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Wifes Settlement Visa - Success

Family member & Ancestry immigration; don't post other immigration categories, please!
Marriage | Unmarried Partners | Fiancé/e | Ancestry

Moderators: Casa, JAJ, ca.funke, Amber, Zimba, vinny, Obie, EUsmileWEallsmile, batleykhan, geriatrix, John, ChetanOjha, archigabe, push, Administrator

ilm
Junior Member
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 12:18 pm

Wifes Settlement Visa - Success

Post by ilm » Mon Oct 03, 2005 9:32 am

Title says it all so thank you for the help we have had from this board. Special thanks to the moderators but also to others, whose experiences are invaluable when preparing an application. Without this board we wouldn’t have done it!

My Croatian wife had an asylum application refused 7 years ago and we have been living together in the UK since then, hence we were very concerned about going to make the application as we had a lot to lose if something went wrong. We did it anyway to get it all sorted out. We were married in April and would have gone sooner were it not for solicitors wasting our time and having to organise time off work.

I went with my wife to make the application on the Tuesday in Zagreb. After handing in the application form and evedence we waited about an hour before she had a very short discussion. She then made an appointment for a formal interview 2 days later on the Thursday. On Thursday she had a 20-30 minute interview after which she was told she would get the visa. 10 minutes later they gave her passport back.

We were slightly surprised it was so quick but very relieved it was all sorted out.

Thank you again for all the advice we got from this board.


Here are a few points about that application that others may find useful.

Solicitors were generally not very useful for us. They gave pretty much the same advice as we got on this board but generally without so much detail. We gave up on them in the end and did it ourselves. I am sure they have their place but I would say it is vital to do you own research and understand your position fully.

Possibly the best advice we got was to provide as much evidence as we had got. There is no exact list as to what to supply as evidence but are a list of rules of what you have to prove. We went through the list and created a section for each with all the evidence we had to prove it. These are in effect points of law and the ECO must be satisfied that each one is met so make sure they are, with lots of evidence. We actually provided about 70 items of proof all indexed in a folder, the ECO commented to my wife that the application made it very easy for him to make a decision and certainly didn’t say we provided too much.

We took the rules and created the following sections, which roughly relate to the rules we had meet. For each one we wrote a short description and provided an index to the evidence for that section.
  • Application form and letter from sponsor
    Passports and Identification
    Wedding
    Our Relationship
    Our Home
    Financial and Employment
I believe the letter of sponsorship is vital. This is the only place the sponsor can ‘talk’ to the ECO about the application. I wrote a one-page letter detailing our relationship, and why I wanted to live with her in the UK.

Passports and Identification speak for themselves although take copies and put them in too. The ECO took out copies of what he needed and gave the originals back. We also put in here details of the past asylum application including any home office numbers we had.

We provided every bit of evidence we had of the church wedding including marriage certificate, letter from the vicar, reception invoice, flower invoices, ring receipts, copy of guest list, example invitation and more. We also provided photos of the day. They kept the copy of the marriage certificate we provided and the letter from the vicar.

For our relationship we provided evidence, which linked us together including photos and cards. We also go all our friends to write letters saying how they knew us, and that they supported our marriage.

For our home I provided everything I had on the property including council tax bills, mortgage statements, plan of the house and a few photos of the house.

For financial and employment we wrote down all the money we had between us, and statements to prove it. We had to rush out and get these copied as they wanted to keep them so they are obviously important. We also wrote down our employment histories, pay slips, employment contract and CV’s. I have my own company so provided a letter from my accountant, letters from clients, company accounts as well as company bank statements.

As you can see we provided a lot of information but we didn’t want to leave anything to chance especially due to my wife’s previous immigration history. I am sure you can get a visa with a lot less but we still think the effort involved in putting a comprehensive application together was well worth the effort.
Last edited by ilm on Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

John
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Location: Birmingham, England

Post by John » Mon Oct 03, 2005 9:55 am

ILM and wife ..... congratulations! Yet more confirmation that this path ... going back to original country and applying for spouse visa there ... can work! Are the two of you back in the UK now?

