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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7432
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I am a 68 year old man,

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I am a 68 year old man, A british citizen born and bred here, worked all my life paid taxes etc. I am now retired, I am in receipt of state pension and pension credits also housing benefit.I would like to marry a 65 year old lady from South Africa. Would she be allowed to live with me in the UK at my home.


She owns a halfshare in an industrial building worth R2.5 million.  It would bring her a monthly income of R10 000 or if sold, half the value.


Would you intend to marry here or in SA? Or would it be simply whichever is the easiest?

Kind regards

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you Tom for coming back, Im sure she would like to marry in SA, but she has just said wherever would help our cause would be fine



Morning Frank,



Thanks for your reply.


You can either marry in SA to the embassy there and then she can apply directly for a spouses visa. Once application, one application fee.

Alternatively, you can apply for a fiance visa so that she can come here specifically for the purpose of marrying him. Once married she 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 her 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 above is taken to mean that you cannot receive any more money in public funds following her arriving here on the visa than you already do.

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.


She will also have to pass an English language test showing she has a basic command of spoken and listening English. She can find out approved test providers in her area by contacting the UK embassy nearest to her.


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,




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