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Enter UK on tourist visa, AFTER spouse visa already granted (but before start date)?

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Enter UK on tourist visa, AFTER spouse visa already granted (but before start date)?

Post by akaaka » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:25 am

Hi all,

We recently were approved for our spouse visa, and had arranged travel from China for my wife in the middle of February (when the spouse visa is valid from).

However with the CoronaVirus outbreak we are concerned about the potential for airport closure and missing the booked flight or even the whole travel window of the visa. Before we applied for the spouse visa she was approved for a multi-entry UK tourist visa which as far as we can tell is still valid, despite having since been approved for our spouse visa? Can anyone comment on if this is the case, or of other UK visas are voided (note that the spouse visa hasn't 'started' yet)?

Basically what we want to make sure about is whether we can book a flight for tomorow and arrive in the UK as a 'tourist', then in 2 weeks time switch to the spouse visa (presumably by leaving and re-entering the UK)?

Thanks for any advice, we just hope we can get some certainty before booking a new flight!

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Re: Enter UK on tourist visa, AFTER spouse visa already granted (but before start date)?

Post by CR001 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:54 am

Her visit visa was likely cancelled when her spouse visa was issued. She cannot hold two visas at the same time.

She should enter the UK and get her spouse visa stamped on arrival as she will need this when collecting her brp card.
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Re: Enter UK on tourist visa, AFTER spouse visa already granted (but before start date)?

Post by akaaka » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:36 pm

CR001 wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:54 am
Her visit visa was likely cancelled when her spouse visa was issued. She cannot hold two visas at the same time.

She should enter the UK and get her spouse visa stamped on arrival as she will need this when collecting her brp card.
Thanks for clarifying. Can the spouse visa be stamped early before the start date? (I guess not)

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Re: Enter UK on tourist visa, AFTER spouse visa already granted (but before start date)?

Post by CR001 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:42 pm

If spouse visa already issued, you would have to apply for a new 30 visa vignette, which can take a couple of weeks, and pay almost £200 for the application.
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Re: Enter UK on tourist visa, AFTER spouse visa already granted (but before start date)?

Post by akaaka » Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:05 pm

Ok thanks again, obviously no use to us in this case. Very frustrating position to be in, Im tempted to go to stay with her in China for the following 2 weeks in that case :(

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Re: Enter UK on tourist visa, AFTER spouse visa already granted (but before start date)?

Post by akaaka » Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:20 pm

Sorry to double post, I can't see how to edit.

Is cancelling of existing visas a universal practice when issuing a new one of different type? Of course this makes sense, I just can't see it stated anywhere officially, and the tourist visa in her passport is untouched/looks 'valid'.

Wishful thinking perhaps but I'd have hoped the prior visa would only be cancelled by the start date of the new visa, not the issuing of it with a future start date. As all this does is lead to periods where you are not permitted to enter at the crossover between visas :/

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Re: Enter UK on tourist visa, AFTER spouse visa already granted (but before start date)?

Post by iwolga » Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:38 am

akaaka wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:20 pm
Sorry to double post, I can't see how to edit.

Is cancelling of existing visas a universal practice when issuing a new one of different type? Of course this makes sense, I just can't see it stated anywhere officially, and the tourist visa in her passport is untouched/looks 'valid'.

Wishful thinking perhaps but I'd have hoped the prior visa would only be cancelled by the start date of the new visa, not the issuing of it with a future start date. As all this does is lead to periods where you are not permitted to enter at the crossover between visas :/
I don’t know if my experience is of any use to you, as I was entering UK on EEA FP (6 months validity) in Aug 19. My 5 years visits visa was issued in Oct 18, so shall be valid till oct 23.

I also had no signs of cancellation on visa itself and - when I was at the IO counter, I asked if it’s possible that my visits visa is still ok. The IO said: most likely it is. But didn’t go as far as to check it.

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Re: Enter UK on tourist visa, AFTER spouse visa already granted (but before start date)?

Post by iwolga » Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:42 am

As the situation develops now, it is highly likely that most of the flights will be canceled. They also expect to have the peak of infection in mid February.

If you want to travel to your wife, take into consideration the fact that you might miss some days at work. If your wife has other visas (Schengen?) maybe it’s smarter to go to a third country and just wait there.

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Re: Enter UK on tourist visa, AFTER spouse visa already granted (but before start date)?

Post by Jaune08 » Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:23 pm

akaaka wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:20 pm
Sorry to double post, I can't see how to edit.

Is cancelling of existing visas a universal practice when issuing a new one of different type? Of course this makes sense, I just can't see it stated anywhere officially, and the tourist visa in her passport is untouched/looks 'valid'.
Even though the tourist visa looks untouched and valid, there's a high possibility that the barcode under the visa won't work anymore once it goes through a scan, because a new visa is being issued. In theory, your wife will be a UK resident and not a tourist anymore, so it's likely that her multi-entry visa has been "voided" at this point.

Further, if you're thinking of travelling with this tourist visa, which airline are you intended to fly with? Because there's on the news today that British Airways has cancelled flights to and from mainland China, as well others like United, etc.

When are you expecting to receive her visa? Because there's no point to travel to another country and wait for the visa from there, since your wife should have (in theory) handed over her passport already, and you can only collect the passport from the visa centre (or it will be sent to the address you provided at the beginning of the application). What's the validity period of your wife's visa? (you can see that in the approval letter), because HO will issue the stamp with one month validity before the real visa period starts.

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Re: Enter UK on tourist visa, AFTER spouse visa already granted (but before start date)?

Post by akaaka » Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:55 pm

Thanks for the reply guys.

She has her passport in hand with the vignette(?) stating valid from 07/02/2020, so we assume she cannot arrive with the spouse visa before that date. Well aware of the airline situation and looking to use KLM/airFrance within the next 24 hours if possible. No Schengen visa so it's Kyiv or Marrakesh if we want to wait it out somewhere until the visa is valid :/

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Re: Enter UK on tourist visa, AFTER spouse visa already granted (but before start date)?

Post by Jaune08 » Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:10 pm

akaaka wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:55 pm
Thanks for the reply guys.

She has her passport in hand with the vignette(?) stating valid from 07/02/2020, so we assume she cannot arrive with the spouse visa before that date. Well aware of the airline situation and looking to use KLM/airFrance within the next 24 hours if possible. No Schengen visa so it's Kyiv or Marrakesh if we want to wait it out somewhere until the visa is valid :/
Glad she's got the vignette. I've never heard of a case similar to yours, but I guess this virus outbreak should be consider as an 'exceptional circumstance' and looking at the situation, I don't know whether it will be worth it to risk it and travel to the UK (after all, she's got a visa), or wait either in Morocco or China.

My suggestion is try to get to Morocco and once she's been there until 07/02/2020, then travel to UK.

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