APPLYING FOR VISA-I NEED HELP PLEASE!

Old Dec 4th 2011, 9:45 pm
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Default APPLYING FOR VISA-I NEED HELP PLEASE!

My British husband & I, American are moving back to England in May, 2012. I know you are suppose to wait 3 months a head of time to apply for your visa. Of course, it does state that you cannot fly before the date issued on the visa but anytime after that date, you are allowed to fly , I was wondering if anyone had applied for their visa earlier and put a earlier date on their visa application than what they intended?

My reasoning for this is: Applying for it in January and hopefully receiving it by April when technically, planning on going in May because:

1) Booking airline tickets a month before you are suppose to fly because they hopefully will be cheaper

2) I have 4 animals flying back with us and having them all sorted out

3) Telling my boss in plenty of time so he can get someone else to take over the one girl office I work in because I don't want to tell him too soon and then he gets mad and fires me before I know that I get my visa

Any information will be very helpful and I do appreciate all comments.
Thanks!
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Old Dec 4th 2011, 9:59 pm
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Default Re: APPLYING FOR VISA-I NEED HELP PLEASE!

I don't think you can apply earlier than 3 months before you need the visa to be dated. You need to move to the UK reasonably soon after issue of the visa because it might cause problems when getting ILR (permanent residency) as the countdown is an exact number of years after moving over on the visa, and you don't want it to run out before you can apply for ILR. (I'm saying an exact number of years because it is 2 years now but when you apply it may have been changed to 5).

I know nothing is ever certain in the visa world, but I think you should be safe booking your flights now if you are applying 3 months before date of travel. You can send a copy of your flight itinerary with the dates highlighted in with your file of supporting documents together with a note saying what date you need the visa to start.

Chances are the visa will be issued fine. If not (for example if you need to get a co-sponsor), they should contact you to ask you to do this rather than refuse you outright and make you apply again. You can pay the extra for the premium service if necessary, I believe with this service you can get the visa in one week. I think it is $300 extra, which in the scheme of other costs (main visa fee, flights, pet transport etc) seems worth the added cost.

Did you decide on flying or the QM for the animals?
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Old Dec 4th 2011, 10:38 pm
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Default Re: APPLYING FOR VISA-I NEED HELP PLEASE!

Originally Posted by Squirrel View Post
I don't think you can apply earlier than 3 months before you need the visa to be dated. You need to move to the UK reasonably soon after issue of the visa because it might cause problems when getting ILR (permanent residency) as the countdown is an exact number of years after moving over on the visa, and you don't want it to run out before you can apply for ILR. (I'm saying an exact number of years because it is 2 years now but when you apply it may have been changed to 5).

I know nothing is ever certain in the visa world, but I think you should be safe booking your flights now if you are applying 3 months before date of travel. You can send a copy of your flight itinerary with the dates highlighted in with your file of supporting documents together with a note saying what date you need the visa to start.

Chances are the visa will be issued fine. If not (for example if you need to get a co-sponsor), they should contact you to ask you to do this rather than refuse you outright and make you apply again. You can pay the extra for the premium service if necessary, I believe with this service you can get the visa in one week. I think it is $300 extra, which in the scheme of other costs (main visa fee, flights, pet transport etc) seems worth the added cost.

Did you decide on flying or the QM for the animals?
Thanks for the info Squirrel. I think we are going to fly. Much easier and the bookings are all taken up by the time we want to go for the QM. Wish we could of went by the QM but like I said, bookings were few and far between.
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Old Dec 5th 2011, 12:21 am
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Default Re: APPLYING FOR VISA-I NEED HELP PLEASE!

Your UK visa can be post-dated up to 3 months after the decision is made. It mentions this on the current processing times page.

So yes you can apply earlier than 3 months before your intended travel - just request the visa is post-dated.
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Old Dec 5th 2011, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: APPLYING FOR VISA-I NEED HELP PLEASE!

Originally Posted by roaringmouse View Post
Your UK visa can be post-dated up to 3 months after the decision is made. It mentions this on the current processing times page.

So yes you can apply earlier than 3 months before your intended travel - just request the visa is post-dated.
The language on the UKBA site implies that you can only apply WITHIN 3 months of your intended travel. I am in the same situation and were advised to do it within that 3 month period and not before... It's hard to get a solid answer from them
Here's the UKBA parragraph - quote:

"You can apply for your visa within three months of your intended date of travel. We are only able to post-date visas by a maximum of three months from the date of the decision on your visa application. You can enter the UK anytime after your visa issue date but not before."
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Old Dec 5th 2011, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: APPLYING FOR VISA-I NEED HELP PLEASE!

