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Thomas
Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My girlfriend is a non-EEA national and is here on a Tier 2

Resolved Question:

My girlfriend is a non-EEA national and is here on a Tier 2 Work Visa (company transfer from US office to UK office) that allows her to stay for 3 years, with a possible 2-year extension. She has so far been here 6 months. If we were to get engaged:
a) I assume from your previous answers to other customers on this site that getting engaged and married would be allowed under the terms of her current visa? And

b) What type of visa would we need to move her to, in order for her to not be tied to the employer that brought her over on the work visa? The UKBA website says that fiance visas can only be applied for outside the UK, for example.

Appreciate your help. Thanks.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 10 months ago.
Hi,

Are you a UK citizen? If not, please state your nationality..

Kind regards,

Tom
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


I'm a British citizen, yes

Expert:  Thomas replied 10 months ago.
Hi

Thanks for your patience.

There is no condition of her visa which restricts her ability to marry. She is free to marry you whilst here on her Tier 2 ICT visa.

If you do not wish for her to be tied to her job then she would be looking at moving to a spouse visa.
If the application is well prepared and you meet the following eligibility criteria then it will make the application easy and quick to decide upon for the UKBA. To be eligible, you must show:-

• 1. That you are legally married to each other
• 2. You are present and settled in the UK
• 3. You intend to live permanently together here in the UK as husband and wife
• 4. You can support each other without the need for public funds
• 5. You have suitable accommodation which is owned or lived in only by you or your household and where you and your dependents can live without any help from public funds
• You must meet the financial requirement:-
• http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/partners-families/citizens-settled/spouse-cp/can-you-apply/financial/
• Further guidance:-
• http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/IDIs/chp8-annex/section-FM-1.7.pdf?view=Binary

• This means that the UK based spouse must earn a minimum income threshold of £18,600. Alternatively, if you have savings of £62, 500.00 then you would not have to prove any salary. You can also use a mix of the two.
You have to produce to the UKBA documentation that proves the above. This would be some of the following:-
• Bank statements from both you and your spouse going back 6 months showing the income/capital you have available
• Payslips (6 month of) and a letter from your employer stating that you have a permanent job, contract of employment
• Documentary evidence of any other assets you hold (eg. Shares, evidence of ISAs or bonds)
• Marriage certificate, Birth Certificate, passport
• Evidence of correspondence between you and your spouse showing that the relationship is credible and genuine (eg. Emails, letters, evidence of previous trips, photos showing you together, phone records
• Evidence of the accommodation where you will live or that you can afford to accommodate yourselves once here.

• Further information here:-
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/partners-families/citizens-settled/spouse-cp/documents/maintenance/

She will also have to meet the English language requirement:-
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/partners-families/citizens-settled/spouse-cp/can-you-apply/english-language/

She will need to apply for settlement (ie. spouses visa) by using form FLR(M). Settlement, available for download from UKBA's website. She is permitted to switch to this from her Tier 2 ICT visa, as you will see from the following page:-
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/partners-families/citizens-settled/spouse-cp/applying-in-uk/

However, there is one more thing to consider. If she were to marry you and switch to her spouse visa then she would have to complete another 5 years on the spouse visa before she is eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. She cannot include the time she has spent on her current visa as part of that 5 year eligibility criteria.

So, it may be sensible if she is planning on staying with her sponsor for the whole of the 5 years period to remain on the visa for now. If she reaches 5 years on her Tier 2 visa then she can apply for ILR. If for whatever reason it appears that she will not reach the 5 years with her employer then she would still be able to switch to a spouse visa.

Please remember to RATE my answer OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE or above if you are satisfied that you have received the correct legal advice (even if it is not the answer you wanted to hear), otherwise I do not receive any credit for answering your question.

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If you wish for me to provide you with further guidance on any question you may have in the future then please submit a further question to the board requesting me either by my profile or by marking your question. “FAO Tom”.

Kind regards,


Tom
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


Thanks very much , Tom. I will be happy to rate your answer. Could I just ask please - is my girlfriend eligible for the fiance visa before a spouse visa or in our circumstances, would it be more sensible to just wait and get a spouse visa?

Expert:  Thomas replied 10 months ago.
Hi,

No, she would only be eligible to apply for a fiance visa if she left the UK. The time outside the UK before determinate of the fiance application may impact her job and also she would not be able to work in the UK when she came here on the fiance visa until she is married and switches to a spouse visa. Clearly she is best placed to make an assessment of this.

If you propose to switch to a spouse visa then I really would recommend seeing an immigration solicitor prior to marriage to specificaly confirm your eligiblity though.

If you could rate my answer I would be grateful.

Kind regards,

Tom
Thomas, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 6449
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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