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Fiance Visa?

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Marriage | Unmarried Partners | Fiancé/e | Ancestry

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Maxy
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:07 pm

Fiance Visa?

Post by Maxy » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:31 pm

Hello Everyone - I have a couple of questions and I'd be very grateful for some help. Thank you in advance.

A bit of background first. I'm 34, UK citizen, and I've been in a relationship with my girlfriend (South Korean, a year older than me) for 8 years, most of which time we lived together in Seoul. I returned to the UK last year and she came to visit me for 6 months and left just before the expiration of her visa. Yes, I know, South Korean nationals don't need visas - however, when she arrived at Heathrow to visit me she was refused entry for failing to provide sufficient evidence of an intention to return to Korea. So she was sent back and then applied for, and received, a visit visa.

My girlfriend returned to Korea in January - six months ago. Since then her mother's been ill and she's been working part-time to get some money together. We've now decided that it's the right time to apply for a visa.

I've read lots of posts and replies on this site and seen some excellent advice which probably applies to me. So I'll keep this brief: the visa I thought would suit us most is the unmarried partner visa. We lived together for several years in Korea so really that seemed like the right one for us. However, we can't prove it - as an English teacher out there I had my housing paid for and we had no joint bank accounts or anything other than photos to prove that we were living in a relationship akin to marriage. So from what I've been reading here, we stand next to no chance with that.

Which leads me to the fiance visa. We can show that we've been together for a long time so I think that might be the right option for us. However, I should point out that I'm a carer (I receive carer's allowance) for my ill mother (which is why I returned to the UK) and live with her and my dad at the family home. This didn't affect her previous visa application so hopefully it won't in this case but...could it?

And also in the six months we've been apart we've spoken every day on the phone but I've been using an international phone card so her number in Korea doesn't show up - would that be an issue? I've sent her cards every couple of weeks too, if that would help.

From what I've read I understand that it's important to make some progress with wedding preparations, however tentative - I can certainly do that now, too.

So please let me know if there's anything I else I need to know. Thank you for reading and thanks in advance for your help.

Maxy

ElenaW
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Location: Back and forth between California and Norwich :D

Re: Fiance Visa?

Post by ElenaW » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:21 pm

Maxy wrote:or anything other than photos to prove that we were living in a relationship akin to marriage. So from what I've been reading here, we stand next to no chance with that.
Yep pretty much no chance. Photographs don't prove that you were in a relationship akin to marriage. Marriage in terms of immigration means living together and co-mingling of assets etc...
Maxy wrote:And also in the six months we've been apart we've spoken every day on the phone but I've been using an international phone card so her number in Korea doesn't show up - would that be an issue? I've sent her cards every couple of weeks too, if that would help.
For the fiancee visa all you need to do is prove that you met. So photographs will do it.

djb123
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Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:33 pm

Re: Fiance Visa?

Post by djb123 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:51 pm

ElenaW wrote:
Maxy wrote:And also in the six months we've been apart we've spoken every day on the phone but I've been using an international phone card so her number in Korea doesn't show up - would that be an issue? I've sent her cards every couple of weeks too, if that would help.
For the fiancee visa all you need to do is prove that you met. So photographs will do it.
It's good though to be able show that you have been in touch when you are not together. If your home phone shows you dialled the access number for the international phone card and/or you have the used phone cards that at least shows you've been in contact with someone overseas.

djb123
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Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:33 pm

Re: Fiance Visa?

Post by djb123 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:57 pm

Maxy wrote:From what I've read I understand that it's important to make some progress with wedding preparations, however tentative - I can certainly do that now, too.
Some people think it is, though we had no wedding preparations at all and it didn't cause us any problems.

Without knowing when her visa is going to be approved it's a bit difficult to make even tentative wedding plans.

Kitty
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Posts: 706
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:54 am
Location: Southampton, UK

Post by Kitty » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:16 pm

IN terms of "planning", I think it is mainly used as a reason for refusal if other parts of the relationship jigsaw don't fit together.

