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Howard, Immigration Lawyer
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 459
Experience:  Senior Partner with nearly 20 years experience in UK Immigration Law.
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Hi, I have met a Muslim Indonesian girl online,I am also

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I have met a Muslim Indonesian girl online,I am also a muslim myself. We have known eachother for 9 months now we met one month ago for 2 weeks in India and are very much in love and she is currently studying in Jakarta at the moment. I am 24 years old she is 19. I currently earn almost £19,000 per year.

I have read certain rules and regulations about it being a genuine realtionship i.e. living to together and paying bills together but I am unable to do this with her as she lives in Indonesia but we talk daily most of the day on skype etc...

I have met her mother on skype webcam and she has met my family on skype webcam also and her and my mother communicate regular on facebook.

What are the future options for her to be able to come and live with me in the UK in my family's home which has currently been extended so there is plenty of space etc... Am I able to sponsor her or how does it work? Is she able to work in the UK also under which visa? Can she change her visa whilst in UK if need be for her to work?

We are literally willing to do anything to make this work. We so appreciate your help and all the vital details regarding how to put this plan into action would be most appreciated.

We were wondering if we could get married outside of Indonesia as she doesn't have a good relationship with her parents to say the least.

Perhaps Thailand or where?

Can you give me any possible options please?


Kind regards,

Cee Jay
I will presume you are settled in the UK or you are a British Citizen. If this is not the case then let me know.

The requirement you mentioned regarding living together is primarily related to an unmarried partner visa.

The options are:

Fiance Visa - the same requirements as a Spouse Visa but it only provides an initial period of 6 months. During this time she cannot work in the UK and you are expected to marry and then switch to a Spouse Visa before expiry of the Fiance Visa.

Spouse Visa - if you marry then you can bring to your spouse to the UK for an initial period of 33 months.

You can marry wherever you wish to marry if you are permitted to do so by that country.
Howard and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes I am a UK citizen.


I just wondered is it as simple as getting married in Thailand or another country for example and filling out documents etc... applying for her visa etc....?


I mean, she is currently studying for her business degree in jakarta etc...


How likely is it that she can one day live in the UK if we get married outside of Indonesia and the UK?

If you are married and you meet the criteria for the Spouse visa then she should be approved. If the marriage is legally recognised in the country in which it is performed then it should be accepted as a marriage for the purpose of the application.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Well this is the thing. Why I asked you because the requirements are very strict. It says I must have been living with her, paying bills etc... with her. How can I do this with her when she cannot even get a visa to UK.


I don't understand. If you are unable to answer this can you tell me someone who can please sir?


I'm literally running out of options.


Thank you.

I have nearly 20 years of experience and I am more than capable of answering these questions. My firm has also successfully processed significant numbers of these (and other) applications.

Many from India, for example, bring their spouses to the UK under these rules without ever having lived together due to religious/cultural considerations. If what you have suggested was correct then none of them would have been granted visas.

The requirement is that the marriage and relationship are genuine and subsisting. It is very often a good idea to include evidence of communications, holidays together, the ceremony, etc, simply to provide some evidence that the relationship is genuine and that the marriage is therefore not one of convenience (for the purpose of obtaining a visa). Refusals due to concerns about the genuine nature of the relationship are more common where the partner being sponsored is in the UK with visa that is about to expire.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok I understand thank you for telling me this it really does help.


Well that is encouraging in regards XXXXX XXXXX provide that information.


Her parents tbh would not allow her to marry me, so Indonesia and UK are out of the question to get married in.


So you would be confident that if we got married within Thailand and did the procedure correctly etc...


Then applied for a spouse visa, we could then live in the UK together most likely?


Also she is concerned that her father can cancel her passport or documents because apparently he 'knows' people. I beg to differ but she thinks the most extreme things. So could her parents cancel any of the documents she so needed to come to the UK without her permission? Thank you so much.

Unfortunately some parents can revert to these types of tactics with their children. She is an adult and her father should not be able to do anything about her passport. Note that I am not an expert in anything to do with Indonesia though.

A document that might be of interest to you is the following:

Again, if you meet the requirements for the Spouse visa then you should be approved. Clearly the requirements include that the marriage is legally recognised in the country in which it is undertaken, that you are allowed to marry there and that the marriage is genuine. Showing evidence of the relationship prior to marriage is recommended where you will be apply for the visa soon after marriage if you have not lived together.

