenancy agreement not arrive in time to be submitted with my application, is including the initial approval email from the landlord advisable? Or is that useless to the reviewing officer?
  • In addition to the tenancy agreement, property inspection and council tax bills, are utility bills required? The utilities are only in Rhys's name. If so, should this also be 6 months of bills (as with payslips, bank statements)? Do they need to originals or will online printouts suffice?
  • Rhys works for a large organization whose HQ is in London and anyone outside the organization wishing to make contact would go through the London phone number/address. However, Rhys works at a regional office in South Yorkshire. Any advice on which address to list for his employer? Both? His payslips only say "Yorkshire Midlands Region" with no address listed.
  • Loaded question, but how much is too much when it comes to evidence of relationship? Obviously, I do not want my application to be refused due to insufficient evidence, but I also don't want to annoy the reviewing officer with a tome. I have read on here that 10-15 pages of correspondence and 10-15 photos together is plenty. However, I have been considering adding cards of congratulations on our wedding from his parents and his children as well as our engagement ring receipts. Is that overkill?
  • Another to do with evidence of our relationship: we officially became a couple in December 2015 and that is what I listed as the beginning of our relationship in part 1.5 of Appendix 2. However, we have communication dating back to early 2014. Should the correspondence I provide only be from December 2015 onward?
  • Regarding using the VFS Global roundtrip courier service: Will the application packet be collected directly from my residence in the US? Or do I have to ship it from some approved physical location? I do plan on purchasing this service, but I have not done so yet and was just a little confused as to how it works.
  • Finally, if the reviewing officer is not satisfied with a certain document (wrong format, etc) or needs additional evidence, is it safe to assume I will be contacted and allowed to submit whatever is required? This is more a paranoia question with regards to refusal/rejection -- will I have a chance to amend something lacking? Or is it more likely to receive an outright rejection?

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR READING! I sincerely appreciate the help. Forums like this one have offered invaluable assistance as we are doing this on our own without the help of an immigration lawyer. While we have studied the guidelines in and out, some details still elude us and we want to do this right the first time. I very much hope to report visa approval in the coming weeks/months. Good luck to all those applying.

Take care,
Nicole
 
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