I need advice / help on UK Visa applications for a Colombian friend of mine who I would like to bring over to the UK for a two week holiday.
I have known my friend for a couple of years and we met face-to-face whilst I was on a business trip. There is the potential for a romantic relationship, we are effectively starting to get involved. So, next year if all is going well then I'm likely to ask her to come back to the UK again to live with me for 6 to 12 months. If that goes well then we'd likely get engaged, she would go home, we would apply for a Fiancée Visa; then she would come back and we'd get married.
So, we want to ensure that anything we do now in terms of visas etc does not have a negative impact on future visas/plans. Additionally, we don't want our potential future plans to cause problems with applications for current visas!!
I believe we should apply for a general visitor visa for now (is this correct?). However, we need some advice on how best to complete it. General advice/tips are very much needed, but, we also have some specific questions;
a) I am paying for everything (flights/food/travel/accommodation); would it be a good idea to include:
1: A letter of invitation? I'm pretty sure the answer is yes to this, so:
1.1: Presumably I should include the fact that I am paying for everything?
1.2: Should I include anything about forming a relationship / future plans?
1.3: What else should I put into a letter of invitation?
1.4: Are there any good templates around?
2: Six months worth of my payslips?
3: A photocopy of my passport to show that I have the right to live here as a British Citizen?
4: What else should I provide?
b) As I am paying, there is a box on the visa application form asking why. Is it a good idea to explain that we are potentially building a relationship? Or should we leave this out? If we should leave this out, then, what would be a good reason to put in?
c) If there might be concerns around me trying to keep her here for marriage straight away, would it be a good idea to include (either in the application form?, letter of invitation?, both? or neither?) the fact that I am currently married and going through a divorce (which will take time) and my marriage will likely still be in place for this first trip. Therefore, we really couldn't get married!
d) Do these general visitor visas allow for multiple entry? My friend has just about completed a modern languages degree and as part of that studied French. I would like to take her to Paris for a weekend. Does this 1: need to be included on the application and 2: will she be allowed back into the UK on our return from Paris?
e) How long can she stay in the UK on one of these visas? If - next year - we wanted her to live with me for 6 - 12 months (as this would help us decide if it can really work between us and). If she can only stay 6 months and we wanted to try to live together for one whole year, would she have to return to Colombia and then we reapply for another general visa?
f) Is it going to be a problem if there are several month gaps, e.g. this year, I was planning for her to come to the UK in Summer, I go to Colombia in Autumn, and then she come back here in Winter?? I.e. can she do this all on one visa? Also, would it be good to include all of this in the letter of invitation or not?
g) How many general visas can she apply for? could we get one long, say, two or three year general visa with multiple entry?
h) How much freedom of movement would she be allowed on the trip to the UK? The visa form asks for an itinerary, but, I don't necessarily know yet all the places I want to take her. I'm thinking of places like Edinburgh, Cornwall, Lake District, Oxford, Bath, Cambridge, and London (as well as Paris). These are not all (in any sensible fashion) able to be included in one two week trip!! Do I have to decide all now, or, can we just give my home address as the location she's staying?
i) If we're using my home address, because of my divorce, I've actually moved back in with my Mother. Therefore, would it be a good idea to include a letter of invitation from her also? If yes, then, what should go into that letter? We're likely to actually be spending most (if not all) of our time in hotels, but I was planning to organise that closer to the time. So, should I just organise all the details of the trip/holiday now and provide all hotel confirmations and Eurostar tickets etc for any trip to Paris? Or, could I just use my Mother's address?
j) Assuming everything goes well and we're happy, and we end up married... Would she be able to work in the UK once she's married to me.
k) Once (and if) we're married; if she wants to, when and how could she apply for British Citizenship?
I have been on the UK Border Agency website, however, whilst there is a lot of information there, it is a) not always very clear and b) lacks advice on what best to include in applications etcetera.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law