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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7600
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hi. Im looking for options to immigrate to the UK. Im an

Resolved Question:

Hi. I'm looking for options to immigrate to the UK. I'm an American and I've been in the UK for three months, and I want to stay. As far as I can tell, my options are to get married, find an employer to sponsor me for a visa, or get a student visa. I want to know what's involved in each of these, and any other options I'm overlooking.

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. Which do you wish to do, work or study?
  • 2. Are you in a relationship with anyone, if so what nationality

Kind regards.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi. Thanks for your response.

I'm in a relationship with a UK citizen. I'm an editor and writer, and I'd like to start a publishing company although I'm not sure about how I can legally work here.

I'm thinking about trying to get a job with a company that would be able to sponsor me. The research I've done suggests that I would need to return to the states and return under either a fiance visa or a work visa. I don't really want to get another degree: I have a BA already.

But what if I were to get married while I was here and then apply for a spousal visa?

Thanks! xxx
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.

Are you here on a visitor's visa?

Is marriage a realistic possibility or would you prefer not to rush it if it meant securing a visa by other means?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I'm here on a vistor's visa, yes. If I could secure a visa by means other than marriage I'm happy to do that, but I'm also trying to be realistic. Marriage is a strong possibility but we're still talking about it.

I want to stay in the UK because I'm putting together a life here, and I don't want to have to go back to the states and start again, and have to wait for six months before I can come back again as a tourist.


Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for your reply.

It is a condition of your visitor’s visa that you should leave before the expiry date of the visa. This means that you must not apply to switch in to any other category of visa. The UKBA are very, very strict on this so I’m afraid that you will have to reconcile yourself with the fact that you will have to return to the states for a short time.

If you wish to work full time and do not have access to considerable funds for investment in the UK then your only option is to find an employer that is willing to employ and to apply and become your sponsor for the purpose of a Tier 2 Sponsored Skilled Workers Visa.

You will have to see if there is a job that you could do in the UK on the shortage occupation list:-

You would have to then secure a job offer from a UK employer who is or would become a licensed sponsor of skilled migrants:-

If your job is not on this list then this means that your employer would have to apply to become a licensed sponsor of skilled migrants and also confirm to the UKBA that they have carried out a the Resident Labour Market Test. This test is effectively to show that their are no resident/eea national in the locality that can perform your role, though this might be difficult if there are other accounts officers who could do the role.

If they are willing to sponsor then you will also have to meet the requisite number of points under the Tier 2 points based system:-

You will see at the top right hand side there is an option to use their calculator to work out how many points you are eligible for. You should check this now because if you do not meet the required number of points then you will not be eligible to apply.

There is lots of information on Tier 2 Sponsored Skilled Workers visas here:-

Were you to apply on the basis of a student visa then you would not be permitted to work in excess of 20 hours a week and therefore I assume this to be unsatisfactory.

If you don’t have enough points or cannot find a job/sponsor then your only option would be to apply on the basis of your marriage. If you marry here in the UK whilst you are on your visitor’s visa then this would be a technical breach because you should have applied for a Marriage Visitor’s visa, it’s a special category of visitor’s visa. Were you to do this it could cause problems for your spouse visa application.

In this event, you can either return to the US with your fiancé, marry there and then apply directly for a spouses visa OR you can apply in the US for fiancé visa so that you can come to the UK to marry and switch to a spouse visa within 6 months of the date of the grant of fiancé visa.

The best thing you could do is to instruct a UK immigration solicitor to prepare your application once you have determined what visa you are to apply for.

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Kind regards,

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