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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7602
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I am an American married to a UK citizen - we married in the

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I am an American married to a UK citizen - we married in the UK in 1991. We have been living in France ever since and both our children (12 year-old twins) are British citizens with passports. We would like to move to the UK for the rest of their schooling. What do I need to do administratively as an American married to a Brit to be able to settle and work in the UK while my children go to school?
Thank you.



Thanks for your question.


If you have been married for 4 years then you can apply for settlement visa now by submitting Form SET(M) to the British Embassy in France before come here.


This would be best, XXXXX XXXXX you could apply for settlement once you are here.


In both cases you would have to show:-


  • 1. That you are legally married to each other (marriage certificate)
  • 2. Your spouse is present and settled in the UK (eg. Passport, proof of accommodation) - is is taken to mean that your spouse can lawfully live in the UK which she can as she is a UK citizen
  • 3. You have met before (Statements, marriage certificate, other documentary records.
  • 4. You intend to live permanently together here in the UK as husband and wife (statements, evidence of her (statements, correspondence(
  • 5. You can support each other without the need for public funds (bank statements, evidence of income)
  • 6. You have or will have suitable accomodation 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, proof that you can afford accomodation)
  • 7. That neither of you are younger than 21 years of age. (birth certificates, passports)

You would be able to work here once you have obtain settlement (indefinite leave to remain)


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,


Edited by Thomas on 8/12/2010 at 11:25 AM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for that. I just wanted to verify condition number 2. Both my UK husband and I are still in France, so he is not settled in the UK yet. We plan to move in October.

That's fine, as I say it is taken to mean that your spouse can lawfully live in the UK and you will have to explain in the application that you are planning to move there. You can do this in your statements.


I hope this clarifies, if so please click accept.


Kind regards,



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Great. I have just added 28€ more to my account for the next question. This is where it gets a little complicated. My husband and I are actually planning to divorce by the end of the year.
- will I still be allowed to stay after the divorce?
- if that is problematic, may I apply to live in the UK based on my children's UK citizenship even if I am divorced from my UK husband? Would it be wiser to take that route to start with?

Right, they could still curtail your indefinite leave to remain because your circumstances would have changed and they might also suspect that your original application was made dishonestly.


That is only if your spouse was to tell the Home OFfice that you are separating/divorcing. If they do not tell of the divorce then you can simply stay on ILR.


If you wait one year after getting ILR before getting divorced you would be eligible to apply for British Citizenship, this would get around the problem ultimately.


If you have confidence that your spouses will not tell the Home Office that you are divorcing following receipt of ILR then you can simply remain here regardless of divorce.


Just so you are aware, you have not clicked accept. THere was no need to add further money - I am happy to answer your questions under your original deposit.


Kind regards,



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