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Awan-Legal
Awan-Legal, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 128
Experience:  Specialist in immigration law with the highest level of accreditation in this area and with many years experience.
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Question for a UK immigration specialist: I need this question

Customer Question

Question for a UK immigration specialist:
I need this question to be answered very precisely and reliably please as the answer will strongly influence future decisions I have to make:

My girlfriend (US Citizen) and I (British Citizen) are planning to marry. She lives in the USA and I live in Britain. We have been together for 3 years with me spending a lot of time in the US and her having spent one year here in the UK legally (on a student visa). She went back to the US in Summer 2011.

My girlfriend wishes to continue her UK studies in August 2012 part time. She would like to have a UK residency/ spouse visa before then so that she does not have to apply for a student visa again. Since we want to marry anyway, now is a good time to do so.

We will marry in the USA.

I do have some questions regarding this. She believes that my circumstances may lead to her not receiving a spouse visa, so I need to clarify what the requirements really are and if she may be correct in her assumption.

I am not employed, but am 'self employed' (without being 'properly registered' as self employed). I earn a living from running a small online business and can prove my income (mostly by bank statements), so I do not have 'pay slips' as such.
I understand that the authorities will check my financial situation, therefore I need to know exactly what the financial requirements are in terms of income.

A)
Is there a specific amount of money I have to earn per month or year or any particular period in order to prove that I am able to financially support my new wife? If so, what is that amount/ or what are the specific requirements?

B)
What kind of proof will be officially recognised as proof of income?

C)
As part of my business (and also privately) I travel a lot. This includes travel and prolonged stays in the US (and other countries).
I understand that in the 2 months after our wedding, I can apply for a spouse visa for my girlfriend here in the UK. During this 2 month period I will have to prove my income AND the agency will also pay a 'random' visit to my home address to ascertain my living conditions/ circumstances. This will be a random visit without any prior warning. Is this correct?
Therefore I will be pretty much 'forced' to stay here in the UK during that 2 months period so that I can 'wait' for the agency to visit (although this sounds absolutely incredulous to me, this is what i have been told by a non-legal person). If I happen not to be at home, they will just keep coming back until they get to meet me at my home address. Is this correct?

Will they then also check my whereabouts BEFORE the 2 month period and DURING the 2 month period in order to see if I 'really' am resident in the UK. If so, how will they do so? (Check my passport for example).
Will my prolonged stays in other countries be detrimental (although they are crucial to my business) and could this imperil my girlfriend's spouse visa in any way?
What are the guidelines for me 'being away' before and during the application period?

I look forward to your reply.

Kind regards

Michael
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Awan-Legal replied 2 years ago.

Awan-Legal : Hi
Awan-Legal :

Before discussing the financial requirements, are you able to pt

Awan-Legal :

sorry ignore the 'pt'.. are you able to provide me with your rent and council tax payments per month? also, how much is your income per month roughly and how much are you and/or your partner's savings?

Awan-Legal :

Within UK immigration law, there is no time limit on waiting to apply for a spouse visa after the marriage so you do not have to wait two months after the wedding to apply for this but can do so immediately after the wedding if you prefer. You should include a letter/statement to confirm that you and your girlfriend have been together 3 years, pointing out the dates included in your passports where evidence to show that you have liv

Awan-Legal :

pointing out the dates included in your passports to show that you have been visiting one another (*correction to above sentence*) and giving evidence of photographs/outings during your time together on visits. You should also set out the details of your relationship and that you also lived together (include dates) during her student visa in the UK, together with any evidence such as a tenancy agreement in both your names (if you have one), formal letters and bills (phone bills, utility bills etc) addressed to you both over that year (can be in either joint names or separate names but over the same year at the same address. If you do not have any of this evidence, you should provide letters from friends (or the landlord if possible) confirming that you were staying together during this period.

Awan-Legal :

With regards XXXXX XXXXX and bank statements, the income should be reflected in your accounts, which you will need to get prepared by an accountant (or projected accounts) and a letter from your accountant to confirm you income, projected salary and that you are registered with the HMRC. As stated, the money entering your account should reflect the income so it is vital this matches and you should explain how you are paid (such as through cash, BACS etc).You should also submit hmrc registration, tax receipts or self assessment returns, vat registration if any, to show you are paying tax.


Awan-Legal : The bank statements should date back a minimum of three months from when you apply. You cannot rely on just the October ones an will need from october to January of that is when you will apply.

Awan-Legal : The funds are enough to support your wife but if your brother is also helping, he will need to give a letter of support, his three months bank statements and three to six months pay slips. If he also supports you with a further £200+, then you can also apply to sponsor the four children (although you may need to get bigger accommodation).
Awan-Legal :

You will of course need to register with the hmrc first. Your accountant will help you with this and this can generally be done within the first year of your business.

Awan-Legal :

sorry ignore the penultimate paragraph about your funds/brother/accommodation

Customer:

Hi, is this the last paragraph that applies to me?'With regards XXXXX XXXXX and bank statements, the income should be reflected in your accounts, which you will need to get prepared by an accountant (or projected accounts) and a letter from your accountant to confirm you income, projected salary and that you are registered with the HMRC. As stated, the money entering your account should reflect the income so it is vital this matches and you should explain how you are paid (such as through cash, BACS etc).You should also submit hmrc registration, tax receipts or self assessment returns, vat registration if any, to show you are paying tax.'

