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Questions on applying for settlement visa for my American wife

Questions on applying for settlement visa for my American wife

Old Nov 23rd 2010, 6:21 am
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Default Questions on applying for settlement visa for my American wife

Hello everyone:

I am new to this site and decided to join this forum after reading various supporting and helpful threads. I have couple of questions which I would really appreciate someone can provide answers:

a) I am a British citizen (with Dual US nationality) planning to move back to the UK in late Oct/Nov. 2011 with my wife,who is an American citizen. We would like to know if its okay if we apply for her settlement visa now? i.e is there a minimum time requirement before we can apply for her settlement visa? We would prefer it earlier as we would like to get this aside quickly as we find this most stressful part of all the process in moving back. We are also concern how difficult/easy it would be for her to get settlement visa there with all the concerns with immigration in UK where there are media reports of reducing family visas.


b) Also, we have an adorable kitty who we would like to bring with us. She has a anxious temperament and is a senior in kitty age (around 10) but we want to explore options to bring her along with us than leave her here with my in-laws. Can anyone suggest any website or a place that assist in going through requirements for bringing our kitty with us?

Thank you and I hope someone will reply to me
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Old Nov 23rd 2010, 9:15 am
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Default Re: Questions on applying for settlement visa for my American wife

as I understand you cannot apply for your settlement (Indefinite Leave to Enter) visa until 3 months prior to your intended travel date, as it will be issued for 27 months, and once you are 24 months into the visa, but not before, you can apply to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Unless you have been married for 4 years already and are planning for an advance trip to the UK in order for your wife to sit her Life in the UK Test, so that you can go straight for the ILR visa...
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Old Nov 23rd 2010, 12:02 pm
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Default Re: Questions on applying for settlement visa for my American wife

Schbang is correct in a way

there are two possibilities

if you have been married for 4 yrs or more and have lived outside of UK during this time, your wife's settlement visa will be different

the best case scenario, given you have a long lead in time, is to get your wife to visit UK and take the Life in UK test before applying for the settlement visa (can only be taken in UK), then she'll get automatic Indefinite Leave to Enter UK with no limit on your arrival date and it's valid for life provided your wife does not leave UK for more than two years

without the LITUK test, your wife will only get a 27-month visa, even if married for more than 4 yrs etc, but there is no restriction on when you can land, but at the time of application you can request that the visa is not issued for up to three months after approval

of course, it is not a good thing to get the visa issued and not land in UK until a year later as your wife will not be able to fulfill the 24-month probation period which, combined with the LITUK test result, will then qualify her for Indefinite Leave to Remain, so she'll need to apply for an extension of her visa to get in the two years

HOWEVER, if you have been married for 4 yrs or more and have lived outside of UK during this time, then your wife can take the test as soon as she arrives in UK and if she passes she can IMMEDIATELY apply for ILR, no need for the two-years probation, so a one year delay in arrival is academic

no worries about quotas, they won't refuse spouse visas on basis of quotas!!!
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Old Nov 23rd 2010, 12:28 pm
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Default Re: Questions on applying for settlement visa for my American wife

Thank you for your replies!

Yes, I have now been married for over 6 years now, in fact will be 7 years in Feb 2011. We both have lived together outside the UK since our marriage although she has visited UK with me around 4 times since we got married.

We both are planning to leave the US together.

I have never heard of LITUK test before until now. My impression was that we have to apply for her Settlement visa OUTSIDE the UK.

So, can you please clarify what kind of visa should she apply prior to visiting UK as I am not sure if tourist visa can be used for this scenario or there is a special visa she must apply to enter UK and then sit this test?
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Old Nov 23rd 2010, 12:45 pm
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Default Re: Questions on applying for settlement visa for my American wife

there is lots of info on this in the Wiki section of this site http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Spouse_Immigration-UK
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Old Nov 23rd 2010, 2:41 pm
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Default Re: Questions on applying for settlement visa for my American wife

Originally Posted by manny1980 View Post
Thank you for your replies!

........

So, can you please clarify what kind of visa should she apply prior to visiting UK as I am not sure if tourist visa can be used for this scenario or there is a special visa she must apply to enter UK and then sit this test?
This is not an authoritative answer, but as far as I know you just enter the UK on a regular tourist visa to take the Life in the UK Test. You need to book it in advance at a specific test centre. Apparently, the success rate is only about 70% for the test. So the student really needs to buy the book & study... I bought it for my wife a few months ago, but she hasn't actually read it yet..

Other information resources include; Transpondia, a treasure trove of information about UK immigration, and the UK Yankee site which has a Visa & Citizenship forum.

Here's Transpondia's very simple flowchart for family migration (your situation is represented by the box at the very bottom left, I think..)
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Old Nov 23rd 2010, 2:46 pm
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Default Re: Questions on applying for settlement visa for my American wife

Originally Posted by Schbang View Post
there is lots of info on this in the Wiki section of this site http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Spouse_Immigration-UK
Thanks for this link.

