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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will be shortly applying for my wife's spies visa, with what should be a quite straight forward application. I would however not like to deal with the stress of completing and submitting the applications. I'm thus looking at getting some help from an agency or immigration lawyer. I've received quotes for up to £2.500 for this service (excluding UKBA fees). I have never seen the application forms. Are they difficult to complete? Is it worth getting an agency on board? Has anybody had any good experience with any agencies?
 

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I'm not sure about other agencies but be very very careful who you chose and look up reviews on the company before you commit.

My husband and I paid £1300 to have a company called Global Visas help us. Long story short, it was an absolute nightmare and they did not help us. It only resulted in us having to spend more money on extra flights we wouldn't have had to get before. It took us over a year to get some money back from this horrible company, and in the end we only got 50% back.

Again, if you decide to get some help make sure you do your research.
I've found that reading all the requirements and help sheets that the UKBA provides you helped me a lot. This forum has also help me loads.
 

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If your application is straight forward you won't need an agent. Read as much as you can on here and you will be fine...
 

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Agree with Hertsfem... if your situation is straight forward, there's no need for an agent. If you've had prior entry refusals for any country or a criminal record or similar, you would be best advised to get professional advice.


Still with us? Good.

Print yourself off a copy of the guidance and a copy of the application to use as a practice run-through.

Go over the application and start formulating your responses and gathering your supporting documentation (sounds easy, but it can and often does take time). If you have any questions, please feel free to ask questions here... we've all collectively been through the process and are happy to help. Joppa, the Mod, has extensive experience in regards to all things UKBA (he is not a lawyer/UKBA employee) and he can help provide clarification as needed.

Good luck to you. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, you might have saved me a few thousand quid!

Should be simple. I work in London and have been earning well above the minimum threshold (financial requirement - check), my wife studied her MBA in the UK (language-check), I'm Renting a 2 bedroom flat (accommodation - check), and we've met and are in a real relationship (check!!).

We can apply from mid January, and she will come over from Late November to kill some of the time.

Where can I find the guidance and application form?
I'm quite new to this!
 

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Thanks, you might have saved me a few thousand quid!

Should be simple. I work in London and have been earning well above the minimum threshold (financial requirement - check), my wife studied her MBA in the UK (language-check), I'm Renting a 2 bedroom flat (accommodation - check), and we've met and are in a real relationship (check!!).

We can apply from mid January, and she will come over from Late November to kill some of the time.

Where can I find the guidance and application form?
I'm quite new to this!
Take a deep breath and click here.
 
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Be careful with length of visit

Thanks, you might have saved me a few thousand quid!

Should be simple. I work in London and have been earning well above the minimum threshold (financial requirement - check), my wife studied her MBA in the UK (language-check), I'm Renting a 2 bedroom flat (accommodation - check), and we've met and are in a real relationship (check!!).

We can apply from mid January, and she will come over from Late November to kill some of the time.

Where can I find the guidance and application form?
I'm quite new to this!
You didn't mention where your wife is from? Unless she has very strong ties to return to her home country, and asks to come for only a short visit - 2-3 weeks - there is the possibility that she could be denied entry and that would NOT be good for her application.

Your best course of action would be to read all the threads here that even appear to apply to your situation. Even some that don't can give you valuable bits of information. There are many stories of people who have run into problems by not being aware of very simple rules so the more educated you become in the process and requirements, the better. Always ask here if you have any doubts BEFORE doing something - you will save much time and aggravation.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
She's coming from brazil. She arrives at the end of November and will stay until the end of January. She's basically coming for Christmas and her 30th birthday which is at the end of January. So she has legitimate cause to come across. We've got significant cash in an account to support her and flights/hotels booked in Europe, as we are taking several trips while she's here.

Do you think this would cause issues?
 

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She's coming from brazil. She arrives at the end of November and will stay until the end of January. She's basically coming for Christmas and her 30th birthday which is at the end of January. So she has legitimate cause to come across. We've got significant cash in an account to support her and flights/hotels booked in Europe, as we are taking several trips while she's here.

