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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7609
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hi I am getting married in Cuba soon, and will be wanting

Resolved Question:


I am getting married in Cuba soon, and will be wanting to bring my wife back to the UK where I am a full British Citizen. I am fully understanding of the process, which will involve her applying for a spouse visa which if issued will enable her to stay in the UK for 2 years to live and work, after which she can apply to remain permanently. I have all the documentation to prove that we are financially independant etc. In any normal situation this would be fine, but my circumstances are a little different.

I am a mariner, and work outside of the United Kingdom for more than 180 days per year. Ideally what I would like to do is rent an apartment in Spain, as it is easier to get to for me from work, if I have weekends off etc.

What travel options are open to my wife once she is given the 2 year visa - can she travel freely through Europe with me. If we lived in Spain for the majority of the year would it be more difficult for her to get full UK citizenship. Would it be better to have her live in the UK for the full 2 years and us then to rent in Spain after this period. After 2 years when given permission to settle permanently is it then possible for her to apply for a British passport??

Answers to these questions would be much appreciated.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.


Is the ultimate and most important aim for your wife to obtain UK citizenship?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Not necessarily, it would certainly be an aim for the future, but more importantly I want her to be able to have freedom of movement with me around Europe, and the rest of the world, as I travel alot. I don't know if this is possible without a European citizenship of some sort. Being from Cuba her freedom of movement is obviously severely restricted with a Cuban passport
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.



Thanks for your reply.


Her being granted a spouses visa will not make a difference to her ability to travel (or not) she will either require a visa or she won't depending on the Country's policy on Cuban citizens. .


The Immigration Rules do not require that your wife remain living in the UK for the whole of the two year period in order to apply for ILR. However, they judge each case on its merits and the better view is that she should certainly not stay more than 90 days out of the UK in any 12 month period and probably a bit less to be safe.


Periods outside the country does make a difference to applications for naturalisation as a UK citizen. She could be naturlised 12 months after receiving ILR. To be eligible she would have to show that she has lived in the UK for the previous three years and spent no more than 270 days outside of the UK during those three years. She would also have to show that she has spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of the application for naturalisation.


One would also think it sensible when considering whether to rent an apartment in Spain to fact in a number of weeks for emergency purposes - if she has to return to Cuba for personal family reasons then she could clock up time outside of the UK in this way.


It's obviously for you to decide if it is worth it financially to rent an apartment in Spain and to see you wife for the number of weeks permitted by the above rules.


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Kind regards,


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