Spouse visa or SS route

Old Feb 11th 2015, 2:58 pm
  #1  
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Default Spouse visa or SS route

I'm trying to get my head around the best option visa - is it The family of a settled person' visa (AKA Spouse Visa), or 'Surinder Singh' SS route to 'Family permit' through one of the EU countries

Let me see if I have this right.

https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...October_v1.pdf

'Family of a settled person' visa

With several options, that the 'sponsor' (British citizen spouse/partner) is required to meet 'the financial (savings or other sources of income) route - generally tallied up to £62, 500 savings or other income, or the £18,600 earnings, job with earnings or a combination of the two.

Visa applicant fee for one person excluding any dependents is approx £1000

Having satisfied the 'Spousal visa' the applicant is in the UK on an 'entry visa' for 33 months, after that, the normal process is an FLR (further leave to remain) visa ~£600+ valid for another 30 months. At 60 months after the initial 'entry visa' was stamped on the applicants passport, the visa holder is eligible to apply for an ILR (indefinite leave to remain) visa £1093. At that point an application for citizenship.

For this route, sometimes there are periods of absence for the partners/spouse while the sponsor gets it all together. There is also the cost of the visa, the wait & likely in some situations having to run back & forth between the applicants homeland & the UK, which can be a further expense

Surinder Singh (SS route)

The poor sods (Sponsor) that cannot meet the 'Family of a settled person' visa requirements, has an option to go the SS route through a member state. Ireland & Malta seem to be the favoured ones for Brits & their partner/spouse that has been taken by a few BE members.

Generally the SS can take up to 6 months - 4-5 months is about average

Excluding any flight costs, there are costs associated to going the SS route, it includes living expenses in another country, finding work (hopefully the paid work will offset some of the expenses) - at least the couple are together.

Budget for 5 mths ~£4000 - £5000,

At approximately 4 mths in a member state the applicant (spouse of the Brit) can apply for a no-fee 'Family permit'. If all is well, the couple have shown their 'centre of life' was outside the UK, then a 'Family permit' is issued usually within 4 weeks.

Leaving the member state, on arrival in the UK, no hassles. Almost immediately the applicant with the 'family permit' visa can apply for a UK residence card £55 which is good for 5 years. This allows the applicant to live, work & freedom of movement, to come & go from the UK as often as they like.

At 60 months the residence card holder is eligible for a 'Permanent Residence' card, as well as (meeting the rules) to apply for citizenship

Last edited by not2old; Feb 11th 2015 at 3:02 pm.
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Old Feb 11th 2015, 4:07 pm
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Default Re: Spouse visa or SS route

I would say your information regarding the two options is correct.

The only issue I would disagree on is the budget for the set up costs for going the SS route and the time it takes.

You are budgeting around 5K for costs for 5 months. Is this correct.

Does that budget cover everything for that period? Start up costs (accommodation deposits, utility deposits, short term hotel costs), then monthly accommodation rental, utility bills, transport costs, food etc for the remaining period.

I realise that these costs would be made even if you went the spouse route and had no family to stay with for the initial period, and that finding a job would offset some of them. However moving to a new country with a budget of just 5K would seem very low to me.

Read the thread by Angela V where she describes how her costs were much more than anticipated.

http://britishexpats.com/forum/citiz...so-far-804420/

Also, the authorities are now expecting more than 4 to 5 months to prove you have moved your "centre of life" to another country.

Again I would say 6+ months is more realistic.
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Old Feb 11th 2015, 5:58 pm
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Default Re: Spouse visa or SS route

On the premise 'a couple only' basic-basic, without extravagance or spending on things they may or could do without, or pre-planning, booking accommodation prior to landing, to not getting a move on from day one. Some folks on the SS get caught up in 'well I'm qualified/experienced in a certain area' looking for work in that field find it difficult to taking it easy for the first few weeks.

I think it takes longer for some due to either 'centre of life', children may be with them, or that they are not working for a few weeks to get to fulfilling the minimum 3 mth requirement, which can lead to a delay of several months

As most immigrants know, any job, any money to get through the time period. Some folks may stick tight trying to find work in a job they're a specialist at.

Dishwasher, floor sweeper, nanny, to working in a shop, whatever it takes - it gets one through the required minimum 3 mths to Family permit

Two separate postings on the Angela V Surinder Singh thread show two different costs under two different set of circumstances, one for Ireland, the other Malta

http://britishexpats.com/forum/citiz...so-far-804420/

post #421 vs post #441 in that thread


Angela V, went through Ireland & there were 5 of them which included special needs. Angela also bought a vehicle & with that extra costs. Angela also went the self-employed route over the employed

Dave & Dee went through Malta, did the basic no-frills, used local transit & from their numbers including set up costs they were around £700 - £1000/mth

One of the things I figured out very quickly from Dave & Dees blog was that Malta was less expensive than Ireland, that things got done faster.