Originally Posted by Mecano View Post
The language on the UKBA site implies that you can only apply WITHIN 3 months of your intended travel. I am in the same situation and were advised to do it within that 3 month period and not before... It's hard to get a solid answer from them
Here's the UKBA parragraph - quote:

"You can apply for your visa within three months of your intended date of travel. We are only able to post-date visas by a maximum of three months from the date of the decision on your visa application. You can enter the UK anytime after your visa issue date but not before."
This is what I thought. I used to be on a board specifically for Americans moving to the UK and in a few years never heard of anyone getting their's post-dated by more than 3 months.
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Old Dec 6th 2011, 12:40 am
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Default Re: APPLYING FOR VISA-I NEED HELP PLEASE!

Thanks for all your replies. I guess what I am trying to say is:

Planning on going back in May but put on my application for my visa that I am planning on going back in April. That way I would have my visa in plenty of time to book my flight, get animals sorted, etc. That would only be an extra month. I know they are strict about only giving you 27 months on your visa but that is giving you 3 months to get there. From what I have read, they want you to live there for 2 years so that 3 months is kinda of a lead way to have time to get there. Has anyone else done this on their visa? I just don't want to wait until the last possible moment to have to book flights.

Also, does anyone know if you are applying in the US, how quickly you get your visa? I have read their processing times and that just might put me in the same boat that I'm worried about.
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Old Dec 6th 2011, 2:19 am
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Default Re: APPLYING FOR VISA-I NEED HELP PLEASE!

Originally Posted by Mecano View Post
The language on the UKBA site implies that you can only apply WITHIN 3 months of your intended travel. I am in the same situation and were advised to do it within that 3 month period and not before... It's hard to get a solid answer from them
Ok, I'll give an example then. My (Australian) wife & I are currently considering returning to the UK, and with the changes next year we decided to get an application in early (last month, October).

In our case we've been married & living outside the UK for 4+ years, and my wife had passed the Life in the UK test in 2007. On our application we put intended travel date as (I think it was) late March or early April.

Her visa was granted, Indefinite Leave to Enter, and it is valid from 3 months after the decision date - so she can enter the UK on that visa from sometime in February 2012. We didn't actually request the post-dated visa (as I was expecting the processing to take quite a bit longer than it did), however I appreciate that the entry clearance officer did date the visa as such.

Last edited by roaringmouse; Dec 6th 2011 at 2:24 am.
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Old Dec 6th 2011, 2:23 am
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Default Re: APPLYING FOR VISA-I NEED HELP PLEASE!

Originally Posted by Kady View Post
I know they are strict about only giving you 27 months on your visa but that is giving you 3 months to get there. From what I have read, they want you to live there for 2 years so that 3 months is kinda of a lead way to have time to get there.
When granted the normal 27 month visa, you can apply for ILR in the UK from up to 28 days before your 2 year anniversary of arriving in the UK (at least under current rules).
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Old Dec 6th 2011, 3:00 am
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Default Re: APPLYING FOR VISA-I NEED HELP PLEASE!

Originally Posted by roaringmouse View Post
Ok, I'll give an example then. My (Australian) wife & I are currently considering returning to the UK, and with the changes next year we decided to get an application in early (last month, October).

In our case we've been married & living outside the UK for 4+ years, and my wife had passed the Life in the UK test in 2007. On our application we put intended travel date as (I think it was) late March or early April.

Her visa was granted, Indefinite Leave to Enter, and it is valid from 3 months after the decision date - so she can enter the UK on that visa from sometime in February 2012. We didn't actually request the post-dated visa (as I was expecting the processing to take quite a bit longer than it did), however I appreciate that the entry clearance officer did date the visa as such.
Hi roaringmouse, can I ask how long your wife's visa took to process?

We are in Oz, currently have house on the market and will apply for visa as soon as we have settlement

I am the UK citizen & hubby is an Aussie. Been married over 26 years here in Oz, hubby is retired on Aussie pension, I will be looking for work there, and we will take the proceeds of house sale with us as funding, so I hope we don't have any problems.

