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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello....it is my understanding that in order to qualify for a unmarried - partner visa, I would need to show proof of us living together for at least 2 years....in doing so, what other avenues can I enter the UK to live with my fiance with out applying for a spousal visa and a fiance visa? Is there such a way so that we can live together for 2 years then apply for the unmarried - partner visa?

I also understand that it is cheaper to go the spousal visa if he were to come to the states and we marry then I apply for a spousal visa once he returns to UK after his 2 week holiday.

I also understand that with a fiance visa, I can not work until we marry and once we marry, in the UK, I apply for a spousal visa, an additional cost...hence just go for the spousal visa to begin with...and if we marry right away, apply for spousal visa and once granted I may begin to look for work and work in UK.

My point of getting an unmarried - partner visa would be to see that living together we can get along thus getting married later in the near future, after a year or so.

I would appreciate any help on this matter...Thank you!
 

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Unless you can show UK ancestry (i.e. Grandparent is from the UK) or get a work permit on your own or show enough £££ for a UK student visa, or if he can come to the US on a work or student visa himself, you're pretty much hooped as far as coming over as a Singleton.

As a US citizen on a Tourist Visa. your maximum length of stay is generally 6 months in any 12 month period (i.e. from July '13-July '14, you could be in the UK from 01 July '13 to 01 January '14 then you have to go back until at least 01 July '14), but the actual length of your allowed stay is at the discretion of the Immigration Officer who first sees you on arrival in the UK (going through the Republic of Ireland won't help, as you won't pass through UK border patrol and as such your arrival will be undocumented and you could very well be deported as an illegal).

It is not possible to switch from Tourist to Fiancée/Spouse/Student etc on a tourist visa... all of those visas would have to be applied for from the U.S.A.


Good luck
 

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Perhaps my experience will help you make a decision as to which if any visa. The following is book-length but you really might find it helpful:

I met my now husband online in a current affairs discussion forum in 2008. In 2009 we realised we might be attracted to each other after first PMing for several months and progressing to personal email then longer and longer (and expensive, ouchie!) telephone calls. By 2010 we decided we might actually be in love so I sold my house and came over on a visitor visa after I retired. the plan was to live together at his Scottish home and see, as we put it, if we could share one tiny bathroom and still be in love:D

After two months we realised this was the real deal, at five months into the six month visitor visa we were married at the Registrar's in our town and the day before my six month visa expired I left the UK to return to the US to apply for my spouse visa. (this was under the old rules)That visa was granted and I returned to my new husband in the UK. The six month visitor visa worked for us - we had time to be together without a lot of pressure to figure out if we were a real couple.

**Important note: I underwent a shocking 'grilling' when I arrived including being asked 'Did you come over to fall in love?!'. LOL, I looked her right in the eye and said 'At my age would that be such a bad thing?' and she granted me the full six month visa.

I'd come prepared - first of all, when she asked why I was here I told her I'd just retired and was over to meet f2f with a man I'd met in an online current affairs forum, and to visit with friends in the south of England.

I had with me plenty of money to comfortably support myself for the term of the visa, proof of personal medical-dental insurance, a return ticket, strong ties in the US (son and grandson, bank account, and even a written job offer from my former employer stating they were willing to hold the position for the six months I was hoping to be in the UK. I was neatly dressed, pleasant, and tried (not all that successfully, lol) not to be too nervous at the border.

In addition I had invitation letters from not only my potential new boyfriend, lol, but from friends I'd known and visited with several times in England stating their willingness to not only host me for a visit but to 'rescue' me should things with the potential new boyfriend 'go south' and believe me, those letters from my friends came in very handy!

The stern young woman at the border asked me what I would do if the man I was going to stay with turned out to be a nutter and I was able to present the letters from my friends+assure her I wasn't a doormat and knew how to grab my handbag and mobile to ring for a taxi out of a bad situation. Seriously, this did come up at the border. She wasn't happy that I hadn't booked a hotel or B&B in his town - it clearly bothered her I was planning to stay in his house.

She did let me through in the end but WOW that was a rough 15 or so minutes!

