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Thomas
Thomas, Solicitor
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My partner (a US citizen) and I (British citizen) have been

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My partner (a US citizen) and I (British citizen) have been together since November 2010. We met in June 2010 at a conference and stayed in touch. We began exchanging almost daily e-mails and having regular Skype chats from November 2010. He visited me in London in December 2010 for around 2 weeks.

I spent time with him on Cape Code (MA, US) between January and March/April 2011. Then, we moved together to New York City (US) in May 2011 and stayed there until August 2012. During this time I undertook unpaid internships with NGOs in New York and flew back to the UK a few times to visit my family. In August 2012, my last internship ended and I was looking for employment. It was a tough time.
My partner and I thought it would be best if we lived with my parents in Essex for a bit. We stayed with them in August 2012, my partner then went to visit friends in Athens and flew back to the London in September and we attended a friends wedding in Spain together in September 2012. We returned to London after the wedding and my partner then returned to Greece until December 2012. He has Greek ancestry and had enrolled on a intensive Greek language course in Athens.

I looked for work in London during this time, attended many interviews etc. and visited my partner in Greece for three weeks in around Oct 2012. I found work to start at the beginning of January 2013 (a 1 yr contract). My partner flew to London just before Christmas in December 2012 and we stayed together in London for around 2 months.

On 24 February 2013 he flew to the US. I joined him on 5 April and we have just spent a lovely 2 week vacation in Canada and the US. I met his family and friends in Vancouver (Canada), and in Washington and Florida (US).

We returned to London this Sunday 21 April 2013. We were hoping he would be granted to leave to enter the UK for 6 months as a visitor. However, he was refused entry. We are very shocked and confused. He has no criminal convictions. He simply intended to spend time with me here until August and had a return flight to NYC booked for early August 2013.

Apparently, the UKBA official was not convinced that he didn't intend to settle in the UK given his large period of absence from the US between August 2012 and Feb 2013. He is a web developer and they thought he would be working from the UK without intending to return to the US. However, we have simply been trying to spend as much time as possible with each other. We've both recently been in precarious work situations but have been trying to make the best of it as we care very deeply for each other.

Can he try to apply for a visitors visa immediately and try to come to the UK next week if he obtains one? What documents should he supply?

We intended to take my special needs sister to Alicante on 3/4 May - in a very short time. Your help would be much appreciated, we're both devastated.
Thanks!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Thanks for your patience.

The UKBA are permitted to refuse entry to such person attempting to enter the UK under the visa waiver program, like your partner, if they consider that a breach of the immigration rules is likely to occur. One of the most common reasons is because they think a person will attempt to stay permanently in the UK. They consider that persons in a relatiosnhpi with someone already based in the UK are more likely to do so.

In the circumstances I would say that he should not attempt to enter again under the visa waiver program and instead apply for a visitor’s visa before he travels.

The eligibility criteria for a visitor's visa is as follow, is that you need to show that:-
• You want to visit the UK for no more than six months;
• You intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit;
• You have enough money to support yourself during your stay in the UK without working or needing help from public funds

You have to try and show them that he has continuing obligations in his home country which will continue after the visit and therefore convince them that he is not a risk of overstay. Things like a letter from his employer stating he has a job (if he does) and is expected to return to continue that job, return flight tickets, evidence of continuing accommodation (eg. tenancy agreement of evidence of ownership of a property, bank statements showing the money he has available. If you are able to show compeliing social and family ties to his home country then there is still a reasonable chance that he would get a visitor’s visa.

You will also have to show that he does not intend to work in the UK, perhaps by reference to his employer confirming this.


If you will assist him during the intended stay you should ask them to go to a local solicitor to draft a sponsorship declaration in which you state the terms of his visit, that you are to return at the end of it, that if you are in a relationship with that person then you know that he should leave at the end of the visit because it would harm the chances of any future application made to secure leave to remain on the basis of that relationship, that you shall accommodate you and shall pay the costs of any unforeseen expenses that should occur during his stay so that nether of you will need to access public funds.


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Kind regards,


Tom
Thomas, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 6591
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thanks for this. This is very helpful. Should he wait for a few months before applying for a visitors visa, or would it be okay for him to apply for one immediately (given we have upcoming plans)? And, how long does it usually take to receive a visitors visa?

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

A person is not permitted to visit the UK for more than 6 months in any 12 month period, so you will have to calculate the amount of month he has spent in the UK in the past 12 months to see if he is eligible to apply now.

If applying from the US the waiting times are outlined on this page for the month of january, but they are quite changable from month to month:-
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/usa/processing-times/

Please remember to rate my answer.

Tom
Thomas, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 6591
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thanks. And, would you advise against a partner visa?

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

If you are referring to an unmarried partners visa then these are only available if he intended to come her to settle permanently. You must generally also have cohabtied for a period of two years to be eligible, so if you were intending to settle permanently in the UK then a spouse visa after marriage would be easier to obtain.

You will agree that I have more than answered your original question, as posted. Please rate my answer now.

Kind regards,

Tom
Thomas, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 6591
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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