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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7432
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hi there RE: wifes status when returning to the UK. My

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Hi there

RE: wife's status when returning to the UK.

My wife is from the philippines, she currently has a descretionary leave to remain visa which expires in Decmber 2014. I have been offered a job in Brunei, and we are keen to accept this job offer.

But, we are aware that my wife would lose her descretionary leave to remain as a result. What would our best bet in terms of re-entering the UK on completion of my contract on 31st December 2014? Also, we want to play this completely by the book, who would we need to inform about our plans? So that the border agency is made aware that my wife will not be fulfilling her descretionary leave to remain.

Any help would be greatly appreciated,


Asa Shaw

Why was your wife granted discretionary leave instead of leave to remain as the spouse of UK national in the usual way? Assuming you are a UK citizen of course..

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Tom,

We got married only just before my wife's visa ran out, this could be a reason. Also, they were worried a lack of evidence that my wife speas fluent English,we didn't sunbmit any formal English language qualifications as our solicitor had informed us that passing the "Life in the UK" test would be sufficient evidence.


But, in all honesty, we are not sure why she was not awarded the normal spousal visa! We only became aware that this was not normal, when we returned from a holiday in the summer, and the man checking our passports on return into the UK, informed us that it was unusual and would mean it would take my wife longer to get indefinite leave. I then re-contacted my solicitor, who informed me that we had no right od appeal until the end of the descretionary leave to remain visa in December 2014.


I hope that helps you to some extent!!



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Also, I am a UK citizen.


When would you leave the UK?

What date does your wife's visa expire?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We would leave the UK on 5th April 2013,my wife's visa expires 2th Decmber 2014.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry-28th December 2014


Thanks for your patience.

I’m afraid that to be sure of her being granted entry to the UK upon your return you would have to apply for a further visa. This is because her current visa would expires whilst you are out of the UK, which means that the UKBA would almost certainly refuse entry.

I would suggest that the best way forward would be for her to apply for a traditional spouse visa a few months before she intends to travel back to the UK with you. Presumably her discretionary visa was granted on the basis that she intended to remain in the UK as her main residence and so by leaving the country this effectively breaches a condition of the visa.

In my view the best thing to do would be to apply for a spouse visa again. BY leaving the country in this way though, you have to consider that it would also stop the clock in terms of the time that she has now built up for the purpose of applying for ILR. When she returns the 5 years residence period (as it now is for spouses of UK nationals) would start again.

Sorry I could not have better news, but a further application would seem the most appropriate way forward in the circumstances.

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Kind regards,

Thomas and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks very much


Do you know what the conditions would be for her to get a spouse visa? I am also assuming that even if we were to stay in the UK, we would be unlikely to win an appeal to change the descretionary leave to remain into a spousal visa??


The situation would be the same if she were already here on a spouse visa, it makes no difference; the key fact is that she will leave the UK for a considerable period of time.

The requirements for a spouse visa are contained on the following link:-

Please remember to rate my answer.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Tom:


Just a couple more things.Thank-you


1.Should we inform anyone that my wife will be leaving the UK?


2. At end of descretionary leave to remain visa in December 2014, would we have a good chanve of converting visa to a spouse visa, as we have been told that we would probably just get another 3 years descretionary leave.


Don't worry-I willmake sure that I rate your answer, you have been extremely helpful


I would inform them by letter simply to disclose.

If you meet the criteria to be granted a spouse visa then that is what you would get, unless there is some other reason which I am not aware of that is particular to your wife's circumstances which means she should get a further discretionary period of leave.


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