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Settlement: Returning Resident or Spouse Visa?

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heisenberg
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Settlement: Returning Resident or Spouse Visa?

Post by heisenberg » Mon May 24, 2010 12:10 pm

Hi All,

I met my wife in the Uk about 10 years ago (I'm a British National) and we decided to get married (she's a Japanese National). So we did everything by the book:

We flew to Japan and she applied for a fiance visa in Tokyo which she was successful in getting.

We returned the UK and got married and she then applied for the Spouse Visa which she was successful in getting.

We waited for 2 years and she then applied for Indefinite Leave to Remain and she was successful in her application.

We continued living our happy lives in the UK and then one day we decided it would be a good idea to 'temporarily' live in Japan as we both wanted to have kids and she felt more comfortable about giving birth in Japan as her immediate family would be there,etc

So got a transfer to Japan through my company and 4 years later with the addition of three kids, we have decided to move back to the UK.

I have found out that her ILR has now 'expired' as she has been out of the country for more than 2 years.

We also returned to the UK a year ago for holiday, and I have just noticed that she had a "Leave to Enter for Six Months: Employment and Recourse to Public Funds Prohibited" stamped in her passport. Her ILR was in her previous passport which we did not think to bring with us when we visited the UK last year. I've heard that this could cause further complications.

I've trawled the UKBA site and it seems that she should be able to apply as a 'returning resident' even though she has been out of the country for more than two years. I'm hoping that the fact that myself and all our kids are British Citizens will count as 'strong family ties here' as identified on the UKBA website.

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/settl ... residents/

If not, I'm worried that we'll have to go through the whole spouse visa application process again and we'll have to wait another 2 years before she can get ILR again. I'm really hoping to avoid all those 3:00AM trips to Croydon again!

So does she apply for a visa as a returning resident or a spouse (even though she has already had this type of visa the first time round)? Any advice would be most appreciated!

Wanderer
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Post by Wanderer » Mon May 24, 2010 12:22 pm

Too late I'm afraid, the visit visa she got already made an impossible situation much worse.

No harm in trying tho, will save around £1300 in visa fees, very expensive now...
An chéad stad eile Stáisiún Uí Chonghaile....

heisenberg
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Post by heisenberg » Mon May 24, 2010 12:37 pm

thanks for the very quick reply! I guess it doesn't look good then...

So your saying that she could still try and apply as returning resident, if this fails then we'll go the spouse visa route.

I also noticed that is says this on the site:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/partn ... lpartners/

"We may be able to give you permission to live permanently in the UK as soon as you arrive, if:

* you and your partner married or formed a civil partnership at least four years ago;
* you have spent those four years living together outside the UK;
* you are both coming to the UK to settle here together; and
* you have sufficient knowledge of the English language and life in the UK. (You do not need to meet this last requirement if you are aged 65 or over.)"

Does this mean that it's possible for my wife to get ILR 'as soon as we arrive'? I'm hoping that her 'visa history' will help with this.

djb123
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Post by djb123 » Mon May 24, 2010 12:52 pm

heisenberg wrote:Does this mean that it's possible for my wife to get ILR 'as soon as we arrive'? I'm hoping that her 'visa history' will help with this.
See this thread.

http://www.immigrationboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=57075

Basically unless you make another visit to the UK first before applying so she can pass the Life in the UK test you will still have to apply for ILR once you get to the UK. The only difference being you dont have to wait for two years. Which means you shouldn't be affected by the new rule changes in July 2011

Wanderer
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Post by Wanderer » Mon May 24, 2010 12:53 pm

heisenberg wrote:thanks for the very quick reply! I guess it doesn't look good then...

So your saying that she could still try and apply as returning resident, if this fails then we'll go the spouse visa route.

I also noticed that is says this on the site:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/partn ... lpartners/

"We may be able to give you permission to live permanently in the UK as soon as you arrive, if:

* you and your partner married or formed a civil partnership at least four years ago;
* you have spent those four years living together outside the UK;
* you are both coming to the UK to settle here together; and
* you have sufficient knowledge of the English language and life in the UK. (You do not need to meet this last requirement if you are aged 65 or over.)"

Does this mean that it's possible for my wife to get ILR 'as soon as we arrive'? I'm hoping that her 'visa history' will help with this.
Means she can apply for ILE (as against ILR) but before that's granted she'll have needed to pass the KOL (Knowledge of Life) test, bit of a catch-22 as you can only do that in the UK. Options are:

1. She comes to UK on Visit visa and passes KOL test, returns to Japan and applies for ILE.

2. Apply for ILE anyway, she will get FLR visa granted and as soon as KOL is passed can apply for ILR, ie no benefit at all!

