First of all, let me say that this website is very useful and interesting. I was wondering if anyone could help me with the following:
Basically, I have been issued with a 2 year 'multiple' spouse settlement visa for the UK as my wife is a British Citizen. Now, through some research on the internet including the Home Office website, it has come to my attention that one can obtain permanent residency (Indefinite leave to remain) status if one has been married to their British spouse for more than 4 years.
Before I made the application, I wanted to be sure that I had all the correct documents. Therefore, I seeked some guidance from an agent and was told that all was fine except for my marriage certificate! He advised me that the British High Commission in Kenya (my country of residence) will reject my application as I held a 'Hindu marriage certificate'.
I have been married to my wife for over 25 years and we got married in Kenya (Please note, this certificate is recognised as a valid legal document in Kenya) To my dis-belief, I was advised by the agent to get re-married to my wife in a civil court in order to obtain a 'civil' marriage certificate. Therefore, we got married again and obtained the civil certificate.
I lodged the application with the relevant documents some of which included (joint bank statement, title deed of house jointly owned by my wife and myself in the UK, bills, etc....) Also, in the application, I clearly stated that I was married to my wife for over 25 years and that I got re-married again. Also, I included in the application my hindu marriage certificate and my new civil certificate. After waiting for a month, my application was approved without any sort of interview.
Six months passed from the issue date of the spouse visa before I visited the UK. This is because of business commitments. On arrival, there were no problems at the airport. During my stay in the UK, I visited a solicitor to advise me on my status and how to obtain permanent residency if I could.
To my horror, he told me that I was in for some bad luck! He basically told me that because I got married again to obtain a civil marriage certificate, that's where the problem was. He told me that the BHC counted my marriage from the date I got re-married! He told me that he didn't know exactly why the BHC were not accepting the Hindu marriage certificate as he had come accross this problem with some of his previous clients.
Because of this, I am stuck in a difficult position as I have returned back to Kenya because of business commitments. I simply haven't got enough time to sell up and move to the UK. Is there anyone out there who can help or give me some positive news?
Thank you for reading my long story!