Thanks.
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Old Dec 6th 2011, 10:05 am
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Default Re: APPLYING FOR VISA-I NEED HELP PLEASE!

OK, let me try to explain the problem. This won’t affect anyone who gets Indefinite Leave, but I think they are taking away the granting of Indefinite Leave to spouses who’ve been married over 4 years. That will probably change from April, so will affect anyone applying after 31st March.

You can apply for your ILR 28 days prior to your anniversary of 2 years since you entered the UK on your Limited leave spouse visa. (It may be 5 years from April). Now, obviously if you leave a gap of a month between the date of the visa issuance and the date you enter the UK, you are going to wind up with a situation where your visa runs out a couple of days before the earliest date you can apply for ILR. One month is longer than 28 days (well except February).

If you leave a gap, you become illegal for those couple of days, which may make getting ILR difficult. Or they make make you pay for an extension of Limited Leave to cover those 2 days, at a cost of a few hundred. Then you’d still have to apply for ILR after that.

IMO it is not worth risking a gap in being legal of just a few days. Also don’t forget you would be illegal to work for those couple of days. Under UK law, and employer has to inspect and take a copy of your documents when they hire you.
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Old Dec 6th 2011, 2:58 pm
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Default Re: APPLYING FOR VISA-I NEED HELP PLEASE!

Originally Posted by Squirrel View Post
OK, let me try to explain the problem. This won’t affect anyone who gets Indefinite Leave, but I think they are taking away the granting of Indefinite Leave to spouses who’ve been married over 4 years. That will probably change from April, so will affect anyone applying after 31st March.

You can apply for your ILR 28 days prior to your anniversary of 2 years since you entered the UK on your Limited leave spouse visa. (It may be 5 years from April). Now, obviously if you leave a gap of a month between the date of the visa issuance and the date you enter the UK, you are going to wind up with a situation where your visa runs out a couple of days before the earliest date you can apply for ILR. One month is longer than 28 days (well except February).

If you leave a gap, you become illegal for those couple of days, which may make getting ILR difficult. Or they make make you pay for an extension of Limited Leave to cover those 2 days, at a cost of a few hundred. Then you’d still have to apply for ILR after that.

IMO it is not worth risking a gap in being legal of just a few days. Also don’t forget you would be illegal to work for those couple of days. Under UK law, and employer has to inspect and take a copy of your documents when they hire you.
Not entirely correct. If you can not qualify because you have not been in the UK for 2 years you apply for further leave to remain then apply for ILR when you meet the time period. Costly but not impossible.

If you have a 27 month visa you should ideally travel within the first 3 months so you only have to make one application for ILR at the end of that time
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Old Dec 6th 2011, 3:03 pm
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Default Re: APPLYING FOR VISA-I NEED HELP PLEASE!

Originally Posted by pennylessinindia View Post
Not entirely correct. If you can not qualify because you have not been in the UK for 2 years you apply for further leave to remain then apply for ILR when you meet the time period. Costly but not impossible.

If you have a 27 month visa you should ideally travel within the first 3 months so you only have to make one application for ILR at the end of that time
That is more or less what I was trying to say. I only said they 'might make you apply for an extention of LLR' because on another forum some people seemed to gloss over the few days gap believing it doesn't matter.
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Old Dec 7th 2011, 2:11 am
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Default Re: APPLYING FOR VISA-I NEED HELP PLEASE!

Originally Posted by Squirrel View Post
That is more or less what I was trying to say. I only said they 'might make you apply for an extention of LLR' because on another forum some people seemed to gloss over the few days gap believing it doesn't matter.
It's also based on the valid from date of the visa, which is not necessarily the same date the visa is issued - going back to the possibility of requesting the visa to be post-dated from the decision date by up to 3 months giving you a little extra time to sort things out.
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Old Dec 7th 2011, 2:15 am
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Default Re: APPLYING FOR VISA-I NEED HELP PLEASE!

Originally Posted by bushfireblonde View Post
Hi roaringmouse, can I ask how long your wife's visa took to process?
Once we'd sent off the application, I think it took 3-4 weeks.

However after your husband has completed the online application, before sending off the application he will need to attend a biometrics appointment for fingerprints & photo to be taken (he still needs to send a passport-style photo with the application). I believe appointments are available in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Perth, and you can choose the date & time from what's available. My wife was in and out within 5 minutes.
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