Excellent detail about the evidence provided. Don't be surprised if this topic gets referred to very often. Excellent guidance to those that follow you.

Croatia ... now that all in this house have British passports ... thus don't need visas for countries such as Croatia .... we spent part of our summer holiday this year in Dubrovnic ... excellent! Highly recommended.
Last edited by John on Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
John

Chess
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Post by Chess » Mon Oct 03, 2005 10:06 am

Ilm,

congratulations and thank you for sharing your story. Just goes to show that in most cases the board is miles better than Solicitors and is free :lol:

Your situation has arisen so many times on this board!!

I have therefore made this post a STICKY
Where there is a will there is a way.

hmm
Member
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Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 12:49 pm

Post by hmm » Mon Oct 03, 2005 11:24 am

ilm,
congratulations.
when did you/wife apply for the visa? date and month ?

ilm
Junior Member
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 12:18 pm

Post by ilm » Mon Oct 03, 2005 11:38 am

Application was made a couple of weeks ago. We gave ourselves 2 weeks but as it was sorted out quickly we had time to travel around a bit

Came back yesterday by ferry into Dover. No delay at all getting through UK immigration before getting on the ferry. They just stamped the entry date on the visa which I guess is normal?

John
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Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 2:54 pm
Location: Birmingham, England

Post by John » Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:22 pm

ilm wrote:They just stamped the entry date on the visa which I guess is normal?
Totally normal ... and indeed a rather important stamp, given that it confirms when she entered the UK.

So just three years before she can apply for naturalisation as British! (Subject of course to her getting ILR in nearly two years time.)(And assuming that you, her husband, are British!)
John

ilm
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Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 12:18 pm

Post by ilm » Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:35 am

Thanks John,

Obviously ILR comes first in two years and is perhaps more important than the Citizenship.

I have looked at all the notes for ILR and will start collecting evidence now but the rules only appear to say we have to be in the UK when the application is made, not that we have to live in the UK for the next 2 years. Have I missed something or am I right in thinking we just have to prove we have lived together for 2 years, and that could in fact be in any country? No plans at the moment to move abroad but it would be nice to know what our options are if something came up.

John
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Location: Birmingham, England

Post by John » Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:01 am

ILM, I don't think it is that simple. Your wife has a settlement visa and is expected to settle in the UK. So if she has not done that during the period of the two-year period of the spouse visa there could well be problems getting the ILR.

No way is she forced to be physically in the UK for the whole of the two years but it needs to be clear that her normal place of residence is the UK.

Really the two of you need to plan to live in the UK until your wife has her naturalisation in about three years time. After that, well no problem living elsewhere in the EU, or anywhere.

Also, looking ahead to the naturalisation application, it needs to be clear than she has spent no more than 270 days outside the UK in the 3 years prior to making the application, nor more than 90 days in the one year prior to making the application. There is a bit of leeway on those numbers but not a lot.
John

journey
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Post by journey » Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:06 pm

Ilm,

Many congratulation to you & your wife :lol: ......

You and your wife must be over the moon now..., as we were

Pl let all of us know the venue for the celebration....

Journey

samkma
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Location: North West Wales

congrats

Post by samkma » Fri Oct 07, 2005 5:30 pm

ilm,
Congrats,

Don't forget to invite the moderators and valuble senior members for a party.

samkma

Naiad
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Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 12:23 pm
Location: Currently in the UK
Contact:

We got it!

Post by Naiad » Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:57 am

Thanks to everyone who has answered questions and helped us with this process (especially you, John!). I got my fiancée visa from the BHC in Australia the day before yesterday and it proved to be a lot less painful than expected. I'll post our experiences here for others to reference.

