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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 british and my boyfriend is from Sierra Leone. We want

Customer Question

i am british and my boyfriend is from Sierra Leone. We want to marry and settle but i am not working due to being a long term carer for my child with a disability, and my boyfriend hs unfortunately recently lost his job in Sierra Leone. We want to eventually marry and settle down in easy would this be as i am on public funding? Could you tell me how to go about this please? Many thanks.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.


Thanks for your question.

To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following using the same numbering:-

  • 1. What job would he do in the UK
  • 2. Are there lots of vacancies for the above job

Kind regards.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hello, thank you for getting back to me and sorry for the delay.

He can do:-

Accounting, business admin, and some information technic.


I guess there may be a few vacancies here and there.

I myself cannot work for now because i am on DLA due to illness and need my boyfriend here for love, company and support. We want to marry and live together here in UK without difficulty because of this public funding thing.. would they disregard the DLA benefits and child benefit, housing/income support in that case? All or some? And what would be the next step please to marry, if this is possible without hassle? Marry here in UK? Or would i be better off marrying him in Sierra Leone?


Many thanks as i am on a low income as you can see.

Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.

You can either marry in Sierra Leon and then apply directly for a spouses visa. Once application, one application fee.

Alternatively, he can apply for a fiance visa so that he can come here specifically for the purpose of marrying you. Once married he would then have to apply for a spouses visa (settlement). Two applications, two application fees.

The eligibility criteria is largely similar for both applications. The advantage is that if your fiance visa is refused then you are not married. If you marry and you spouses visa application is refused initially and then on appeal then you are stuck being married but in different countries.

Here is the criteria you would need to fulfill for a fiance visa, as I say the criteria is largely the same for a spouses visa. If you meet this you will almost certainly not be refused a spouses visa:-

• You plan to marry within 6 months of her arriving here (egg. statements from you and others, possibly a booking of a church/venue)
• You plan to live permanently together here (statements, correspondence)
• You have met each other before (eg. statements from you both and others, correspondence)
• You can support each other without the need for public funds (bank statements, evidence of income, evidence of jobs available that your husband could do)
• 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 (tenancy agreement, land registry docs if you your own home)
• That neither of you are younger than 21 years of age. (birth certificates, passports)
The criteria above in terms of financial maintenance are taken to mean that you will not claim more in public funds than you already do, so that you claim benefits already is not, in and of itself, necessarily a bar to an application - you just have to show that one he is here you will have access to sufficient income and asset to support you in accommodation and living expenses. You can do this by either showing finance that you already have but also a job that he has obtained by interview from Canada or by showing jobs that are available in the locality where you are to live that he could reasonably expect to get and derive an income from. He will have to submit his CV, for example as well. You really do have to emphasize that he will be able to get a job and derive income from it as much as you possible can.

The application will have to be supported by evidence proving the above eligibility criteria. I have suggested basic documents above, but the list is not exhaustive. They key to a successful application is producing well-collated documentary evidence for the above criteria.

He will also have to pass and english language test showing he has a basic command of spoken and listening English. he can find out approved test providers in his area by contacting the UK embassy nearest to him.

You will need to apply for fiance/spouses visa using form VAF4 which is available for download from the UKBA website

You should consider instructing a immigration solicitor based here in the UK to prepare an application for her (whichever way you decide to do it). You can find local solicitors via:-
It should cost around £1000-1500+ VAT.

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,


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