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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7478
Experience:  UK Lawyer holding practising certficate for England & Wales.
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Dear Sir / Madam, I am a Mexican female national, aged 42,

Customer Question

Dear Sir / Madam,
I am a Mexican female national, aged 42, here in the UK, studying for a 4 year PhD on a Tier 4 study visa at Manchester University. My Tier 4 visa expires in January 2015.
Before I came to the UK (4 years ago), I was already in a relationship with a British male UK citizen. We were engaged on 23rd December 2009 and are planning on living together from October 2014 (i.e. we are already living together).
My partner and I are planning to get married within 6 months (i.e. before April 2015).
With my PhD I will be planning on working in the UK, and also becoming a British citizen.
Please can you tell me what visa I should be applying for.
Regards
Maria De Los Angeles Castillo Solis
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thanks for your patience.
Obviously, if your visa is to expire then you will have to apply for a visa before it expires. Unfortunately, you cannot apply for a fiance visa whilst you are in the UK, so switching to this visa is not an option unless you left the UK, which I presume you do not wish to do.
Ideally, you would be married before your visa expires and then apply for a spouse visa.
In order to qualify for the unmarried equivalent of a spouse visa you have to be regarded as "unmarried partners". In order to qualify you must be able to prove that you have lived together in the same accommodation for 2 years. Occasionally you can argue that you should be regarded as unmarried partners without living together for this period of time if you can show that you have been in a relationship for at least the two years but have effectively been frustrate from living together for reasons beyond your control. They would still expect to see substantial period of cohabitation. So if you were to attempt to apply as unmarried partners then you woudl certainly have to instruct a solicitor to give yourself the best chance.
You would also have to meet the other criteria for a spouse visa, in so far as it applies to unmarried partners.
The UKBA webpage on spouse visas is here:
https://www.gov.uk/join-family-in-uk
The eligibility criteria is here:-
https://www.gov.uk/join-family-in-uk/eligibility
If the application is well prepared and you meet the following eligibility criteria then it will make the application easy and quick to decide upon for the UKBA. To be eligible, you must show:-
• you and your partner are both aged 18 or over at the date of application;
• your partner is a British Citizen, or is present and settled in the UK, or is here with refugee leave or humanitarian protection;
• your partner is not related to you in a way that means you could not marry in UK law;
• you and your partner have met in person;
• your relationship with your partner is genuine and subsistingif you are married or in a civil partnership, your marriage or civil partnership is valid in UK law;
• if you are not married or in a civil partnership you have been living with your partner in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership for at least 2 years prior to the date of the application;
• you meet the suitability requirements
• any previous relationship has permanently broken down (this does not apply to certain polygamous relationships);
• you and your partner intend to live together permanently in the UK;
• You must meet the financial requirement:-
• https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/chapter-8-appendix-fm-family-members-immigration-directorate-instructions
• This means that the UK based spouse must earn a minimum income threshold of £18,600. Alternatively, if you have savings of £62, 500.00 then you would not have to prove any salary. You can also use a mix of the two.
• You would also have to show that you meet the English language requirement:-
• https://www.gov.uk/join-family-in-uk/knowledge-of-english

You have to produce to the UKBA documentation that proves the above. This would be some of the following:-
• Bank statements from both you and your spouse going back 6 months showing the income/capital you have available
• Payslips (6 month of) and a letter from your employer stating that you have a permanent job, contract of employment
• Documentary evidence of any other assets you hold (eg. Shares, evidence of ISAs or bonds)
• Marriage certificate, Birth Certificate, passport
• Evidence of correspondence between you and your spouse showing that the relationship is credible and genuine (eg. Emails, letters, evidence of previous trips, photos showing you together, phone records
• Evidence of the accommodation where you will live or that you can afford to accommodate yourselves once here.

• Further information here:-
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/partners-families/citizens-settled/spouse-cp/documents/maintenance/
If you were apply and it was rejected then you could appeal and buy youself some time until you do actually marry and then apply to switch to a spouse visa without leaving the UK
Kind regards,
Tom
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Is there any further information you require?
I just want to ensure that you are satisfied, so please let me know if you have any further queries on the information I have provided.
Kind regards,
Tom

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