We had been watching the BHC Australia website for some time monitoring the 'Current processing time' for visas. When we first started planning it said 5 days, a couple of weeks ago it changed to 10 days then the day before we submitted our application it went up to 15-20 days. We were dismayed because my departure date was only 17 days after we submitted the application.

In the end the whole process took about 3 hours! :D
We submitted our application online and because we thought the timeframe might be tight we elected to submit the supporting evidence in person rather than post it. Armed with our 3" thick folder, all neatly sorted according to categories we drove 3hrs to Canberra, took our number and waited about 2hrs before our number was called.

The friendly CO checked my form carefully then looked at our folder and said with a smile "You would be a classic example of people who think it's going to be worse than it is!". He asked for mostly documents relating to our financial status, my sponsors employment and mortgage, my divorce application (still waiting for the Decree Absolute), my sponsors letter of invitation/personal statement and both our passports. They were scrutinised carefully and taken away for copying or consulting or something while we watched nervously then eventually he said "Can you come back in an hour and collect it?". We just stared at each other for a moment in amazement then managed to say that would be wonderful and fiancé told him he'd made our day.

Some things we think helped;
Having all our documents with us and in immaculate indexed order (even if they weren't scrutinised, he could see they were there if they wanted them),
Lodging the application online (it says on the website that online applications are given priority),
My sponsor being with me when I submitted the documents

Documents we had in our file;
  • A month-by-month summary of his incomings and outgoings
    6 months Bank statements (his and mine)
    6 months Pay advice slips (his)
    A letter from his employer confirming a recent pay rise
    Mortgage statement (his, on the house we will live in)
    Description of property from the mortgage
    Photos of the house inside and out
    6 months worth of utility bills on the house
    Details of his car loan
    Details of my assets and savings in Australia
    Print-outs of some ads for suitable jobs for me after we are married and I'm allowed to work
    My divorce application
    emails sent between us,
    my 'weblog' posts (my online travel diary) detailing things we did,
    photos of us together as a couple and with other people,
    air tickets and stamps in our passports from travel together,
    admission tickets from other activities together,
    correspondence from my Mum addressed to both of us,
    a couple of bills in joint names.
    Personal statements outlining how our relationship developed, when we decided to get married, our discussions about the wedding, our plans for the future and some personal background that will hopefully show we're both upstanding citizens
Happy to answer questions from anyone in a similar situation.

John
Moderator
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Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 2:54 pm
Location: Birmingham, England

Post by John » Thu Mar 02, 2006 9:42 am

Naiad, congratulations to the two of you. Glad it all worked out so well. Have a long and happy life together in the UK.

3 hours rather than 15-20 days! British Missions do like to get "no brainer" applications out of the way quickly. That is, applications that clearly pass with flying colours can indeed receive a very speedy treatment.

The evidence you provided, and indeed the way you presented it .... in a folder "in immaculate indexed order" ..... really does make the ECOs job so much easier. At the very least, presenting the information in that way certainly can never harm an application.

Again, congratulations! :D
John

whirly
Member
Posts: 176
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:43 pm
Location: london

another happy success story

Post by whirly » Thu May 04, 2006 9:19 am

After I was rejected again on appeal for an HSMP, we decided to bite the bullet and get married (I'm American, he's British). Using tips from the posts above, we were armed and ready for the New York consulate. Here is a brief timeline:


January 2006: applied for HSMP, rejected within one week

February: sent appeal for review

March: rejected again

April 19: flew to NY from London

April 20: applied for marriage license (at NY City Clerk's Office)

April 21: got married

April 24: spouse visa appointment at British Consulate, received visa in 1.5 hours!

