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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7430
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX girlfriend is english and i met her

Resolved Question:

hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX girlfriend is english and i met her while i was stationed in england for two years USAF. is there any way that i can become a brittish citizen without getting married?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for your question.
To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following:-
1. Do you intend to settle permanently in the UK together
2. Do you intend to marry
Kind regards.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
yes and yes but not marry for a few years
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.
Ok. Where are you living permanently at the moment?

Where is she living?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

my permaneant residence is plymouth massachusetts and hers is cambridge england but i am here now on a visitors visa


Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.
Right. So you don't have a recent period of cohabitation for a period of 2 years or more. Correct?

I will be able to provide you with an answer after you reply.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
no i don't believe i was station at raf lakenheath while in the airforce from jan2010 to jun 2011
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for your reply.

A foreign national requires a period of residence in the UK in order to be eligible to be naturalised as a UK citizen. They must also first obtain what is called Indefinite Leave to remain, for which they also require a period of residence.

If the intention is that you eventually settle here with your girlfriend permanently and you do not have a cohabitation period where you have been physically living together in a loving relationship then you would have to secure your leave to remain here on the basis of your marriage to her.

You can either marry in the US and then apply directly for a spouses visa. Once application, one application fee.

Alternatively, you can apply for a fiance visa so that you can come here specifically for the purpose of marrying her and settling here. Once married you would then have to apply for a spouses visa (settlement). Two applications, two application fees.

The eligibility criteria is largely similar for both applications.The advantage is that if your fiance visa is refused then you are not married. If you marry and you spouses visa application is refused initially and then on appeal then you are stuck being married but in different countries.

Here is the criteria you would need to fulfill for a fiance visa, as I say the criteria is largely the same for a spouses visa. If you meet this you will almost certainly not be refused a spouses visa:-

• You plan to marry within 6 months of her arriving here (egg. statements from you and others, possibly a booking of a church/venue)
• You plan to live permanently together here (statements, correspondence)
• You have met each other before (eg. statements from you both and others, correspondence)
• You can support each other without the need for public funds (bank statements, evidence of income, evidence of jobs available that your husband could do)
• You have suitable accommodation which is owned or lived in only by you or your household and where you and your dependents can live without any help from public funds (tenancy agreement, land registry docs if you your own home)
• That neither of you are younger than 21 years of age. (birth certificates, passports)
The application will have to be supported by evidence proving the above eligibility criteria. I have suggested basic documents above, but the list is not exhaustive. They key to a successful application is producing well-collated documentary evidence for the above criteria.

You will need to apply for fiance/spouses visa using form VAF4 which is available for download from the UKBA website

You should consider instructing a immigration solicitor based here in the UK to prepare an application for her (whichever way you decide to do it). You can find local solicitors via:-
It should cost around £1000-1500+ VAT.

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I will answer your follow up questions you may have.

Kind regards,

Thomas and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you

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