I would recommend making sure that you understand the marriage process: contact your local Register Office by email and ask about planning a ceremony for marriage to a person from South Korea: you then have evidence of your research to submit. No harm in running a few proposed dates in the next 6 months past the Register Office at the same time.

If you're only planning a small ceremony, then say as much in your sponsorship or covering letter.

As far as intervening contact with your girlfriend goes, do you email, text, instant message, Skype, message on facebook etc? Screenshots or email prints for your time apart are good evidence that you're still together.

For the money side of things, you need to be able to show that you can support yourselves "without recourse to public funds". There's a sub-forum on "Claiming Benefits" that has a good summary of what this means. Normally, benefits to which you are personally entitled should be fine, but you won't be able to count additional entitlements that would arise because of your fiancée/wife's presence in the UK towards your funding.

If your partner is planning to work in the UK once she's switched into spouse status after the wedding, then provide evidence that her intentions are realistic (how good is her English? Does she have a degree? etc). Some investigation of the local job market can help: it doesn't matter is the jobs are "beneath" her as long as she has a reasonable chance of finding work of some kind.

If finances are tight, then being able to show a reasonable monthly budget is often helpful.

Does your fiancée have savings of her own?

Your family can offer to support you financially before the wedding, but you should aim to show that you will be self-sufficient after that.

Will you all live together at the family home when your fiancée comes to the UK? Permanently or temporarily? If the place is big enough and your parents own it (and can confirm this with mortgage statements etc.), then there shouldn't be a problem.

I'm rambling, sorry... Hope some of this helps anyway :)

Maxy
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:07 pm

Post by Maxy » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:46 pm

Many thanks to you all for your responses - much appreciated.

Will you all live together at the family home when your fiancée comes to the UK? Permanently or temporarily? If the place is big enough and your parents own it (and can confirm this with mortgage statements etc.), then there shouldn't be a problem.

Yes, we intend to live here with them for the foreseeable future. The place is certainly big enough and my dad will submit a letter of support plus proof of ownership, etc.


If your partner is planning to work in the UK once she's switched into spouse status after the wedding, then provide evidence that her intentions are realistic (how good is her English? Does she have a degree? etc). Some investigation of the local job market can help: it doesn't matter is the jobs are "beneath" her as long as she has a reasonable chance of finding work of some kind.


That's a really good idea, I hadn't thought of that. Yes, she has a degree but she's prepared to work anywhere, it doesn't matter if it's a supermarket, shop, whatever. Her English is pretty good.

Does your fiancée have savings of her own?


Nope, she doesn't, unfortunately.

Regarding the contact over the last 6 months, I have kept the international phone cards (and that was her idea, just as well one of has has some brains!) and there are also letters that I've sent her. She's living with her mum out in the sticks and they haven't got a computer so we haven't got any emails to print out, unfortunately.

Thank you all very much for your advice - any other suggestions, please let me know.
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Kitty
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Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:54 am
Location: Southampton, UK

Post by Kitty » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:55 am

Does your partner have any formal English qualifications? Keep an eye on the development of the English language requirement for settlement visas, due to be introduced in the "autumn". However, if you're saying she plans to get a job here, formal evidenc of her language skills is likely to be a plus anyway.

Maxy
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:07 pm

Post by Maxy » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:25 pm

Kitty wrote:Does your partner have any formal English qualifications? Keep an eye on the development of the English language requirement for settlement visas, due to be introduced in the "autumn". However, if you're saying she plans to get a job here, formal evidenc of her language skills is likely to be a plus anyway.
No, she hasn't got any formal English qualifications - just from high school, I think. But I think she'd be fine with any test although it depends how stringent it is.

Maxy
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:07 pm

Post by Maxy » Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:22 pm

Another question - thanks in advance for any/all answers.

I'm getting all the paperwork ready to send to Korea. I've sent my original birth certificate and an expired passport (to show that my girlfriend and I travelled together) and I'm also going to send a copy of my current passport. Do I need to get it certified? I didn't last time (we applied for a visitor visa) but perhaps I have to this time. Please let me know.

Thanks.

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