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Howard, Immigration Lawyer
Category: UK Immigration Law
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Experience:  Senior Partner with nearly 20 years experience in UK Immigration Law.
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To whom it might concern I studied for a 16 months in the

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To whom it might concern

I studied for a 16 months in the UK a masters degree 2009-2011, then I moved back to my country two years ago. On 2012 I met an english man and we started a relationship. I’ve visited him twice in the UK, he visited me once in my non EU country (Chile) and we have travelled together to two other countries spending in total about 4 months living together in a year.

We'd like to try live together and in this case I should move to the UK due to his lack of interest of living in my country or elsewhere. I`m an Architect and would like to know which would be the most convenient way of getting a work permit for me? I’d love to live with him but cannot be sitting at home waiting for him to come back from work. I need to have a work permit in order to plan a life together.

Should I apply to a work visa finding a sponsor?
How long would that take? and if it is at all possible for me to get a work visa due to statistics? I’ve read there’s a limited amount of work visas issued for foreigners. I expect to earn between 30.000GBP to 40.000GBP in my field.

If we got married...
We have considered getting married. I don’t know if I am allowed to work in the UK if we did.
How long would that take? Which would be my obligations? I’ve been told that you can’t work for two years when you get married to a British citizen. Is this so?. I plan to visit him for chirstmas, Im currently in Chile. If we did get married in the UK, do I need a special entry visa?

I’d like to speak with a lawyer to understand if its even a remote possibility for me to be accepted in the UK or we should think of planning a future together elsewhere.
Thank you

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To work in the UK you need a Sponsor - an employer registered with the Home Office. The role of architect is at a suitable level for sponsorship and the expected salary range is sufficient for sponsorship.

The limits that have been put in place are never met and I would not expect you to have any problems in this regard unless the employer made a mistake in the request for a Certificate of Sponsorship (Cos).

If you were to marry and then enter the UK with a Spouse visa then you could work immediately for any employer. You would need to get an extension in due course and you would then qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after 5 years in the UK:

You should pay close attention to the eligibility requirements and in particular to the Financial Requirement that your sponsor must meet.

You CANNOT switch to a Spouse visa within the UK from a visitor visa - you would have to apply from your home country.

You could also apply for a Fiance visa if you can prove your relationship is genuine, that plans are in place to marry in the UK and that your sponsor also meets the requirements. Marrying first and then applying for a Spouse visa is generally a more straightforward process though and enables you to work as soon as you are in the UK.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your quick reply.

I will speak with my boyfriend and will have further questions regarding my next steps.

Best wishes,





No problem.


If you have further questions related to your initial question then I will still be able to help after you have rated and I will be happy to do so.


If you have different questions then you can ask for me by submitting the question from my profile page and/or starting your question with 'For UKVisas ONLY' or 'For Howard ONLY'.

Howard and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I actually read there was a way of applying as partner, which applies to gay couples and not married. Could I apply to this visa instead? We are not gay but also not married.


How do we prove our relationship is genuine and is it one year acceptable? I read you needed to be at least two years living with someone to qualify?

How should he prove he meets the financial requirements?

Which requirements should I prove and how?

I meet the KOL because I have a Masters degree which i obtained in the UK.

Which are the steps i should follow?



Thank you




I did not suggest this as you will not qualify. You would need to evidence a period of 2 years co-habitation (living in a relationship skin to marriage).

A UK Masters degree has nothing to do with the KOL - the KOL is the Knowledge of Life in the UK Test and is not required for a Spouse visa or a Tier 2 General work visa. Your UK Masters degree would be accepted for the English Language requirement and I expect this is what you meant.

If you have no children then the requirement is either at least £62,500 available cash funds at all times for the last 6 months OR an income of at least £18,600 for the previous 12-month period. The exact requirements will depend on whether he is employed or self-employed and how long he has worked for his current employer. Further information about the financial requirement can be found in the following guidance:

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