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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7609
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I am a UK citizen and a Police Officer. I also own my own

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I am a UK citizen and a Police Officer. I also own my own home. I met my girlfriend, who is a US citizen about a year ago and although we are not engaged, we do intend to marry in the US (As her father is elderly and ill). Unfortunately i am still married to my ex wife, although solicitors have told me that this will be finalised in 3 months. My girlfriend has a BA Major in education, BA Minor in English and is currently taking her masters degree in teaching children with disabilities, which will be complete at the beginning of June. She currently works in a private school as an English teacher in the US. She completed her high school education in London, England (As a foreign exchange student), leaving when she was 17 back to the US. Her grandfather was born in Wales, UK, as was her father, however he moved to the US when he was young and is a US citizen. My girlfriend has money in numerous savings accounts and she has no criminal convictions. She has an interview in the UK at a private school, who are extremely keen to take on her employment. She is 26 years old.
I am wanting to know: Which visa would be the best one to apply for and take the least time/less complications. Would the school she has an interview for have to give her an immediate job offer to which they would be required to sponsor her for the tier 2 application? Would she qualify under the ancestry visa? Can all our factors be put together to make a more successful visa, or can you only apply under one category?
My head is absolutely spinning of the prospect of us not being able to be together and a response is greatly appreciated. Thank You, Dan
Hi Dan,

Is the private school a licensed sponsor of skilled workers with the the ukba?

How soon after your decree absolute do you intend to marry?

Kind regards

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes i believe they are. We have not set a time limit on when we intend to marry, although due to our ages and our goals, ie children and family matters, it will be in the very imminent future.



Sorry, I meant are you to marry immediately after you receive your decree absolute? A spouses visa would be the most sensible way forward to securing her settling here.


Don't worry if you are not to - you still have the option of a sponsored worker's visa.



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Not immediately afterwards no, but if this process calls for this action then we will do it. Thanks



Would you both be prepared to make an application for a workers visa now and then marry at a later date in the US? Once married she should make a further in country application for a spouses visa.


Two applications, two application fees but she must have a job offer and a certificate of sponsorship for the workers visa. How soon until these two things are concrete?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Can i ask why i would have to make an application for a workers visa when i am British and have lived in the UK since birth?, or do you mean that as a couple would we be prepared for her initially to come on a works visa and then when we are ready for marriage, apply for the spouses visa?
IF it;s the latter then yes we would be prepared to do that, as long as we are together we dont mind the costs in that area.
Ok i understand the need for sponsorship and job offer, they will be confirmed on 15th March (Interview just a formality as job already available). Thanks



Sorry, when I said "you" I meant as in "her". She would obviously be the one making the application in both cases


If the certificate and job offer area available on 15th March then the quickest way to get here here would be on a workers visa, but when would she actually be coming to work here - would it be after her masters is completed in June?




Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes, i believe she would start in August, before the school year starts. Her job is not reliant on her Masters Degree and she can complete this Degree on line in the UK.
If the above has an effect on when she can enter the UK, can she travel here on her passport for up to 6 moths and apply for her visa here?



An ancestry visa is not available to her because she is not a commonwealth citizen I'm afraid.



She can't travel here on a visitor's visa (ie. 6 months granted to US citizens upon port of entry) and then apply whilst she is here because it is a term of her visa that she will return home and not attempt to secure further leave to remain in the UK whilst visiting.


Realistically, if your decree absolute came in three months time (Mid-May), you married immediately afterwards (say end of May) and made an application immediately for a spouses visa then taking account of the 8 weeks it takes the UKBA to reach a decision you could conceivably have her spouses visa by beginning of August. The difficult with this way forward is that the UKBA some frequently times take longer than the 6 weeks to approve. If they do not approve then you would have to appeal which would take a further 2-3 months. This would put your fiance's job starting date in jeopardy.


The safest way forward to get her here and able to work in the start of August would be for her to make an application for a Tier 2 visa based on her job offer/certificate of sponsor ship.


Check that she meets the points eligibility criteria on the following page:-


If she has a certificate of sponsorship, a BA and access to funds then she will have no problem meeting the criteria.


Once you have the job offer and certificate of sponsorship she can make the application and the visa will usually be granted to allow her to come here for two months before the job actually starts. If it starts on 1st August, I would expect the visa to be granted from 1st June.

She will need to submit form VAF9 to the British Embassy nearest to her in the US. IT would obviously be best for a solicitor to prepare the application and supporting documents to give her the best possible chance of a swift approval. It should cost around £800-1000+vat for this.


You can find UK solicitors near you using the following site:-


If you wish to see her in the meantime then she could come now for a short visit and bring her supporting documents to take to a UK solicitor to start preparing the application. If not, then she can send them to you/the solicitor.


She will need to submit her passport when making the application so will not be able to travel until a determination has been reached by the UKBA.


If this is useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. You will be free to ask follow up questions.

Kind regards,


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