Planning permanent move to UK, but visiting first

Old Aug 27th 2022, 2:05 pm
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Default Planning permanent move to UK, but visiting first

Hello everyone, I have a bit of a complicated question so I'll try to explain clearly...

I am a British citizen and my husband is Chinese. We've been married for 8 years and living in China for that time, but we are hoping to move permanently to the UK (with him on a family visa). This move would probably happen in a year or so - my parents are going to gift me some money soon so that we have the full 62500 in cash savings, and after that's been in my account for six months we will apply, and then wait another six months for the result. We would be living in China until he gets the visa and then moving to the UK together.

However, we haven't seen my family in almost 3 years because of the pandemic and now that China is making international travel easier, we are really keen to visit the UK for a few weeks this Christmas. I just don't want to wait another year to see my parents. So my question is: would there be any negative influence on my husband's future family visa application if he applies for a visit visa for this Christmas trip? Would it look somehow bad if he visits the UK in December/January, then returns to China and applies for a family visa in March? The money gift from my parents would be in my account before he visits the UK (they will likely transfer it in September), but I wouldn't be including my bank statement for that in his visit visa application because he has his own bank statements to use.

We probably wouldn't mention anything about our family visa/permanent move plans in his visit visa application and just apply as normal, showing our purpose of visit and intention to return to China etc.

I hope our situation makes sense, and I would really appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance!
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Old Aug 27th 2022, 2:27 pm
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Default Re: Planning permanent move to UK, but visiting first

are you saying/thinking his family *may not* approve of him leaving china to live in the UK?

either way, a visitors visa or family visa, the end result is a move to the UK that may not happen due to his family not approving their son leaving.

has your husband spoke to his family that he is looking to leave china to move to the UK permanently, if not, I suggest that he do this first.

how strong do you feel/think that this may happen?

if you make the family application aside from the money requirement will he meet the language requirement as set out in the settlement visa.

.

Last edited by not2old; Aug 27th 2022 at 2:57 pm.
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Old Aug 27th 2022, 3:50 pm
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Default Re: Planning permanent move to UK, but visiting first

Originally Posted by cappuccinoo View Post
Hello everyone, I have a bit of a complicated question so I'll try to explain clearly...

. I just don't want to wait another year to see my parents. So my question is: would there be any negative influence on my husband's future family visa application if he applies for a visit visa for this Christmas trip?
Applying for a visitor visa prior to the spouse visa will have no affect on the spouse visa application.
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Old Aug 27th 2022, 6:50 pm
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Default Re: Planning permanent move to UK, but visiting first

Originally Posted by cappuccinoo View Post
Hello everyone, I have a bit of a complicated question so I'll try to explain clearly...

I am a British citizen and my husband is Chinese. We've been married for 8 years and living in China for that time, but we are hoping to move permanently to the UK (with him on a family visa). This move would probably happen in a year or so - my parents are going to gift me some money soon so that we have the full 62500 in cash savings, and after that's been in my account for six months we will apply, and then wait another six months for the result. We would be living in China until he gets the visa and then moving to the UK together.

However, we haven't seen my family in almost 3 years because of the pandemic and now that China is making international travel easier, we are really keen to visit the UK for a few weeks this Christmas. I just don't want to wait another year to see my parents. So my question is: would there be any negative influence on my husband's future family visa application if he applies for a visit visa for this Christmas trip? Would it look somehow bad if he visits the UK in December/January, then returns to China and applies for a family visa in March? The money gift from my parents would be in my account before he visits the UK (they will likely transfer it in September), but I wouldn't be including my bank statement for that in his visit visa application because he has his own bank statements to use.

We probably wouldn't mention anything about our family visa/permanent move plans in his visit visa application and just apply as normal, showing our purpose of visit and intention to return to China etc.

I hope our situation makes sense, and I would really appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance!
I think visiting UK on a visit visa prior to applying for a spouse visa has no impact on the approval of the spouse visa.

In fact it could be a positive move if he visits the UK on a visitor visa first, then returns to China and applies for spouse visa.

You could mention in the cover letter (which you can include in the application) that he has travelled to the UK in the past and is familiar with the country and its culture.

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Old Aug 27th 2022, 11:16 pm
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Default Re: Planning permanent move to UK, but visiting first

Originally Posted by not2old View Post
are you saying/thinking his family *may not* approve of him leaving china to live in the UK?

either way, a visitors visa or family visa, the end result is a move to the UK that may not happen due to his family not approving their son leaving.

has your husband spoke to his family that he is looking to leave china to move to the UK permanently, if not, I suggest that he do this first.

how strong do you feel/think that this may happen?

if you make the family application aside from the money requirement will he meet the language requirement as set out in the settlement visa.