I did look at it but there is not much information on for an individual married to a UK citizen, outside UK for more than 4 years.

There was a comment on an individual coming to the UK as a tourist and then sitting Life in the UK test but it does not seem that straightforward.

I assume for my wife best option would be to apply for Settlement Visa outside the UK than come to the UK as a tourist and sit the Life in the UK test?
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Old Nov 23rd 2010, 3:22 pm
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Default Re: Questions on applying for settlement visa for my American wife

Originally Posted by manny1980 View Post
Thanks for this link.

I did look at it but there is not much information on for an individual married to a UK citizen, outside UK for more than 4 years.

There was a comment on an individual coming to the UK as a tourist and then sitting Life in the UK test but it does not seem that straightforward.

I assume for my wife best option would be to apply for Settlement Visa outside the UK than come to the UK as a tourist and sit the Life in the UK test?
Probably best to take, and pass, the test first. I believe there is no time limit on using the test result.
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Old Nov 23rd 2010, 7:39 pm
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Default Re: Questions on applying for settlement visa for my American wife

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
Probably best to take, and pass, the test first. I believe there is no time limit on using the test result.
Take the test in the UK on a tourist visa (which I find some what confusing I thought one cannot use tourist visa for getting immigration?) or you meant take the test outside the UK?
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Old Nov 23rd 2010, 8:00 pm
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Default Re: Questions on applying for settlement visa for my American wife

Originally Posted by manny1980 View Post
Take the test in the UK on a tourist visa (which I find some what confusing I thought one cannot use tourist visa for getting immigration?) or you meant take the test outside the UK?
No, you can only take the test at a test centre in the UK. And I believe you enter the UK on an ordinary tourist visa to take the test (as I said in an earlier post, I could be wrong on this one. I had a quick look on the uk.gov sites and didn't see any guidance. Someone at UK Yankees would be able to give a definitive answer.)
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Old Nov 23rd 2010, 9:26 pm
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Default Re: Questions on applying for settlement visa for my American wife

Manny

the so-called wiki links on this forum are too basic

I've been though all of this with my wife a few months ago, similar to your circumstances

you of course must apply for the visa outside of UK, but you can only take the LITUK test in UK, the test is not essential to getting a settlement visa, it just makes life easier

taking it whilst visiting UK as a tourist is OK

you wife only need apply for a settlement visa for a spouse married to a UK citizen (standard online form VAF4A), the UKBA will automatically provide you with the appropriate endorsement

you can always PM me if you want any further advice
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Old Nov 23rd 2010, 10:20 pm
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Default Re: Questions on applying for settlement visa for my American wife

Originally Posted by john5655 View Post
Manny

the so-called wiki links on this forum are too basic

I've been though all of this with my wife a few months ago, similar to your circumstances

you of course must apply for the visa outside of UK, but you can only take the LITUK test in UK, the test is not essential to getting a settlement visa, it just makes life easier

taking it whilst visiting UK as a tourist is OK

you wife only need apply for a settlement visa for a spouse married to a UK citizen (standard online form VAF4A), the UKBA will automatically provide you with the appropriate endorsement

you can always PM me if you want any further advice
John:

Thank you for your message.

I was unable to send you a PM because of some admin restrictions on newcomers?

Anyway if I got what you said correctly:

My wife must apply for a visa outside the UK--> Is there a specific type of visa we should apply in the US before leaving for the UK?

LITUK can only be taken in the UK--> What is the advantage of sitting this test than applying for settlement visa outside the UK?

I am a UK citizen and the only information I got from UK Govt. visa website is for my spouse she should apply for settlement visa outside the UK prior to leaving US. That is why I am so confused with helpful suggestions provided here.
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Old Nov 23rd 2010, 11:41 pm
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Default Re: Questions on applying for settlement visa for my American wife

Originally Posted by paula1980 View Post
LITUK can only be taken in the UK--> What is the advantage of sitting this test than applying for settlement visa outside the UK?
One good reason to pass the test first is that in the long run you save on fees. Look at that .pdf from transpondia that I linked to in an earlier post... that is the clearest & simplest explanation of the process that I've seen.
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Old Nov 24th 2010, 6:29 am
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Default Re: Questions on applying for settlement visa for my American wife

Originally Posted by john5655 View Post
no worries about quotas, they won't refuse spouse visas on basis of quotas!!!
Not at the moment - but there seems to be an increasing amount of talk about looking at family visas again, now they have decided on the quotas for skilled/worker migration. Won't be (official) quotas as such, but certainly a tightening of the requirements to obtain a visa based on marriage.
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Old Nov 24th 2010, 8:03 am
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Default Re: Questions on applying for settlement visa for my American wife

So from what I have read here so far, the easiest and cheapest option for my wife to able to get UK immigration is to move to the UK on a tourist visa and then sit the Life in the UK test...that is it?

It just sounds so straight-forward but...I hope this is a lawful way to obtain this visa as my wife & I don't want to ruin the chance of her getting immigration to the UK.
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