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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I am a Brit and my wife is Ukrainian. We were married in February (in Ukraine) and she is now in the UK (yay!) on a standard visitor visa (6 months validity, multi entry).

This was the only appropriate visa to bring her on, since fiance visa was obviously not applicable as we were already married. We are as yet undecided about where we want to settle but leaning towards UK. Anyway, if we do apply for FLR(M) it seems this is possible within the UK but nowhere does it specify whether or not this is possible on a visitor visa!
I have searched on this forum and many others but nowhere could I find this simple answer. It's astonishing that it isn't clearly stated on the UKVI site.

The UKVI site states many times, in many places, that if you are in the UK, you must apply in the UK. Therefore my two big questions are:

1) Can you convert a visitor visa to FLR(M)?
2) If not, would we have to wait until her visitor visa expires (December!) to apply for FLR(M) in Ukraine?

Thanks all! :D
 

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You can't switch from a Tourist Visa to any other visa class.

You will have to apply for a Spouse Visa from the Ukraine ... it's 2.5 years in length and has an income requirement (amongst other things) to satisfy in order to qualify.

After that initial 2.5 year visa has been granted, executed and completed then you would qualify apply for an FLR(M) visa for an additional 2.5 years (again, meeting certain conditions for approval during the application process).

At the end of that FLR(M) visa, she applies for Indefinite Leave to Remain and citizenship (through naturalisation).

If, after she is granted ILR, she does not apply for naturalisation and subsequently is away from the UK for more than 2 years at a time, the Home Office has the right to revoke ILR (they can and do revoke and deport).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
WCCG, thanks. This really should be made clear on the UKVI site!
Can anyone inform if she must wait for her visitor visa to expire before applying for FLR(M) in Ukraine? I don't see what difference it would make, but I know they sometimes have weird rules about this stuff!
Thanks again :)
 

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She cannot switch from a Tourist Visa (Visitor's Visa) to any other visa class.

Also, she cannot apply for FLR(M) (Further Leave to Remain) visa without having first applied for and received a Spouse Visa, which she has to apply for from the Ukraine.

There is no way around this... Spousal Visa first, FLR(M) second - no exceptions.

All of that said, there is nothing stopping her from returning to the Ukraine tomorrow and lodging a Spousal Visa as soon as she gets home.
 

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No, she can apply for spouse visa at any time, obviously when she can meet the requirement.
Switching from visitor status to another visa in UK is only allowed in exceptional circumstances, such as it's dangerous to return home, such as Syria, or you have a well-founded fear of being persecuted, in which case you apply for refugee status.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
WCCG, my apologies. I was mixing my terminology. I meant spousal visa, not FLR(M). Anyway, between you and Joppa, you've cleared this up nicely.
Thanks to both :)
 

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If you wanted, you could do some of the footwork by gathering your documents (bank statements, payslips etc) and completing the application now (i.e. tonight) and book her in for her biometrics for when she gets home so that once she arrives home, she just goes to do the biometrics and then submits the application and waits for a decision.
 

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Be careful. While you can prepare the application now, she is supposed to be in Ukraine when the application is made online, not merely for the biometrics. So press the submit button once she sets foot in Ukraine, and not before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I should add that there's no rush. I work mostly in Ukraine and have permanent residency there, so we will probably start the application when we return in September. I'm aware of the financial requirement and more than meet it three times over - I am paid in USD directly to my UK bank account.
Thanks again.
 
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