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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7617
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I am a US citizen and am about to marry my French boyfriend.

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I am a US citizen and am about to marry my French boyfriend. We plan to move eventually to London, but I need to establish work there first. How do I apply for the capacity to work there before I get my French passport, which may take years?

Where will you be immediately before you travel to settle in the uk?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am a 47 year old Canadian and US citizen currently living in New York, where I expect to stay until I move to London. My French boyfriend and I plan to marry soon. We would like to move to London. To do so, however, I need to find work there before we move. We have planned our marriage in the next two to three months. I had hoped that there would be some way of getting some papers from France and/or England once we are married to allow me to commute between New York and London to build up work contacts and establish some work potential, and/or actually do some locum work. I contacted phyio placement agencies, and they will not apply for a work visa for me. I was told to look for hospital jobs with the NHS, but they told me that it is rare now for hospitals to apply for work visas, even though I have a current registration as a physio in the UK and my experience level is very much required in the UK physio world.
We cannot afford to wait for the time it takes to get a full French passport, and so need legal advice as to how to go about this.
Where are you to marry?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
We were planning to marry here in New York, but are open to marrying in France or England if that makes a difference.

It would probably be better for you to marry in NY really.


As your partner is a fiance is an EEA national you will have as his wife a right to apply for an EEA family permit once you are married. The UKBA does not charge a fee for this.


You will need to complete form VAF5 - EEA Family Permit and submit this to your nearest UK embassy. There are some VAF guidance notes to help you complete it. YOu can download both forms from the UKBA website.


You will certainly need to include the following documents with your application, there may be others after you have read the guidance notes:-

  • a copy of your EEA national passport (endorsed by your embassy in the country of application); and
  • proof of their relationship to you (for example, their birth certificates or marriage certificate); and
  • a letter from you declaring that you are traveling with them or that they are joining you in the UK.

Here is a link to the supporting documents page of the UKBA website:-


You will be able to work in the UK. Once you are in the UK you can apply to the UKBA for a residence card confirming your right to live with your husband in the UK. This means you would not have to obtain an EEA family permit each time you leave the UK and then travel back.

The UKBA aims to reach a determination on each application within 6 weeks of the date of submission, but frequently overrun. I would start preparing it now so that you can submit straightaway following marriage.

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Kind regards,


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your answer. I am not sure that I was completely clear: because of financial and work constraints, my husband would likely have to stay in New York for the first year or two until I have steady work in the UK, as he would be the steady financial support. Does this make a difference, as you stated aboe that I would apply to live with my husband in the UK?



I'm afraid that won't be possible. You can only travel to the UK under a family permit if your husband is settled in the UK.


If you wished to travel to the UK and work prior to him coming then you would have to make an application for a visa under the current immigration rules.


Unfortunately, applications for highly skilled worker visa are closed due the recent immigration cap. You are permitted to make an application for a tier2 skilled workers visa. This means that you would have to have a job offer from a UK employer who is licensed to sponsor non-eea nationals for visa purposes. You would have to meet the points criteria for this application too.


I attach a link to the UKBA website on this type of visa:-


My advice would be to start looking for a physio job in the UK and see if they are willing to sponsor you, or willing to apply for a licence in order to sponsor you.


Sorry it could not be better news.


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Kind regards,


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