April 28: back to the UK with no problems at Heathrow



Preparation is definitely the key. We had applied online and booked our visa appointment ahead of time. We had a binder full of information and copies of everything:

* Application
* Passports
* Marriage certificate

* Ring receipts
* Copy of invitation to wedding celebration later this summer
* Personal statement (from me)
* Letter of support (from him)
* Employer reference letter from his company
* Evidence of funds for him

* Evidence of funds for me
* Evidence of accommodation (Homebuyer Survey)
* Evidence of mortgage

* My CV to show eligibility to work
* Copy of my National Insurance number
* Information from my UK university (I was a postgrad here)
* Copies of all HSMP correspondence showing rejections and appeals
* Letters of support from friends and family
* Samples of emails we have sent each other
* Samples of blog entries showing travel together
* Christmas cards, Valentine's cards, engagement cards, birthday cards, photos, misc postcards etc. that we have exchanged

When we got to the Consulate, they only asked to see the items listed in bold above. We were lucky in that:
* he makes over 45,000GBP per year at his job, and has worked there for five years
* he has a mortgage for the 2-bedroom flat (vs. renting)
* he has a nice sum in savings and pension tucked away

The entire transaction with the officer only took about ten minutes, and we were told to come back an hour later to pick up my passport with the visa in it.

I did not have any problems at Heathrow, either. What a relief!

Good luck to all the other couples out there...!

John
Moderator
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Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 2:54 pm
Location: Birmingham, England

Post by John » Thu May 04, 2006 9:39 am

whirly, congratulations! Yet more proof that good preparation of the application and the supporting evidence really does help.
John

mikeal
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Post by mikeal » Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:13 pm

Congrats,
You shame me mate. Wish I was like you.

samkma
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Location: North West Wales

Post by samkma » Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:38 pm

Naiad, congratulations

ilm
Junior Member
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 12:18 pm

Post by ilm » Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:46 pm

Update.

Wife now has ILR. Not the most pleasant experience going to Croydon to get it but was all done in 3 hours so better than waiting by post. Generally most people were friendly once past the security guards!

Only 1/3rd of the letters were in both our names but it was never questioned, although they did query why we didn't provide utility bills (They are all in my name so didn't think they were that useful as they didn't tie us together or have any financial information on them) We took letters that tied us such as insurance docs which had the others name on them and employment contracts, which had more financial information on them.

As well as the 20 docs we provided bank statements and a letter explaining why we didn't have 20 items in both our names, as requested on the application form but they didn't look at them. They were only interested in the application form, Life in UK pass certificate, passports and 20 docs.

Just one more year and she could apply for BC and this long saga of visas will be over. :D

vehipper
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:58 pm

wife visa a success as well after reading your article!

Post by vehipper » Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:12 pm

hie

i just want to say thank you very much for posting your article. I was a student who had overstayed her visa for 5 years in uk. i went home, zimbabwe, to get married, i tried to renew my visa there but they took long. i withdrew my application after a month of uncertainty and went to poland with hubby. I was contemplating on getting a lawyer but after reading your article, i gathered all the documents and you gave me courage to do it on my own. here is what i supplied;

marriage cert, photos, educational history and transcript, invitation letters, bank statements, affidavits for marriage, polish marriage cert, eu id, hubby pay slips, passports, mine and hubby, photocopies of every document plus originals. contract of employment. By the way our bank account was just about 1000 pounds so i guess its not about money.

i also explained everything in detailed, the whole truth with evidence on every bit. i had an appointment at 9 and was issued the visa at 3pm same day. the imigration officer said he had never seen such an organized file. i had everything needed.

once again thank you.

bcu_student
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Post by bcu_student » Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:00 pm

Hi,

My wife has applied for entry clearance to join me. I am a settled person in the UK and study full time. I also work part time. I receive student loan and grant for maintennance. It is not considered as public funds I think. My income from my job, added to the student finance is more than enought to satisfy the income requirement to sponsor my wife. Can someone please tell me if student finance counts as income for the purpose of sponsoring my wife? Also do I need to show any savings or is the income enough.

best wishes,

CUDDLEYPETE
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Post by CUDDLEYPETE » Wed May 13, 2009 12:23 pm

Many congratulation to you & your wife

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