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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7430
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I am a female with dual nationality, in UK and Ireland. I am

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I am a female with dual nationality, in UK and Ireland. I am a musician and teacher, and have a yearlong P3 Visa, and have had this since 2009, renewing it every year. It is still valid and another application until 2014 is currently being processed. My partner is a US citizen who works as an independent contractor for a US computer company, and he works remotely, so can be based anywhere. Because of the flexibility of our working situations we have stayed together in either the US or UK since we met in November 2009. Now though, we want to get married. We are trying to figure out what the best thing to do is in the long term. We want to stay in the UK where I've been living since 1995. We've read it's easier to get married in the US and then apply for a spouse visa, then live here in the UK. We don't want to stay over in the US while that visa (waiting times up to one year at the moment) comes through. I don't earn even half of the 18.600 GBP required for the spouse visa, but my partner earns twice that from his job in the US. Can his income be taken into account? Then we could apply for the Indefinite Leave to Remain. Could he then work over here? Would that be jeopardised if we spent time out of the country? Is it better to get married in the UK, if you want to live in the UK? Once married, can I apply for US citizenship whilst staying in the UK? What would that involve? Also I am Irish and I have read that we could live in (Northern) Ireland for three years, then he could apply for Irish citizenship. In the long run would that be preferable, giving us more stability and flexibility? Lots of questions! What should we do? Thanks for your help!


Would you be prepared to marry and work in an eea country for a few months but before coming to the UK?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We could get married in Ireland. I could try to find work there... How would that affect things? Also I am already booked to work in France in May and October.. but it is only for 2 weeks. My partner would not be able to work in an EEA country, as he has no visa, and works for a US company.


What level of savings do you have together as a couple?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

As a couple, around 30,000 GBP in total, mostly in my UK account.


Thanks for your patience.

I’m afraid that you earn less than half of the salary threshold then even taking your savings in to account you would not meet the financial requirement.

However, However, the Surinder Singh case established that if a UK citizen travels to an EEA country and exercise treaty rights by being employed or self-employed (usually for at least three months) then when they return to the UK with their non-EEA spouse then the UKBA can be regarded as a the non-EEA spouse of an EEA national (rather than simply a UK citizen) and avoid the restrictive eligibility criteria imposed on UK citizens.

It’s a loophole. The UKBA don’t advertise it but it is a legitimate way of circumventing the restrictive spouse requirements. Please refer to 3.2 on the following UKBA link for confirmation:-

Therefore if you are willing and able to marry, then work for about 3-4 months in an EEA country with your spouse then he can apply under the surrender singh ruling to apply for a Family Permit as a non-EEA spouse of an eea national to exercising treaty rights in the UK.

This would appear to be the best way forward for you.

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Kind regards,

Thomas and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Kind regards,


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