.
Thanks for your reply! That's not what I meant though - actually his family is very supportive of our relationship and our plans to move to the UK. He also speaks good English so the language test won't be an issue.
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Old Aug 27th 2022, 11:16 pm
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Default Re: Planning permanent move to UK, but visiting first

Okay, thank you SanDiegogirl and Katerina! I was probably just overthinking everything as usual.

If his visit visa application gets refused though (hopefully it won't, but his bank statements do look a bit weird and we'll need to explain them very carefully), might it look bad later when we apply for the family visa and they see that the cash gift was in my account before our planned Christmas visit?

I guess another option would be to be totally transparent in the visit visa application and say we plan to move permanently, but want to take a trip first since it's been so long since we last visited. But would that just complicate things more and arouse suspicion?

Last edited by cappuccinoo; Aug 27th 2022 at 11:20 pm.
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Old Sep 12th 2022, 7:57 am
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Default Re: Planning permanent move to UK, but visiting first

Dear Cappuccinoo, this is not answering or responding to your exact questions - but there are other important issues you may wish to consider. For example, have you considered how your tourist visit can affect you and your husband's future tax situations when moving to the UK soon after? This area can be quite complex so i suggest you really need an immigration tax lawyers input prior to entering the UK for your visit. While entering on a visitors visa and later applying for a stay visa seems uncomplicated, it could play havoc with your tax status since visiting as a preliminary to a permanent move can have serious tax implications. My advice? Seek tax advice on this subject before visiting the UK. You may be very glad you did.
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Old Sep 12th 2022, 9:51 am
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Default Re: Planning permanent move to UK, but visiting first

Originally Posted by w0mbat View Post
While entering on a visitors visa and later applying for a stay visa seems uncomplicated, it could play havoc with your tax status since visiting as a preliminary to a permanent move can have serious tax implications. My advice? Seek tax advice on this subject before visiting the UK. You may be very glad you did.
Would you mind providing some examples of these serious tax implications? A person on a UK visitor visa isn't permitted to undertake paid (or unpaid) work in the UK so there should be no tax implications, even if that person later applied for a visa to live in the UK permanently.

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Old Sep 12th 2022, 11:13 am
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Default Re: Planning permanent move to UK, but visiting first

Expat taxes are a complicated matter and much depends on time spent overseas, the assets you hold and your personal finances. Nobody should seriously consider entering the UK until after they have sought professional pre-entry financial / tax advice. The one thing which is universally important is planning; it is easy to get caught accidentally by tax liabilities you were not expecting so it is highly advisable to get financial advice, especially if you anticipate moving between countries. Re-arrival tax planning is recommended to start up to a year before permanent entry to the UK. Tax liability issues can start to arise from the date of a 'visit' instead of the date of the actual permanent entry to the UK, when the purpose of the earlier 'visit' can be interpreted as a visit to prepare for later permanent entry. Expert guidance is required. There are many financial advisors and lawyers specialising in this field since there are always many people entering and departing the UK.
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Old Sep 12th 2022, 11:42 am
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Default Re: Planning permanent move to UK, but visiting first

Originally Posted by w0mbat View Post
Expat taxes are a complicated matter and much depends on time spent overseas, the assets you hold and your personal finances. Nobody should seriously consider entering the UK until after they have sought professional pre-entry financial / tax advice. The one thing which is universally important is planning; it is easy to get caught accidentally by tax liabilities you were not expecting so it is highly advisable to get financial advice, especially if you anticipate moving between countries. Re-arrival tax planning is recommended to start up to a year before permanent entry to the UK. Tax liability issues can start to arise from the date of a 'visit' instead of the date of the actual permanent entry to the UK, when the purpose of the earlier 'visit' can be interpreted as a visit to prepare for later permanent entry. Expert guidance is required. There are many financial advisors and lawyers specialising in this field since there are always many people entering and departing the UK.
Thank you for your reply. Can you provide a HMRC link that explains/mentions/exemplifies how someone on a visitor visa may be found to have a UK tax liability if they later apply for a visa to live permanently in the UK?

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Old Sep 19th 2022, 11:45 am
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Default Re: Planning permanent move to UK, but visiting first

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
Thank you for your reply. Can you provide a HMRC link that explains/mentions/exemplifies how someone on a visitor visa may be found to have a UK tax liability if they later apply for a visa to live permanently in the UK?
Given that you've not replied, I'm assuming you don't have any relevant HMRC links.

Please be careful about stating as fact something that cannot be verified through official channels.