As above, a couple of months was enough time for us to figure out we were really in love and had what it took to make a good marriage so we contacted a solicitor friend and he helped us negotiate the path to a wedding. At the time there was a scheme called Certificate of Approval (please note this is no longer available) for couples where one was in the UK on a visitor visa - it was made very clear to me when it was granted that I would have to leave the UK before my visitor visa expired to return to the US to apply for the spouse visa, and that's what I did. The Registrar was satisfied I would abide by the rules and she married us in the presence of several friends in the Registrar Office Wedding Room.

I'm now on my ILR, still very happily married, and well settled into my life here in Scotland:) Clearly the visitor visa 'test of compatibility' worked for us:rockon:

It's my understanding that should you choose to come over in a similar way and find similar results (that the two of you are a real couple and can make a good marriage) you would have to be very clear with the Registrar that you understand you will have to leave the UK to return to the US. Because of the new rules; it would also behoove you to be sure your partner can satisfy the rules (especially the financial one) and be able to demonstrate to the Registrar that you A-understand the visa requirements and B-can satisfy them. That way he/she will understand you both are clear on the rules and can meet them.

It's not perfect but if you can afford to be off work for six months it would give you the time needed to be sure living with this guy for the rest of your life is a fairly sure bet. As you've already met in person, when questioned at the border you could simply say you have a gap year and would like to spend sufficient time with your boyfriend so as to determine your long-term compatibility and make it very very clear you understand you must leave the UK at the end of your visitor visa no matter what.

Coming over on the visitor visa would also give you an out should things not work out - you can always return to the US sadder but wiser - rushing into marriage because it's the only way to be together might end in a hideously expensive transatlantic divorce.
 

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The "partner" part of the unmarried partner visa is more important than the "unmarried" part. It's used for people who are married in all but name due to legal or other significant restrictions. It's typically used for same-sex civil unions, but I'm sure there are other situations where two people are not allowed to define their relationship as marriage that would be equally applicable.

If two people were fully capable of being married, it would be quite suspicious to apply for an unmarried partner visa.

My job wouldn't allow me the freedom of the route AAiS took. Our method of determining co-habitability took us three years with me spending two-week chunks in England once a year, and her spending one-month chunks in America three times a year.

There's really nothing convenient once an international relationship hits, and we all commiserate.
 

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The "partner" part of the unmarried partner visa is more important than the "unmarried" part. It's used for people who are married in all but name due to legal or other significant restrictions. It's typically used for same-sex civil unions, but I'm sure there are other situations where two people are not allowed to define their relationship as marriage that would be equally applicable.

If two people were fully capable of being married, it would be quite suspicious to apply for an unmarried partner visa.

My job wouldn't allow me the freedom of the route AAiS took. Our method of determining co-habitability took us three years with me spending two-week chunks in England once a year, and her spending one-month chunks in America three times a year.

There's really nothing convenient once an international relationship hits, and we all commiserate.
LOL, JC, being close to retirement has it benefits - once we figured out we might be falling in love it was easy to go on and sign that retirement letter:D
 

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US citizens are not eligible for UK ancestry visas.

If you have any EU ancestry you may be entitled to citizenship in one of those countries which would give you the right to live and work in the UK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you everyone for your input/replies...so in essence the only way for me to live in the UK and to work in the near future would be with a fiance visa or spousal visa.....
 

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Thank you everyone for your input/replies...so in essence the only way for me to live in the UK and to work in the near future would be with a fiance visa or spousal visa.....
Yes. Unless you can find a sponsor for a Tier 2 work visa which is incredibly difficult unless you have some extraordinary talent or you want to undertake a degree program which will require expensive tuition fees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you again nyclon...what is an approximate length period from start to finish when applying for a fiance visa?
 

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I had my visa in four days after sending in my paperwork from the US.
True, but OP should also consider that if she doesn't select the Priority Processing option when sending in her application, the wait can be several weeks to a couple of months.

All of that said, each case is adjudicated on its own merits and, as the old saying goes, "your results may vary" ... when I had mine done non in July '12 (I got in under the old rules and at that time, Canadian and US applications were still being processed in New York City), the average "non priority" wait was approximately 15 business days (3 calendar weeks), my application was received on July 6, acknowledged on the 12, approval notification on the 25th (which they no longer send... instead a generic "a decision has been made and your documents are being sent back" email is sent without actually stating the decision) and the passport was back in my hands (in suburban Vancouver, Canada) just before 11am on July 27 (21 calendar days after it was first received in New York).

Good luck to you.
 
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