Awan-Legal :

The specific amount required is £110 per week after rent and council tax payments (I can work this out for you if you wish to provide me with the figures as per my earlier question to you but I understand if you do not wish to disclose this). Your income and bank statements should be a minimum period of three months (can be up to six months).

Awan-Legal :

Yes that paragraph does apply to you.

Awan-Legal :

That is in response to your question B

Customer:

Ok, thanks, XXXXX XXXXX £110 per week after rent and council tax payments that i need to earn for my spouse to be eligible for the visa.

Awan-Legal :

Yes

Awan-Legal :

You will need to show your rent payments (tenancy agreement.. and highlight on bank statements if possible) and council tax bill.

Awan-Legal :

You will also need to show you can accommodate her.

Customer:

Well, you see, as i mentioned, I have not paid taxes for a while, as i am not registered as self employed and my income flls into a legal loophole which has not been closed yet, I believe. I earn money from online virtua products whcih are not taxed in any western countries as far as i undertsnad.

Customer:

I can get an accountant, that's no problem.

Awan-Legal :

Ok, you will need to discuss that with an accountant but I would advise you to get that registered soon.

Customer:

I can also get registered with the HMRC.

Customer:

So, being registered with the HMRC is kind of crucial to prove income, correct?

Awan-Legal :

The agency (home office - uk border agency) will not come to your house - they cannot do this.

Customer:

Oh I see. So that 'random; visit is nonsense info. Someone told me that.

Awan-Legal :

or rather will not do this, especially in a case where the partner is abroad (this is usually done for couples in the UK, especially where one may be illegal) so do not worry about that

Customer:

Ok I see

Customer:

But will there be any kind of inerview at all, where I have to go to the authorities so they can ask me questions/ interview me?

Awan-Legal :

There are no guidelines about being away before and during but you must show that you intend to live together in the UK permanently

Awan-Legal :

there are no more interviews - the application is all assessed on papers

Customer:

Ok. So how would I show intend (as an example)?

Awan-Legal :

you should explain that you travel often for work but will be based mainly in the UK (as evident by the uk business, hmrc registration, financial and accommodation commitments in the UK)

Customer:

So ,basically, for argument's sake, I could be in the USA, staying with my girlfriend around the time we get married and then apply (online??) for her Visa while still in the US. Would that be possible?

Awan-Legal :

It would be possible technically (if you can earn online through your income and work from the US), however, ideally you want to show about three months regular income and that you are mainly based in the UK. how long are you planning on staying in the US before the wedding?

Awan-Legal :

As a US national, she will not need to meet the English language requirement by doing the test as she automatically meets this simply by being a US national.

Customer:

I am planning to stay in the US about 1-2 months before the wedding. I could explain to the authorities that this was business related and also that I needed to be there to help with the organistaion for the actual wedding.

Awan-Legal :

I am just putting together a list of documents in addition to the ones mentioned above so bear with me while I add these.

Customer:

Ok, great.

Awan-Legal :

Yes that is fine, but then you should show about three months income before that period to show a regular stable income etc (and continue online if possible) - also, it will help if you have savings to add to your ability to maintain your wife financially.

Awan-Legal :

Telephone bills showing calls to your spouse;


 


 


Correspondence between you; emails/facebook messages


 

Awan-Legal :

original marriage certificate, wedding photographs

Customer:

Ok, well, telephone bills is an issue as we use Skype and I have a pay as you go phone which I use. We are in daily contact and i have literally several thousand emails I can show if need be.

Awan-Legal :

photographs of you together generally in the UK and US during your visits, honeymoon photos (if applicable)

Awan-Legal :

emails should be fine then but print a selection and print a list of all outgoing/incoming emails to one another if possible

Customer:

Ok, so you believe that it should not be a problem if I am in the US before the wedding and possibly for a while after, as long as I can prove intent to live together in the UK?

Awan-Legal :

yes but put in your statement/letter that you are staying this period for the wedding/honeymoon period and so you can travel back together (if you are)

Customer:

ok, that is great advice.

Awan-Legal :

your passport copy, your partners passport (and previous passports), two passport photos

Awan-Legal :

of hr

Awan-Legal :

of her

Awan-Legal :

your tenancy agreement and a letter from the landlord to consent to her joining you in the UK

Awan-Legal :

at no extra cost (ie same rent)

Customer:

I can pretty much 'prove' all of the above, ie. constant contact for 3 years, photos etc, my income is as you told me (110) etc, and I have to travel on business, hence my absence from the UK etc, so I do think I have a strong case for her spousal visa approval (I hope).

Awan-Legal :

I think so too

Awan-Legal :

have either of you been married before or have children from previous relationships?

Customer:

Great. You see, my concern was, especially as my GF is so worried that she may not be approved because of me (!) which puts enormous strain on me, that I could be the one responsible for a failed Visa. But now whith all this info I think I can put her mind at rest.

Customer:

She has been married, is in the final stage of divorce. Neither of us have children.

Awan-Legal :

I think you should be fine although the British Embassy may have concerns with your self employed income and can be really particular about the evidence on this so this is the only thing you may want to get checked over by a lawyer

Awan-Legal :

she should include her divorce certificate too then

Customer:

Will do. Well, i think that should be all then.

Awan-Legal :

great, good luck and enjoy the wedding. Kindly click accept on my answer.

Customer:

Thank you!

Awan-Legal, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 128
Experience: Specialist in immigration law with the highest level of accreditation in this area and with many years experience.
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Awan-Legal
Awan-Legal
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Specialist in immigration law with the highest level of accreditation in this area and with many years experience.