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Can fiance get in prior to wedding overseas

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apis
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Can fiance get in prior to wedding overseas

Post by apis » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:00 am

Scenario:
One has recently spent 6 months in the UK as a general visitor.
One has become engaged to a UK citizen.
The couple wish to spend more time together soon in the UK as fiance(e)s prior to marriage.
The couple wish to hold the wedding outside the UK then return to the UK.

Some of the info on the UKBA website (eg, http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/partn ... lpartners/) does not make it clear that the wedding must be planned to take place in the UK for the fiance to be allowed to enter as such. However SET1.18 ( http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/ecg/settle ... s#18013079) seems to make this clear.

Is there any way for the fiance to get back into the UK soon (ie, not waiting another 6 months and coming back as a visitor)?

Can the couple make arrangements for a wedding in the UK, the fiance gets in as such, then later cancel UK wedding arrangements and slip out to get married in another country?

Or are the only options to either come in as fiance and get married in the UK (despite what they really want), or just to shorten the engagement time and get married overseas sooner?

Thanks

ElenaW
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Post by ElenaW » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:04 am

Sorry you can't use deception and pretend to plan a wedding in the UK when it'll actually be overseas. I'm afraid you either get married in the uk or go elsewhere (for which you will obviously not need a uk fiance visa). Why not go to your fiance's country and spend more time there together?
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Wanderer
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Post by Wanderer » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:05 am

The issue as I see is if they leave the UK and marry, the fiance is no longer a fiance so would not be permitted reentry to UK on that visa.

A visit visa is unlikely to be granted to a spouse so the correct procedure would be to return to home country and apply for EC as a spouse.
An chéad stad eile Stáisiún Uí Chonghaile....

apis
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Post by apis » Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:54 am

ElenaW wrote:Why not go to your fiance's country and spend more time there together?
Not practical for the UK partner to leave job. Overseas partner will already be unemployed and happy to be in UK for 6 months as fiance without working.

Kitty
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Post by Kitty » Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:45 am

The problem with applying for a new visit visa is not that a person is never allowed to re-enter the country for 6 months after his/her last visa, but that doing so suggests to an ECO that the true purpose of his/her coming to the UK is something other than as a visitor. THat is to say, two 6-month visits back-to-back suggest an attempt at settlement "by the back door".

Your partner could try making plans for the overseas wedding, making bookings etc., and then applying for a visit visa for a period prior to the overseas wedding (preferably something less than 6 months). Having something booked supports the position that your partner is going to leave the country again.

If you really can't travel, then at least you can use the opportunity to create a nice paper trail for the spouse visa while you are apart: phone records, emails, letters, IM records etc.

apis
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Post by apis » Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:07 am

Hi Kitty

Are you suggesting that the "6 months out of 12" instruction would not necessarily apply if the authorities can be convinced that the person will leave the country again?

Kitty
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Post by Kitty » Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:30 am

Well, the "6/12" guideline is set out in the context of how an officer might consider the purpose of the visit:

IDI Chapter 2:

" 2.1.9 There is no restriction on the number of visits a person may make to the United Kingdom nor any requirement that a specified time must elapse between successive visits. The fact that a person has made a series of visits with only brief intervals between them would not, in the absence of any other relevant factors, constitute sufficient ground for refusal.

It is reasonable, however, for the immigration officer to consider the stated purpose of the visit in the light of the length of time that has elapsed since previous visits."

So in making the application, you need to be aware that they will look closely at the purpose of the new visit, and prepare accordingly.

For example, you would probably disclose that you were fiancés, which might normally put them on guard in case the "true purpose" of the visit was to get married and settle in the UK. But if you provide evidence that you intend to marry overseas, and that this is a genuine visit prior to that, then you may satisfy them.

apis
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Post by apis » Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:20 am

"A visitor should not ... normally spend more than 6 out of any 12 months in this country" seems quite clear though, doesn't it?