There's a few recent posts on this, have a search, and ILE isn't my strongpoint....
An chéad stad eile Stáisiún Uí Chonghaile....

heisenberg
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Post by heisenberg » Mon May 24, 2010 1:14 pm

thanks again for getting back to me so promptly. I'm suffering from acronym overload! I'm off to do a lot more research and will post back soon.

heisenberg
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Post by heisenberg » Thu May 27, 2010 11:36 am

Thanks for the advice so far. I have completed a fair amount of research and I think she will go for option 2 and apply for ILE.

Now the next step is how to do this.

As we are based in Japan, I assume we will apply via the British Embassy in Tokyo. They outsource all their visa applications to an organisation known a VFS Global in the Philippines.

http://www.vfs-uk-jp.com/applying.aspx

I had a look at the visa application forms that were listed

http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/howtoapply/vafs/

and I assume that she will complete the VAF4A- Settlement visa application form.

I also assume that once they have received the form she will get an FLR visa granted (hopefully), or will they give her a spouse visa again?

Any thoughts on the matter would be much appreciated.

Wanderer
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Post by Wanderer » Thu May 27, 2010 11:57 am

heisenberg wrote:Thanks for the advice so far. I have completed a fair amount of research and I think she will go for option 2 and apply for ILE.

Now the next step is how to do this.

As we are based in Japan, I assume we will apply via the British Embassy in Tokyo. They outsource all their visa applications to an organisation known a VFS Global in the Philippines.

http://www.vfs-uk-jp.com/applying.aspx

I had a look at the visa application forms that were listed

http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/howtoapply/vafs/

and I assume that she will complete the VAF4A- Settlement visa application form.

I also assume that once they have received the form she will get an FLR visa granted (hopefully), or will they give her a spouse visa again?

Any thoughts on the matter would be much appreciated.
It will still be a spouse visa (FLR) bit upon passing the KOL test, ILR will be immediate.

Cost is high tho, my memory of the fees is outdated so think higher, will be about 600 quid for FLR for ILE, 30 quid or so for KOL test, then 820 quid for ILE/R.

The alternative is visit visa, pass the KOL, return to JN, apply for ILE and that's it until Naturalisation if she wants it - think Japan doesn't allow dual citizenship so if she's owt like mine (Russian) she'd be fiercely opposed to that. Saves 700 quid or so tho! But with this plan u have the cost of flights, so it's your call.
An chéad stad eile Stáisiún Uí Chonghaile....

heisenberg
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Post by heisenberg » Thu May 27, 2010 12:11 pm

thanks again for the very prompt reply. I've had a look at the costs and you are right in that it is very pricey! Time for a discussion with the wife. We may well be going on holiday to the UK for a couple of weeks over the summer so she'll probably take the test then.

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Post by geriatrix » Thu May 27, 2010 12:14 pm

[quote="ECB9.6 Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) and Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)"]Applicants who are granted Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) at a visa issuing Post should have no time restrictions on their stay in the UK ie they can stay indefinitely. ILE carries the same entitlement as “Indefinite Leave to Remainâ€

Wanderer
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Post by Wanderer » Thu May 27, 2010 12:15 pm

heisenberg wrote:thanks again for the very prompt reply. I've had a look at the costs and you are right in that it is very pricey! Time for a discussion with the wife. We may well be going on holiday to the UK for a couple of weeks over the summer so she'll probably take the test then.
Download/buy the Life in UK book, it's online on P2P, or pay the 30 quid or so, more ripoff from UKBA...

There are online tests, for practice, try them, both of you cos there's questions I didn't know the answers too...

Just think of it as a prep/reading/studying/English test, that's all it is to prove the application can comprehend and speak/read basic English.
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Post by Wanderer » Thu May 27, 2010 12:42 pm

Listen to sushdmehta, she knows more than me on this!
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djb123
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Post by djb123 » Thu May 27, 2010 1:58 pm

[quote="sushdmehta"][quote="ECB9.6 Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) and Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)"]Applicants who are granted Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) at a visa issuing Post should have no time restrictions on their stay in the UK ie they can stay indefinitely. ILE carries the same entitlement as “Indefinite Leave to Remainâ€

heisenberg
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Post by heisenberg » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:26 am

Hi All,

Thanks again for all your responses.