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Old Sep 23rd 2022, 6:40 am
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Default Re: Planning permanent move to UK, but visiting first

Originally Posted by w0mbat View Post
Expat taxes are a complicated matter and much depends on time spent overseas, the assets you hold and your personal finances. Nobody should seriously consider entering the UK until after they have sought professional pre-entry financial / tax advice. The one thing which is universally important is planning; it is easy to get caught accidentally by tax liabilities you were not expecting so it is highly advisable to get financial advice, especially if you anticipate moving between countries. Re-arrival tax planning is recommended to start up to a year before permanent entry to the UK. Tax liability issues can start to arise from the date of a 'visit' instead of the date of the actual permanent entry to the UK, when the purpose of the earlier 'visit' can be interpreted as a visit to prepare for later permanent entry. Expert guidance is required. There are many financial advisors and lawyers specialising in this field since there are always many people entering and departing the UK.
This sounds like a cut and paste from a financial advisor's website !
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Old Sep 23rd 2022, 8:10 am
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Default Re: Planning permanent move to UK, but visiting first

As someone who has relocated several times, when moving from one complex tax country (like China) to another complex tax country (such as the UK) it is so important to get professional advice as early as possible to make the experience as easy and enjoyable as possible. The concept that there are residency and tax complications arising when visiting a country prior to but when intending to permanently relocate there is not so rare and it does apply in some common law countries ... and like many complex tax related rules they are not always advertised and made readily available clearly for / to potential incomers.... hence it can be difficult to find a direct quote on the UK gov websites (and without spending time I don't currently have for me to find the references I previously found) whereas other countries (such as the Isle of Man) gov website do make clear reference to it. So my reason for entering this thread was to simply highlight that relocation tax advisors are the people to ask ( as early as possible and even before visiting when you have a view to residency) about your specific circumstances and how they interface with the departure and arrival countries complex (and often not easily ascertained) tax and residency rules.

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Old Sep 24th 2022, 3:13 am
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Default Re: Planning permanent move to UK, but visiting first

Originally Posted by w0mbat View Post
have you considered how your tourist visit can affect you and your husband's future tax situations when moving to the UK soon after? While entering on a visitors visa and later applying for a stay visa seems uncomplicated, it could play havoc with your tax status since visiting as a preliminary to a permanent move can have serious tax implications.
Originally Posted by w0mbat View Post
Nobody should seriously consider entering the UK until after they have sought professional pre-entry financial / tax advice. Tax liability issues can start to arise from the date of a 'visit' instead of the date of the actual permanent entry to the UK, when the purpose of the earlier 'visit' can be interpreted as a visit to prepare for later permanent entry.
Originally Posted by w0mbat View Post
The concept that there are residency and tax complications arising when visiting a country prior to but when intending to permanently relocate there is not so rare and it does apply in some common law countries ... and like many complex tax related rules they are not always advertised and made readily available clearly for / to potential incomers.... hence it can be difficult to find a direct quote on the UK gov websites (and without spending time I don't currently have for me to find the references I previously found)
My reason for posting was simply to ask you to provide evidence of your claims above. BE members post on immigration sub-forums to help each other, not to make unsubstantiated statements such as visiting the UK on a tourist visa and later applying for a permanent visa can create 'havoc' and 'serious tax implications' for people's UK tax affairs.

Applying for a visa to live in the UK permanently is a time-consuming, expensive and often stressful process for many.

Stating that an earlier UK tourist visa can place permanent visa applicants in taxation/financial jeopardy, without providing any evidence that this is actually the case, is not helpful.
Using unsubstantiated claims to advise people that they need to seek professional financial/tax/relocation advice before entering the UK on a tourist/visitor visa, is not helpful.

Perhaps when you have to time to find those references you previously found, you could post them here and alleviate any concern your posts may have caused.


Last edited by spouse of scouse; Sep 24th 2022 at 3:18 am.
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Old Sep 29th 2022, 10:50 am
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Default Re: Planning permanent move to UK, but visiting first

Hi. I did not intend to cause any concern and my comments should not adversely affect anyone who has taken pre-entry tax advice (which would be prudent and hopefully common sense when moving from one complex tax jurisdiction to another). I am not a tax lawyer or accountant or any such type of advisor, so I am not posting in some attempt to drum up business for tax experts. However, I do not want to give incorrect information either... so I have asked my lawyers for input on this subject which to clarify from my original text is about visiting the UK when it is already intended to relocate permanently to the UK in the near term. The original poster also indicated they were already planning on relocation and it was in this context that I raised the need for pre-entry planning in relation to both China departure and UK entry. Depending on individual circumstances certain tax liability/ies need not necessarily start on the actual date of final entry. I will post another comment after I receive the lawyers input.
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