Do you think this would cause issues?
From what I've read here, that isn't sufficient for them to allow her entry, especially for such a long time. But, I am not as experienced as others here, so I'd wait and see if any of the mod's or others can advise you. You definitely want good advice before she arrives.
 

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Perhaps a Family Visitor Visa might be suitable for your wife. It allows for her to visit family (i.e. you, her spouse) for a period of up to 6 months and it's a multiple entry, for the life of the visa (i.e. if it's 6 months, then she can come and go for 6 months... if it's 4 months validity, then she has to go at the end of 4 months etc).

Once she gets this and leaves on or before the end of her visa, it will be a credit in her favour when she applies for her Spousal Visa i.e. the ECO who process her application will see that a UK visa has been issued and she has abided by the terms of that visa.
 

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She's coming from brazil. She arrives at the end of November and will stay until the end of January. She's basically coming for Christmas and her 30th birthday which is at the end of January. So she has legitimate cause to come across. We've got significant cash in an account to support her and flights/hotels booked in Europe, as we are taking several trips while she's here.

Do you think this would cause issues?
Yes, it could. Having enough money to support a 2 months trip is one thing but they are also looking for her to have strong enough ties to Brazil to return. Because she will be leaving and entering the UK several times over a 2 months period, applying for a multi-entry visa before hand is probably a good idea. Each time she enters the UK she is basically applying for a new visit visa. Doing this several times over the course of a couple of months can raise questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As far as I can see Brazilians are entitled to a 6 month visa. The wife has previously held a study visa in the uk and a post study visa (none of which she over-stayed). So I assume she is in good standing with the UKBA. We will be getting a letter from an employer who will hire her casually after she returns to brazil up until the spouse visa is issued. Saying this, do you still
Recommend the visitor visa?
 

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As far as I can see Brazilians are entitled to a 6 month visa. The wife has previously held a study visa in the uk and a post study visa (none of which she over-stayed). So I assume she is in good standing with the UKBA. We will be getting a letter from an employer who will hire her casually after she returns to brazil up until the spouse visa is issued. Saying this, do you still
Recommend the visitor visa?
Yes, she's eligible for a 6 month visa. Tourist visas are granted at the border to non-visa nationals and they are usually for 6 months. They are issued at the discretion of the IO and they can be issued for less time. Additionally, each time she exits the UK that visa is cancelled and she will be applying for a new visa. Her good immigration record is great but those are long term visas and you are now talking about a tourist visa. Most tourists don't have 2 months off. These are just some things you should think about. A return ticket on a specific date and a letter from her employer saying she will be starting on a specific date will be helpful.
 

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Agree with nyclon.

If I were you, I would still recommend going the Family Visitor Visa route... that way you have a definitive answer as to whether Your Wife can enter and leave the UK at her leisure without having to press your luck by showing up at the airport..

The fact that she has had previous UK visas will be helpful in her application, as would the letter from her employer.

Lots to think about... good luck to you! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the advice, very much appreciated.

Just so I'm clear, If we opted to not do the visitors visa, on what grounds would they refuse entry? Because they do not believe she will return to Brazil? The UKBA website is quite clear that she does not require the visitor visa as 1. She is a non-visa national and 2. She doesnt have any unspent convictions or been refused a visa etc etc. Just curious as to how they could refuse something which she rightfully qualifies for.

If we do apply for the visitor visa, and for some reason it is refused, would she still be able to come on her scheduled flight and "chance it" at customs? Would the refusal jeopardise her spouse visa application? Are there grounds for appeal on rejected applications?

Are these family visitor visas granted quite regularly? Do they tend to present problems for applicants?

Sorry for all the questions. I only found out about this issue today and am now pressed for time as we only have 1 month to get the visa sorted!
 

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Thanks for all the advice, very much appreciated.