I assume you have already read this but I will also provide a link to the Home Office official Spouse Visa requirements page:
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so much for the reply! I am unable to rate your comments as it keeps trying to charge me £61.00 for the service just to rate you.


Are you able to provide me with a link in regards XXXXX XXXXX or not he can do anything about it. I'm sure he could do something about it illegally but I am not sure where to find this information if you could help me I would be incredibly grateful.


I already meet the financial requirements and the relationship is completely genuine etc...of course.


So for example if we got married in Thailand and performed the correct legal procedure in regards XXXXX XXXXX marriage certificates and whatever else is needed then would we have a good chance of being able to live together.


Have you dealt with many cases similar to mine in the past also and how successful are they usually?


Thank you so much!

Don't worry about further ratings, although if you wished to provide an excellent rating by way of a tip then I would not object.

The permission of a parent is not really anything that concerns me or the decision makers for these applications, although it might be a concern of those who might conduct certain religious ceremonies (that is beyond my area of expertise though and you might know more about this than I do). People get married in various locations and there is nothing particularly unusual about this. A lot of people also get married without living together, so that isn't particularly unusual.

The key to these applications is clearly demonstrating that the requirements are met, so read the published guidance, and make sure that you demonstrate that there was a relationship and that you had met prior to marriage. You can also include a covering letter as the sponsor explaining why you have not lived together yet. It won't be an unusual situation to the caseworkers though. Note that some countries require that the British national supplies a certificate of no impediment - this is explained in the link that I provided. Read everything very carefully.

I cannot really comment on what her father might or might not be able to achieve illegally - in some countries many things are possible that should not be possible! I cannot think of any way that the authorities would be able to cancel an adult's passport, outside of extreme situations where the individual was considered to be at risk of leaving the country against the wishes of the government - matters of national security, etc. It might be a good idea for her to have her passport in a safe place so it cannot be taken.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so much for the reply...


I went and looked on the UK Border Agency website and it says this in regards XXXXX XXXXX for a visa to live together with your partner...


      • there are insurmountable obstacles to family life with your partner continuing outside the UK.

Insurmountable obstacles means that we would look at the seriousness of any difficulties that would prevent you and your partner from living in another country, and whether those difficulties could be overcome.



Is this something you feel I should be concerned about, the main issue being her parents really do not like me but I really do not see how they should be able to do anything about it as we are both adults and have all the legal documentation to my knowledge.


Sure the authorities will not prevent us from being together just because her parents dis like me so much?


One more thing.... I paid for a £71 monthly membership and am currently on my free trial is this how you are able to answer my questions and there are no additional charges? Thank you!

Thank you again.

I do not know how the membership works but I can find out. I only get paid when you provide a positive rating. I am continuing to answer questions in this thread because they are related to the initial question and not because of your membership type. You can ask me another question from my profile page or by starting the question with 'FOR UKVISAS ONLY'.

If you have been legally married then her father not liking you is irrelevant - she is an adult. Her father not giving permission for her to marry can, I believe, prevent some religious ceremonies but there is really nothing a parent can do to prevent two adults from getting married if they wish to do so. The authorities are only concerned that the marriage is genuine and legally recognised and that you both meet all requirements.
Howard and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok if you could find out and tell me that would be most useful and incredibly helpful.


It's just as you may know in Indonesian culture they are a rather subservient attitude towards their partners often neglecting their own happiness to keep their parents happy. I cannot judge their culture but it does baffle me at times. I tell the girl to follow her heart and do what makes her happy, parents or not you cannot please everybody.


Yes I believe if we were to get married within Indonesia and maybe the UK you need the parent's permission which is why we consider getting married in a different country to get around this rule/law.


Is it best to get in touch with an Indonesian law firm/lawyer who specialises in such areas regarding the marriage and visa application process of two adults wanting to live in the UK?


Thank you so so much, you have been very helpful! I will look forward to hearing from you.



Thanks for the extra payments - much appreciated.

You only have protection against bad advice from someone registered in the UK with the OISC or a fully qualified and regulated solicitor, although it is important to realise that a solicitor can advise on this legally even if they have no experience or knowledge. I would strongly recommend that you use a UK firm for matters of UK law.

You only need parent's permission to marry in the UK if you are under 18. It is possible that some religious ceremonies might require it - I can only comment on the law rather than customs or religious requirements.