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What hope do we have?

2225 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Joppa
Hi there,

This may be a bit long winded so I apologise in advance.

I'm from the UK and my bf is from the U.S, we met online in August 2008 and he came over here for the 1st time in May 2009 for a 10 day holiday to see if our feelings were the same in real life as they were online. They were without a doubt and we just want to be together. This is a guide to the dates he has been here so far.

25th May - 4th June
13th July - 15th Sept
Oct 19th - Nov 14th
Dec 13th - Jan 13th 2010 (with me right now :) )

He has a job when he is in the U.S working with his family which allows for the month here, month there and the funds to pay for the flights. He also is studying for a degree online.

We desperately want for him to be able to settle here but realise we face some issues and this is going to take some time.

The problem we have is that we haven't been living together for 2 years to apply for a de facto visa (impossible when you don't live in the same country) and he isn't 21 until May 2010 which also stops us.

I am currently going through a divorce which should be complete in the next 3 months.

We were hoping he could spend a month here and then a month there until he turns 21 and then look at the de facto visa anyway and worst case if we can't get it continue with him spending a month here and a month back there working until we can apply for it.

When he came through border control this time he was told he would have to get a visa as sooner or later he would likely be refused entry at some point, what I don't understand is, I have read that a person can come into the UK and stay for no more than 6 out of 12 months and there is no rule about how many times they enter and leave.

It's called "spent leave" and this is the info as I can't post a link yet from the site (Londonelegance)

"To begin, let's have a look at the IDIs...

"...There is no restriction on the number of visits a person may make to the United Kingdom nor any requirement that a specified time must elapse between successive visits. The fact that a person has made a series of visits with only brief intervals between them would not, in the absence of any other relevant factors, constitute sufficient ground for refusal.

It is reasonable, however, for the immigration officer to consider the stated purpose of the visit in the light of the length of time that has elapsed since previous visits. A visitor should not, for example, normally spend more than 6 out of any 12 months in this country (but see Section 3 of this chapter in the case of visitors for private medical treatment)..."

Commentary: The so-called 'spent-leave' rule is not mentioned in the official UK immigration rules, but rather it is a constructive rule that can be used by an Immigration Officer in determining whether or not to allow a visitor to enter the UK.

The rule states that a visitor should normally spend a maximum of six months out of any twelve months in the UK, and attempting to stay for a longer period is a signal that the applicant is not a genuine visitor."

When he came this time he was prepared with bank statements, a letter from his employer stating he was returning to work and on what date and his return travel ticket. The border patrol officer didn't ask to see any of this.

I have made an appointment to see an immigration expert next Monday but was hoping for some answers on here or even some inspiration maybe.

Would it be worth applying for a 2 year visa for him maybe, as I understand it, that would allow him to enter and leave with less hassle and as long as he doesn't over stay the 6 months out of a 12 month period he should be good to do this?
Or am I misunderstanding this visa and is it for someone who wants to stay in the UK for 2 year. (He would want to go home for some visits) This is something we would look at as well and if it's the latter then I'll start looking at the requirements.

Thanks in advance.
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Answered my own question with a bit more googling...

"A general visit, business, entertainer or sports visit visa may be valid for 1, 2, 5 or 10 years. However, you are still only entitled to stay in the UK for a maximum of 180 days (6 months). A 2 year visit visa does not mean you are entitled to stay in the UK for 2 years, for example. We recommend that you limit your stay to the period stated on your visa application or to a maximum of 180 days within a 12 month period. Lengthy periods spent in the UK as a visitor may cause an immigration or visa officer to doubt your intentions. If you breach the conditions attached to your entry to the UK, you face a future ban of up to 10 years."

So "hopefully" a 2 years visitor visa would help with any issues an immigration officer might have.
Sometimes it helps to talk it through with someone - even if it is an online forum! :D
I know of no 'two-year' visa that enables someone to stay in UK continuously, with only occasional trips back home. A visitor cannot stay more than 6 months, and it isn't extendable. As stated, 6 months in 12 months is a guide the Home Office uses in determining a traveller's status as a visitor. Come more often than this, unless there are genuine reasons (such as medical treatment or someone with lots of UK business interest), you do risk being turned away. Any long-stay visa is for a specific purpose, such as study, work or settlement.
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