Just so I'm clear, If we opted to not do the visitors visa, on what grounds would they refuse entry? Because they do not believe she will return to Brazil? The UKBA website is quite clear that she does not require the visitor visa as 1. She is a non-visa national and 2. She doesnt have any unspent convictions or been refused a visa etc etc. Just curious as to how they could refuse something which she rightfully qualifies for.
Is she full time employed in Brasil? Most people who are on vacation usually only have 2-3 weeks of leave and not 2-3 months, so they might find it sus that she's come all this way to see her husband with no job or real ties or compelling reasons to return to Brasil... as previously stated, the letter from the employer would be a good start but she'd be at the mercy of the I/O who sees her at the airport, and while she may say she's staying for 10 weeks, they (the I/O) is well within his/her rights to give her less than that amount of time just as they are to give her more time than what she's asked for.

At least with the Family Visitor Visa, they cannot not let her in during the life of the visa and you two can enter and quit the UK as many times as you want during that time as well, without worrying that she might be refused.

If we do apply for the visitor visa, and for some reason it is refused, would she still be able to come on her scheduled flight and "chance it" at customs? Would the refusal jeopardise her spouse visa application? Are there grounds for appeal on rejected applications?
She'll likely be sent home if she is refused a family visit visa and then just pitches up at the airport.

A refusal would also indeed make her spouse visa application (and subsequent visa application(s)) subject to a closer examination than if if she didn't have any refusals on file.

Are these family visitor visas granted quite regularly? Do they tend to present problems for applicants?
I don't know how often they are issued, but it would stand to reason that if the UKBA wasn't that happy to issue them, they wouldn't have them on offer and they would have been restricted or eliminated when the immigration law was changed in July 2012.

I would also imagine that with her history with the UKBA (a few visas that were granted and adhered to), they'd be more inclined to give her the visa than not.

Sorry for all the questions. I only found out about this issue today and am now pressed for time as we only have 1 month to get the visa sorted!
No worries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Is she full time employed in Brasil? Most people who are on vacation usually only have 2-3 weeks of leave and not 2-3 months, so they might find it sus that she's come all this way to see her husband with no job or real ties or compelling reasons to return to Brasil... as previously stated, the letter from the employer would be a good start but she'd be at the mercy of the I/O who sees her at the airport, and while she may say she's staying for 10 weeks, they (the I/O) is well within his/her rights to give her less than that amount of time just as they are to give her more time than what she's asked for.
Well, she would effectively be working at her current job until the end of November, resigning and then flying to London until the end of January and then returning to London when the temporary job will start. They are two separate jobs. Therefore the job on the Family Visitor application form wouldn't be the same as the offer letter. Would this present an issue?
 

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Could her employer write that they're allowing her a leave of absence from work at the end of November to visit her husband/in-laws in the UK over the Christmas holidays on the proviso that she returns to work on February 1? After all, if her boss is willing to take her on after she returns, there's really no reason why he couldn't just say that they're giving her a leave of absence and just leave it at that... same difference, no? especially if it's her intention to return to work when she gets back and stay until her spousal visa is processed anyway.

That way, she's got her bases covered.... she has established ties/compelling circumstances for her return to Brasil (and not likely to overstay), is still employed (she needn't specify that the post-visit component is for a predetermined amount of time) and a feasible/realistic reason for her visit (after all, it is Christmas and you are married).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks WestCoastCanadianGirl!

One more question. Should we be transparent on the application and state that we will be applying for the spouse visa once she returns?
 

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Despite being advised to take out a family visitor visa as Brazilian, under your wife's circumstances there is no need for it. All she needs is a firm plan for returning home within 6 months (employer's letter, confirmed plane ticket), financial sponsorship from you (letter and bank statement), and plans for applying for spouse visa (e.g. printout of VAF4A form). Carry those documents each time she leaves UK and she should be allowed back in. If possible, try to re-enter together.
 
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