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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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My wife and I are US citizens and we are in the UK on her Tier

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My wife and I are US citizens and we are in the UK on her Tier 2 work visa (I am here as her dependent). Previously she was studying and had a study visa, and this was changed to a Tier 2 work visa about 18 months ago. In total we have been in the UK for 5 1/2 years and I have worked throughout. Incidentally, my mother is English (but born in France) and lives here, as does my younger sister.

My wife and I have considered separating for the past year and, whilst we still live together, our relationship has broken down. Incidentally, and by chance, I have met and fallen in love with an English girl and I want to know what my options are in terms of staying in the UK. I have no family or friends in the US (I was born there because my father was in the military and we moved every 2 years or so) and do not want to return to the US to apply for an alternative visa (e.g. my own Tier 2 work visa). If I get divorced, will I have to leave the UK? Even though I have worked here for 5 1/2 years, have family here and have a new relationship here?

Hi thank you for your question. Please remember to RATE my answer OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE so I can get credited for my time.


No, if you currently have leave to remain in the UK which is more than 6 months then you are able to apply for a Spouse Visa in the UK without having to leave the UK.


Once you have obtained a divorce you are able to marry in the UK and then submit an application for further leave to remain using form FLR M please see following link to the form and guidance:


I hope this answers your question, if so kindly rate my answer positively so I can get credited for my time.


Kind regards

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your response. So if I have e.g. 2 years on my current visa, and get divorced in that time, I will be able to remain in the UK until the end of that visa? And in the meantime remarry and apply for a spouse visa?

Thank you for your reply.


The problem with what you are suggesting is that you have to divorce first and then apply. If you divorce which usually takes around 6 months in UK when you divorce is complete you are no long a dependent of you wife and you will no longer be her husband, so at that point you will have become an overstayer, however the UKBA usually allow you 28 days leeway to submit an application. Unfortunatley once you have become an overstayer it usually means that the application will be totally at the discretion of the UK. It would therefore be advisable to submit as much evidence as possible regarding your connections to the UK and reasons why you should be not sent back to the US to submit your application. I would suggest you read the case of Chikwanba for clarification which can be found at the following link:


I would therefore advice you to enter into marriage the day after you have received your divorce certificate and submit your application thereafter.


This would be the best scenario to follow to avoid returning to the US to submit an application form there.


I hope this answers your question, if so kindly rate my answer positively so I can get credited for my time.


Kind regards


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