ElenaW
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Post by ElenaW » Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:49 am

apis wrote:
ElenaW wrote:Why not go to your fiance's country and spend more time there together?
Not practical for the UK partner to leave job. Overseas partner will already be unemployed and happy to be in UK for 6 months as fiance without working.
Well I didn't mean the UK partner should stay for 6 months or something. I meant for a short period of time (then he won't have to leave his job).
I tell it like it is.

apis
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Post by apis » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:00 am

Ok, scrapping the idea of marrying overseas. Changing the scenario to the overseas partner entering as fiance for marriage in the UK. If the fiance has recently spent 6 months in the UK as a general visitor, can he/she apply for a fiance visa to return almost immediately? In other words, the limit of 6 months out of 12 only applies to "visitors", does it, and does not apply to a fiance?? I presume this is the case, as a fiance can apply for an extension of stay, in which case the 6 month limit would not apply, but I wonder if anyone can confirm this for a fiance who was recently a general visitor. Thanks.

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Post by Kitty » Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:27 pm

The "6/12" guideline only applies to visit visas.

A fiancé visa is a settlement visa.

With a visit visa, the applicant must show that they are just coming here to visit, and not for any other purpose. Coming for, say, a total of 9 months out of 12, suggests to an ECO that they might not just be visiting, and might be trying to base themselves in the UK.

With a fiancé visa, the applicant must show that they actually intend to come here and marry with the intention of settling in the UK. It's an entirely different situation.

Provided your partner hasn't overstayed a previous visa, I don't think you should worry (excpet about how to satisfy the fiancé visa rules, of course ;))

ElenaW
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Post by ElenaW » Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:57 pm

Kitty wrote:The "6/12" guideline only applies to visit visas.

A fiancé visa is a settlement visa.

With a visit visa, the applicant must show that they are just coming here to visit, and not for any other purpose. Coming for, say, a total of 9 months out of 12, suggests to an ECO that they might not just be visiting, and might be trying to base themselves in the UK.

With a fiancé visa, the applicant must show that they actually intend to come here and marry with the intention of settling in the UK. It's an entirely different situation.

Provided your partner hasn't overstayed a previous visa, I don't think you should worry (excpet about how to satisfy the fiancé visa rules, of course ;))
Yep, agreed she can apply straight away for a fiancee visa.
I tell it like it is.

apis
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Post by apis » Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:37 am

Kitty & Elena
Thank you very much.

SydneyGuy
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Post by SydneyGuy » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:40 am

Hope you can help me out there...

Read the above with great interest as I am in the exact same situation...

Am about to return back home overseas from the UK having spent almost six months with my now fiancee at her B&B here, and we are booking to get married in EU at Xmas time which is five months away now...

I know it is difficult for me to return to the UK in the next six months without a prospective fiance visa. Instead I wish to marry in the EU and some time after that return home to apply for a spouse visa.

What I am asking is the 6/12 month rule very rigid/set in law, (as opposed to 'guideline' above) or can it be waived if I can show proof of plans/documents for marriage in the EU with both our families travelling there and a return ticket home soon after (with one of my children).

Would I have a good chance of gaining re-entry into the UK say 3 months after having stayed in the UK for six months recently? I would plan to be in the UK for a total of 3 months this time then.

Your advice/experiences to relate would be appreciated.

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Post by Kitty » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:15 pm

SydneyGuy wrote: What I am asking is the 6/12 month rule very rigid/set in law, (as opposed to 'guideline' above) or can it be waived if I can show proof of plans/documents for marriage in the EU with both our families travelling there and a return ticket home soon after (with one of my children).
It is not "rigid" in the sense that it is a guideline as to your intention in making the application. However, I would expect it to be fairly commonly used as a reason for refusal if your application doesn't otherwise stack up.
Would I have a good chance of gaining re-entry into the UK say 3 months after having stayed in the UK for six months recently? I would plan to be in the UK for a total of 3 months this time then.
First things first. What is your nationality? Are you a visa national (i.e. do you normally have to apply for a visa in order to visit the UK?)? Where do you normally live? Have you ever had an application refused before?

You mention children. Are you intending to bring your children to the UK after you marry your fiancée? Do you have "sole responsibility" for them?

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Post by SydneyGuy » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:21 pm

thanks Kitty...