What I also learned from several posts as well as what I've made & feedback on the SS route, that going through Mata & one had a bit of money (about 25% of the 'spouse visa route) that you could quickly get a Malta (EU) residence card, because folks could claim 'self sufficient' just by showing the authorities 23,000 euro in savings, not necessarily on deposit in Malta either. An instant Residence card, Malta health card (or an EHIC card if the sponsor came in from the UK), it makes it easier to find work having the residence card, instead of 'find work first, then residence card'.

Agree its all the way its done & up to 6 mths may happen for some folks going the SS, although most folks are doing it less & again depends where the sponsor is coming from makes a difference because of the centre of life challenge.

Dave & Dee as well as Angela made their 'Family permit' application at the ~3-4 month timeframe

I would hope from the wonderful thread AngelaV started, the feedback from Angela & Dave & others that Brits wanting to sponsor their spouse to the UK that it wont take forever, or that the costs are not out of reach doing it.

Not many can come up with the £62,500, or a combination of employment & savings, or be earning £18,600 for six months prior to getting their spouse/partner in the UK. My OP was to compare the costs as well as time & the likely couples may end up being separated for several months going the 'Family of a settled person visa'.

I'm an adventurous guy, even if I had the £62,500, I'd probably want to experience several months in an EU state with my spouse/partner, since it leads to the no-cost 'Family permit' as well as after landing in the UK, the UK residence card. My spouse would not have to go the hassle of the 'settlement visa, then FLR to ILR or the costs.

Our Canadian born Brit citizen daughter will be going the SS route through Malta in early 2016, planning is underway & many threads as well as poster information on BE has helped her get it together.

Last edited by not2old; Feb 11th 2015 at 6:20 pm.
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Old Feb 11th 2015, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: Spouse visa or SS route

Then I wish you all the luck.
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Old Feb 12th 2015, 12:50 am
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Default Re: Spouse visa or SS route

IMO trying to nail this down purely by cost is a bit short sighted.

Some people don't want to move twice. Especially if they are hauling children or pets along with them.

Although I personally would rather spend my money on living expenses in another country than give it to the Home Office in the form of fees.
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Old Feb 12th 2015, 3:27 pm
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Default Re: Spouse visa or SS route

post # 2 & post #5

Given the 'financial requirements' to meet the 'Family of a settled person' its not just about the cost of the visa route to ILR, its primarily about having either the £62,500 for direct 'entry visa', or going the long separation absence apart of the British citizen (sponsor) and their spouse (applicant) to meet the lower minimum financial obligation of £18.600.

For me, I wouldn't want to be separated from my spouse (or children) for six months, running two residences, probably during that period flying back & forth a few times, together with extra added daily living costs, along with having to job search, running around finding a job or two.

I could only envision family members that are apart, one in the UK while the other is on the other side of the world, puts the stress level way up & can do you in.

Even if children and/or pets are in the family, unless the sponsor has the £62,500 for just his/her spouse, plus the added requirement if there are children. Unless someone has a better solution, I see the only option is the SS route.

I'm sure someone will come along that could offer suggestions or other options?

Last edited by not2old; Feb 12th 2015 at 3:46 pm.
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Old Feb 12th 2015, 4:35 pm
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Default Re: Spouse visa or SS route

The upside for us was being together and both of us being able to contribute to the expenses.

For a Spouse visa, you're having to save for visas as well as paying bills.
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Old May 20th 2015, 10:50 pm
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Default Re: Spouse visa or SS route

Can anyone confirm that a citizen of Chile won't need an entry visa for Malta to undertake SS? They don't need a tourist visa so they won't need any kind of visa for SS if traveling with their British partner, am I right on this?

I can't find links specifically about Malta.
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Old May 20th 2015, 11:45 pm
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Default Re: Spouse visa or SS route

Who needs a visa?

"Visas are not needed for stays up to three months for EU nationals and nationals of the following countries:

Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Republic of Korea, San Marino, Singapore, Switzerland, United States of America, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela. Note that Chinese nationals holders of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region identification do not need a visa.

If you are not from one of those countries a visa will be needed. An up-to-date list of countries from which nationals need a visa can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs . If you have any questions, contact your embassy."
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Old May 21st 2015, 1:49 pm
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Default Re: Spouse visa or SS route

Originally Posted by not2old View Post
Who needs a visa?

"Visas are not needed for stays up to three months for EU nationals and nationals of the following countries:

Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Republic of Korea, San Marino, Singapore, Switzerland, United States of America, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela. Note that Chinese nationals holders of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region identification do not need a visa.

If you are not from one of those countries a visa will be needed. An up-to-date list of countries from which nationals need a visa can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs . If you have any questions, contact your embassy."
Thanks.

Originally Posted by chaoclive View Post
Can anyone confirm that a citizen of Chile won't need an entry visa for Malta to undertake SS? They don't need a tourist visa so they won't need any kind of visa for SS if traveling with their British partner, am I right on this?

I can't find links specifically about Malta.
My wife is Canadian, and we just turned up in Malta with our passports, marriage certificate, luggage and a month's room booked at a cheap resort. We went through the EU line together after everyone else and had no issues.
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Old May 21st 2015, 4:19 pm
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Default Re: Spouse visa or SS route

Thanks guys!
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