The waters now seem to have been muddied further with the bringing forward to September of the July 2011 measures to make immigration more difficult for immigrant partners.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk/10270797.stm

I am not sure exactly what the July 2011 measures are, but it seems that there will now be an additional language test. Is this test different from the Life in the UK test?

Does anybody know if there is an 'idiot's guide to the 2011 rule changes' out there?

thanks again!

heisenberg
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Post by heisenberg » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:39 am

This might help others in the same situation as me, now all I need to do is find out what "English at A1 level" really means in terms of test taking and where the "approved test providers" are.

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitec ... equirement

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Eur ... _Languages

heisenberg
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Post by heisenberg » Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:49 am

Dear All,

Thanks for all the advice you have given me so far. My wife took her language test and she will definitely meet the language requirements.

I am now a little worried about adequate funds for my family and I. I worried that my wife will not get her visa and only my children and I will return to the UK as we are all British Nationals.

I have secured employment in the UK, however the salary will be low (16,000 GBP) as I will be employed as an unqualified science teacher for one year. However this will jump to about 26,000 GBP the following year, once I get QTS. Job prospects for science teachers with a physics specialism seem to be pretty good. I also have about 8000 GBP in savings. Moving back is necessary so I can 'go one step back to move two steps forward' so to speak. I think we will have enough but I am unsure what the ECO will think. My wife originally had ILR but lost it because we have been living outside of the UK for over 5 years.

Any thoughts/advice would be most appreciated.

Thanks

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Post by Casa » Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:46 am

You'll need to show that you will have a minimum of £105.95 remaining weekly for you and your wife and £63 for each of your children after rent or mortgage, council tax and any loan repayments.
I assume that as your children are British nationals you will be able to claim child allowance etc for them, but I'll leave others to confirm your entitlements as far as they're concerned.
Family resident in the UK can now provide 3rd part financial support and accommodation should you have someone willing to do this. Temporary accommodation can also be provided by friends rent free.

heisenberg
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Post by heisenberg » Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:31 am

Dear Casa,

Thanks so much for the information, it is really appreciated. With our savings we may just have enough. I am toying with the idea of just flying over on my own, get myself setup then bring them over. However, it will be awful to be apart from them. Yes, my children are British Nationals.

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Post by pennylessinindia » Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:31 pm

[quote="sushdmehta"][quote="ECB9.6 Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) and Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)"]Applicants who are granted Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) at a visa issuing Post should have no time restrictions on their stay in the UK ie they can stay indefinitely. ILE carries the same entitlement as “Indefinite Leave to Remainâ€
pennyless

heisenberg
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Post by heisenberg » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:24 pm

Dear Pennylessinindia.

Thanks for your feedback, however I am still a little confused. I assume my wife lost ILR as she has been out of the country for more than 5 years. The situation was made more problematic as we went to the UK for a family visit a couple of years ago and she got a standard tourist visa stamped in her new passport (the one that does not have ILR in it).

I am really worried that we will have to start the whole process again. My wife originally had a fiance visa, which was changed to a spouse visa and finally into ILR. She is currently applying for settlement as we have assumed that she has lost ILR because of the situation described above. We are also a little worried about funds to support ourselves for the first year but we should be ok. I am a career changer and will have to work for much less than I currently do now!

Is it possible for the ECO to deny my wife a new visa, so in the worst case scenario just my children and I return to the UK? I don't think they will cope well without their mother. I am trying to predict what the likely visa application outcomes will be so I can make a plan b, c, etc.

Thanks for all the advice so far.

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Post by vinny » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:40 pm

She has lost her ILR.

However, it's possible to apply for a spouse visa with a ILE endorsement if she had satisfied the KOL requirement and she had been living together with you outside the UK for at least 4 years.
This is not intended to be legal or professional advice in any jurisdiction. Please click on any given links for further information. Refer to the source of any quotes.
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you have my sympathy!

Post by Delu » Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:36 pm

Hi there,
Just wanted to let you know that we are in a similar position - I am British, my husband of 15 years is Brazilian, our kids have both. We made the stupid mistake of wasting buckets of money applying for the returning resident visa thinking that he would qualify as he had had an ILR 14 years ago. We also presumed that strong ties with the UK would mean us but it does not! Beware! We were denied because the ECO concluded that the UK was not his normal place of residence. Of course not! If that had been clearer on the website we would never have applied!Aggh! Very confusing! Now we have realised that we have to apply for a VAF4A visa and are busy getting that organised. I find the fact that we have to prove our relationship and marriage all over again quite insulting. Good luck with your application though!

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