Am Australian...and lived there all my life...no application refused, yet had been detained at Heathrow for few hours whilst they checked out my story with my partner when I arrived in January.

Kids (all in teens) live with their mum in Australia full time, and they would be coming up for the wedding and then to the UK for a couple of weeks prior to my taking them back to Australia myself.

Very unlikely they would ever settle with me in the UK in the near future at any rate.

Suggest checking with the UK embassy/consulate first in Oz or take my chances at e.g. Heathrow?

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Post by Kitty » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:22 pm

Depends if you think you can carry enough proof of your intentions with you when you travel, and are willing to take the chance of being turned away.

What ongoing commitments do you have in Australia alongside your travel plans for the wedding? Do you have a job, property, financial commitments to your ex and kids ? What booking arrangements do you have proof for in whatever EU state it is you're getting married in? Have you paid for the wedding and travel etc. already?

These are the kinds of things that could tip the balance in your favour if you are stopped at Heathrow.

Once again, the "6/12" guidance applies to the way that Immigration Officers interpret your true intentions on arrival. If you have a credible explanation for wanting to visit, and in particular if you can provide evidence that you are returning to Australia by a particular date for work or a family occasion etc., then I think your chances are quite good.

Other people may have different opinions, of course :)

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Post by djb123 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:50 am

Kitty wrote:Depends if you think you can carry enough proof of your intentions with you when you travel, and are willing to take the chance of being turned away.

What ongoing commitments do you have in Australia alongside your travel plans for the wedding? Do you have a job, property, financial commitments to your ex and kids ? What booking arrangements do you have proof for in whatever EU state it is you're getting married in? Have you paid for the wedding and travel etc. already?

These are the kinds of things that could tip the balance in your favour if you are stopped at Heathrow.

Once again, the "6/12" guidance applies to the way that Immigration Officers interpret your true intentions on arrival. If you have a credible explanation for wanting to visit, and in particular if you can provide evidence that you are returning to Australia by a particular date for work or a family occasion etc., then I think your chances are quite good.

Other people may have different opinions, of course :)
In this case though the reason for wanting to spend more than 6 months out of the 12 is to basically live here rather than being a genuine visitor. Having a reason to leave the UK helps you get entry as a visitor, but doesn't necessarily help you get around the 6/12 guidance. I wouldn't rate the chances of entry being allowed as high as 'quite good'

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Post by Kitty » Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:31 am

I don't think it's clear cut: is his proposed stay of more than 6/12 months an indication that Sydney Guy is intending at the time of his visit to "base" himself in the UK?

If he retains significant ties to Australia, along with an intention to marry somewhere other than the UK and then return to Australia to apply for a spouse visa, then I would say he is arguably not yet "based" here.

Simply staying with a partner isn't necessarily evidence that you are intending to "settle" here: for the same reason the VAF4A form asks about previous relationships that were "like marriage", but advice is usually that this doesn't include anyone you have ever bunked up with in your relationship history.

My opinion is that SydneyGuy's chances rest on the evidence he can provide of his intentions, and his general credibility. If he doesn't mind risking being turned back, then he can take that evidence with him. Alternatively he could apply for a visit visa before he travels, the cost of which might be cheaper than a return flight in the even of refusal.

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Post by djb123 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:50 am

Kitty wrote:I don't think it's clear cut: is his proposed stay of more than 6/12 months an indication that Sydney Guy is intending at the time of his visit to "base" himself in the UK?

If he retains significant ties to Australia, along with an intention to marry somewhere other than the UK and then return to Australia to apply for a spouse visa, then I would say he is arguably not yet "based" here.
Still think you have difficulty arguing that if you aim to spend 9 months out of 12 with your partner at her UK home that the UK wouldn't be where you were based for that particular year.

The significant ties to Australia are pretty irrelevant, as he is happy to spend 9 out of 12 months away this year (and even more time away in the future). Future intentions probably hinder more than they help as they just show he is aiming to settle here.

I've not said he will definately be refused, just don't think his chances are as good as you do especially as he was detained and questioned earlier this year.

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