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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7602
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I am in a relationship with a man from Nigeria. I live in Scotland,

Customer Question

I am in a relationship with a man from Nigeria. I live in Scotland, he lives in London, he is at university doing a masters degree. He finishes his degree in Oct/Nov 2011. His student visa expires in Feb 2012. He speaks fluent english and his mum and sister are British Citizens, living in London. He wants to live with me in Scotland, we want to marry. We are unsure what he has to apply for with regards XXXXX XXXXX visa to stay and get a job in scotland. I can support him until he finds work and I have a flat he can live with me. I am still married but left my husband in May 2010, and are in the early stage of divorce.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.



Thanks for your question.


If you wish to marry he will first have to apply for a certificate of approval for marriage from the UKBA so that you have permission to marry in the UK. This is relatively straight fowrard, all the info you need to apply can be found here:-


Once you have the COA you are free to marry. Once you are married he will have to apply for a spouses visa. The criteria for this is as follows:

  • you are married to or the civil partner of a person who is present and settled in the UK; (marriage certificate)
  • you and your husband, wife or civil partner will both be at least 21 years old (or 18 years old if either of you is a serving member of HM Forces) on the date when we would give you permission to remain; (birth certificates, passports)
  • you have met your husband, wife or civil partner; (statements from you both, with corroborating correspondence and documentary evidence that you are in a relationship together (emails, letters., details fo previous travel arrangement for meeting)
  • you have not remained in the UK in breach of the immigration laws; (his visa showing that he presently has leave to remain in the UK
  • your marriage or civil partnership did not take place after a decision was made to deport or remove you from the UK; (statement from him confirming he has not received any such decision)
  • you and your husband, wife or civil partner intend to live together permanently as husband and wife or as civil partners, and the marriage or civil partnership is existing and genuine (not a 'marriage of convenience', for example); (statements, evidence of your plans to live together)
  • there will be adequate accommodation for both of you and any dependants without the need for public funds, and at least part of that accommodation (for example, a bedroom) is for your and your partner's sole use; (evidence of the place at which you shall resied - eg tenancy agreement or land registry official copies of any property that you own.
  • both of you will be able to maintain yourselves and any dependants adequately without needing public funds. (evidence of the assets and income availabel to you and evidence that these will be enough to cover your living expenses)

It is sufficient to show that there are jobs in the area where you are to settle that your fiance could appyly for after the spouses visa has been granted and he has finished his studies.


YOu will have to apply to the UKBA using theier form FLR(M), which is available for download from the UKBA website. It would be best for a solicitor to prepare it for you to give yourself the best chance of a successful application without the need to appeal. This would cost in the region of £800+VAT


He will also have to apply for a bometric residence permit before applying, details here:-


You can find solicitor in your area by using the following:-



If this has been useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.

Kind regards,


Thomas and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The UKBA, how long does this take before approval.
Must I be divorced before this can be applied for.
How much would the form cost if I completed it myself.
Do we have to marry within a certain time if the UKBA is accepted.
Are there other options available to us for example; we want to live together once he has completed his masters, so do we still have to apply for the UKBA.
Have you any other suggestions to keep costs down.
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.



Yes, you would have to be divorced (ie. have received your decree absolute) before you can apply for a COA to marry your intended fiance. If this is unlikely to happen then he should focus on extending his visa here (either as a student or under the points based system) or he will have to return home. If he has returned home then you would either have to marry him in his home country and then apply for a spouses visa from there OR apply for a fiance visa so that he can come here to marry you, thereafter he would still have to apply for a spouses visa.


Form COA usually takes in the region of 3-4 weeks to be returned, but as I say you would have to show that you are not married anymore. A COA is free to apply for but the UKBA application fee for a spouses visa is £900.00 payable upon application.


The COA allows you to get married within 6 months of the date of the grant of the COA.


If he were to overstay his visa then the period of overstay would not alone a sufficient reason for the UKBA to refuse a spouses visa provided you/he meet all the other eligibility criteria. If he overstayed his visa they would immediately reject any application for a spouses visa he made whilst overstaying in the UK - he would have to return home and make a further application from there.


Hope this clarifies, if so please kindly click accept. I will answer your follow up questions free of charge.


Kind regards,


Thomas and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
hello did u get my last 2 questions ?

Is it myself or my boyfriend that has to apply for COA?
Will the COA form be sent to me first, then I return it back for approval ?
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.



Your fiance must apply for the COA. The webpage link I attached should explain it all for you.


The COA form should be completed by your fiance and then sent to the UKBA. You will have to assist in the application for a COA by helping your fiance answer the questions and submitting your passport other supporting documents the form requires.

Please do not click accept again. You have already transferred payment. I am happy to answer your follow up questions free of charge.


Kind regards,



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thankyou for ur help so far. However is there any way he can stay with me, without the need to be married. We are going to marry at some point, its just to save some money for our wedding first. I know u said about a extended student visa, but he doesn't want that, he wants to work. Is the only option, the points based system ?
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.

I'm afraid that is the only option.


He has to either 1) apply for an extension of his student visa 2) apply under the points based system for a workers visa 3)marry before his visa expires and then apply for a spouses visa.


Otherwise he will overstay his visa (see above passage).


Sorry it could not be better news.


Kind regards,




Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thankyou for your prompt reply.
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.

You're welcome.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hello, I recently received my mastercard bill and I have been charged twice from you for ur service, can u please refund one of the payments please.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
hello, there is 2 payments taken from my account instead of 1, can u credit my account please, I have asked for this to be done already and you never replied to me.
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.

Sorry, I've been offline recently. I do not deal with refunds but shall inform the moderators to ask for a refund and I would suggest that you do the same.


Kind regards,


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hello I have just received my visa statement today and yet another payment for £46 has been taken from my account. This happened last month where 2 x payments each for £46 were taken from my account, and 1 of them was credited. Can u please credit my account again and ensure this doesn't happen again please.

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