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UK_Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 2458
Experience:  I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
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Does marriage to a French citizen affect my UK Immigration

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Does being married to a French citizen (who I am trying to divorce) affect by progression regarding the renewal of my Ancestry visa and thereafter ILR plus naturalisation please?

I am a South African citizen who has been living in London for nearly 10 years on an Ancestry visa. I married a French man in 2010 in France and lived there for just under a year. I am trying to divorce this man, however I am wondering whether the marriage will affect my chances of being granted a renewed Ancestry visa and ILR.
Hi thank you for your question.

Since you have been married to your french husband have you applied for leave to remain in the UK under a different category?
On what visa were you resident in France?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I just typed a lengthy reply to your request for more info so you can answer my question - it does not seem to be showing on the system - please kindly confirm whether you have received my reply - if not, I will retype it. Thank you.

I have not received your lengthy reply.

Kind regards
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Let me retype my original response as my above reply is showing on the website but not my original one:

Thank you for your prompt resonse. Unfortunately I have had nothing but bad luck legally with my immigration issues. I was eligible for ILR when I met the French man, however I moved to France for under a year instead, but the marriage deteriorated since I had always planned to return to the UK where I have my business.

When I moved back to London I took the services of an immigration lawyer (Mulberry Finch) to help me get my ILR, since all in all I have lived in the UK on an Ancestry visa for 10 years. The lawyer was grossly inept however and failed to demonstrate to the Home Office that I was out of the UK for a valid humanitarian reason (the French man is Bi Polar and needed my help to return to stability after a mental break).

Thus, I am told I have to go back to square one and apply for an Ancestry renewal for the third time (due in October) so that I can be eligible for ILR again in 4 years.

I am just concerned however that this marriage to a French citizen might affect my progression to eventual citizenship, although I am hoping to have the divorce finalised by the end of the year.

Thank you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I neglected to mention that I was only in living France on a tourist Schenghen visa - I took the service of lawyers there to resolve this issue but no joy - I was entitled to live in France as I was married but I was never granted residency.
Thank you for your detailed response.

The ukba require you to be continuously resident in the UK and in employment for 5 years.

The ukba would not consider it a break in continuous residence if your intention was always to return, and you had not been out of the UK for more than 6 months and you had valid leave when you left the UK and when you entered.

You have obviously suppressed the 5 year requirement as you resident in the UK for 10 years.

I would suggest that you submit and application for indefinite leave to remain citing the reason you left the UK and also that you always intended to return. It would be at the discretion of the ukba whether they accept your arguments for being granted ILR.

However, if the ukba do not grant you ILR then you would need to wait a further 5 years. It is surprising that you did not apply for indefinite leave to remain earlier.

I hope this answers your question if so kindly click ACCEPT, if you do not I will not get credited for my time.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you. I have not met the full criteria for ILR sadly. My question however please is does the marriage to the French citizen affect my application for an Ancestry renewal and eventual ILR in the UK negatively?
It does not, as long as you continue to meet the requirements of a UK ancestry visa, your marriage will not have a negative effect on your ability to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

I hope this answers your question if so kindly click ACCEPT.

Kind regards,
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