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Immigrating to USA, wife re-entering the UK as a visitor (previous UK spousal visa)

Immigrating to USA, wife re-entering the UK as a visitor (previous UK spousal visa)

Old Apr 9th 2018, 12:53 pm
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Default Immigrating to USA, wife re-entering the UK as a visitor (previous UK spousal visa)

Hi folks - this is my first post, but I've been following this forum for a while.

A little bit of context to our situation: since November 2014, my American wife has been living and working in the UK on a spousal visa. It had always been our long-term plan to return to the States, which will be happening in three weeks time after my successful immigrant visa application, which is later than we had initially planned.

Now, the issue that concerns me is that while we'll be immigrating the USA, obviously we'll be wanting to visit the UK for friends and family, but how might her spousal visa impact that when it runs out? We can't find any clarification online, but my assumption is that once her spousal visa runs out, or we've passed the 180 days, she would be simply able to visit the UK as she did prior to having her visa. That said, we still have worries that having had a spousal visa and then leaving the process towards ILR might cause issues entering the country, even if it was just to visit. Do we need to contact UKBA, or is it simply a matter of waiting for my wife's visa to run out? Logically, I would have thought there would be other people who have been in the same boat as us, so thought I might test the waters here.

Obviously, we are aware that should things not work out long term in the USA and we wanted to move back to the UK, we'd have to start the whole visa application (and route to ILR) from scratch.

So... a long winded problem. Anyone able to offer any insight? Thanks in advance!
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Old Apr 9th 2018, 1:35 pm
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Default Re: Immigrating to USA, wife re-entering the UK as a visitor (previous UK spousal vis

Having previously held a visa to the UK should not prohibit her from visiting the UK in the future just as a regular tourist.

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Old Apr 9th 2018, 1:44 pm
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Default Re: Immigrating to USA, wife re-entering the UK as a visitor (previous UK spousal vis

Any particular reason why you are leaving now and not in 18 months time when your wife can become a British citizen?
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Old Apr 9th 2018, 1:51 pm
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Default Re: Immigrating to USA, wife re-entering the UK as a visitor (previous UK spousal vis

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
Any particular reason why you are leaving now and not in 18 months time when your wife can become a British citizen?
It's been a long road up to this point, and we'd initially planned to go through the process a year or so earlier (before we renewed her spousal visa the first time), though circumstances dictated we wait longer.

We know the logic behind waiting longer, but we've already waited a long time to get to this point--with the hopes of settling and taking the next steps in our life together, we feel like we've put that on hold a bit until we made the move--basically, I suppose we don't want to spend the first 6 years of our marriage 'on hold' while we continuously jump through visa hoops. We'd rather make the big move before we have kids and other commitments.

We know the stress and challenges that await if we decided the USA wasn't working for us--we've already been through those challenges, and while we can't say we WANT to go through them again, if we had to, we would. It's not our intention to get to that point though--since we're planning on settling in the USA, our concern is just that there be no barriers to her visiting the UK down the line.

As an additional note, I do intend to pursue US citizenship as soon as I'm able in order to keep that door open, and have a say in the system.
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Old Apr 9th 2018, 2:18 pm
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Default Re: Immigrating to USA, wife re-entering the UK as a visitor (previous UK spousal vis

Originally Posted by DarthMalk View Post
It's been a long road up to this point, and we'd initially planned to go through the process a year or so earlier (before we renewed her spousal visa the first time), though circumstances dictated we wait longer.

We know the logic behind waiting longer, but we've already waited a long time to get to this point--with the hopes of settling and taking the next steps in our life together, we feel like we've put that on hold a bit until we made the move--basically, I suppose we don't want to spend the first 6 years of our marriage 'on hold' while we continuously jump through visa hoops. We'd rather make the big move before we have kids and other commitments.

We know the stress and challenges that await if we decided the USA wasn't working for us--we've already been through those challenges, and while we can't say we WANT to go through them again, if we had to, we would. It's not our intention to get to that point though--since we're planning on settling in the USA, our concern is just that there be no barriers to her visiting the UK down the line.

As an additional note, I do intend to pursue US citizenship as soon as I'm able in order to keep that door open, and have a say in the system.
Glad to hear it you have given it some thought. My other half and I been going through the same process for nearly four years now. Although we are both keen to move overseas again it proved such a struggle to get her started on the path towards British citizenship we are both adamant that we won't be leaving until she has a second blue passport in her hand. Like you we are also holding off on children and other big life commitments. As you can probably guess, personally speaking, I would be hanging on for another 18 months and giving yourself that lifetime guarantee. Your children will be able to move freely between the two countries and I wouldn't want to be in a position where I couldn't do the same. If you wish to pursue US citizenship then it makes sense to ensure your wife gains British citizenship whilst she has the opportunity.

To answer your original question your wife can travel to and from the UK freely whilst her spouse visa remains valid. If it's not renewed once it expires then she'll need to leave the UK if she hasn't done so already and she will be subject to the same visitor rules as any other US citizen.
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Old Apr 9th 2018, 2:42 pm
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Default Re: Immigrating to USA, wife re-entering the UK as a visitor (previous UK spousal vis

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
Glad to hear it you have given it some thought. My other half and I been going through the same process for nearly four years now. Although we are both keen to move overseas again it proved such a struggle to get her started on the path towards British citizenship we are both adamant that we won't be leaving until she has a second blue passport in her hand. Like you we are also holding off on children and other big life commitments. As you can probably guess, personally speaking, I would be hanging on for another 18 months and giving yourself that lifetime guarantee. Your children will be able to move freely between the two countries and I wouldn't want to be in a position where I couldn't do the same. If you wish to pursue US citizenship then it makes sense to ensure your wife gains British citizenship whilst she has the opportunity.

To answer your original question your wife can travel to and from the UK freely whilst her spouse visa remains valid. If it's not renewed once it expires then she'll need to leave the UK if she hasn't done so already and she will be subject to the same visitor rules as any other US citizen.
Thanks for the honesty of your response--it's appreciated.
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Old Apr 11th 2018, 11:05 pm
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Default Re: Immigrating to USA, wife re-entering the UK as a visitor (previous UK spousal vis

When you visit the UK there should be no problem, my entire American family come with me when I go back for visits, I even take them through the UK citizens line at passport control, they produce their US passports and I am the only one with a UK passport, so long as I tell the officer they are with me there is never any problem, we even took our nice with us once, she didn't even have our family name, she was 19 years old and was not even questioned apart from her acknowledging her name.
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