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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7434
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I am an American, currently with a US passport. I am 61 years

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I am an American, currently with a US passport. I am 61 years old and I am retired with an adequate, guaranteed income that includes medical care, so I would not need to work nor require any social services. I am interested in buying a home in the UK, initially to live in for about 4-6 months per year, but possibly, in the future to make that my home base for most of the year.

The UK seems to have done away with the "Person of independent means' qualification for an extended residency visa. What would be my options for obtaining a visa for multiple entry short term stays, and for potentially longer stays?

Thanks for your question.

If you not going to work in the UK and spend short periods of time in the UK (not more than 6 months at a time and not more than 6 months in any one year) then it would be best for you to apply for a Multi-Entry Visitor’s Visa. These can be granted for 2, 5 or 10 years. You can apply for these via the forms on the UKBA website for visitors.

This is similar to a visitor’s visa grant at port of entry to US citizens except that it is expressly stamped in your passport and is valid for multiple trips to the UK. It effectively means that you will not get awkward questions from UKBA official when you enter the UK often (ie. they won’t deny you entry based upon a suspicion that you intend to secure a permanent stay.

Usually one would show close family ties to the UK to get this visa, but if you can show that you are in the process of buying a property and adequately explain why you wish to spend considerable time in the UK then you should be successful.

If you wish to permanently reside here without working and have no UK ancestry and are not married to a UK national/person with Indefinite Leave to Remain or EEA national then the only option you have to get leave to remain simply to reside in your house would be by making an discretionary application> This is an application outside the traditional routes. You would have instruct a solicitor to prepare it for you and show why you wish to reside here but, absolutely crucially, that you have adequate income/assets such that you would not need to claim any public funds.

You would be much more likely to secure an approval in a discretionary application if you first built upon a pattern of entry and stay on a visitor’s basis at your home without breaching any terms of your visitor visa and not claiming any public funds.

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Kind regards,

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