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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7432
Experience:  UK Lawyer holding practising certficate for England & Wales.
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Hello I have a fiancée visa that was issued on 23 June 2014

Resolved Question:

I have a fiancée visa that was issued on 23 June 2014 and expires (on passport) on 23 December 2014. I entered the UK on 1 August 2014.
My question is: when does my visa expire? Is it 23 December 2014 (as passport states) or after six months of entry to the UK (ie. February 1st 2015)?
Thank you!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your question.
It expires on the date in your passport.
If you did not travel for a month after it was granted then this was your choice and unfortunately it does not make a difference to the date at which you will cease to have leave to remain in the united kingdom. This means that you must must both marry and switch to a spouse visa by submitting an application before the date on your passport, which you have stated to be the 23rd of december.
If you do not then you will cease to have to remain in the united kingdom and it will be very difficult you to stay because she will have to leave the uk.
Kind regards.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Again

I asked because another lawyer here in Cambridge said I had six months since the date I entered the UK.

After we moved in together, it turned out that our decision to marry was a bit premature. The fact that I cannot work is also causing additional problems (especially as he works in London so away for four days every week). We are thinking of switching to a co-habitué visa where we would have more time together (we will continue to live together) and I can work and continue to support myself. I am running out of savings so a fiancée extension will not help.

Besides I am Syrian (my bf is English), so I really have no place to go back to at the moment. We want to continue to be together but not marry in a month. That was as I said a premature timing.

We also are from different nationalities and religions. While it means nothing to either of us, it means a lot to my family. I can use the extra time to break the news to them and hopefully bring them over for the wedding (I need to make some savings for that so I need to work).

I will submit my co-habitué visa application on Nov 24th. The lawyer here in Cambridge said if I do not hear back from the Home Office two weeks before the end of my current visa (which according to him is Feb. 1st), I should withdraw the co-habitue application and send in an extension application (to avoid having my co-habitue application turned down after the exipray date of my current visa).

My question now: according to you, my visa expires on December 23rd. Is sending an application for a co-habitue visa only a month before a good idea? especially taken the holiday into consideration?

And honestly: which lawyer to believe? Is there a Home Office email/phone number I can contact to ask?

We also do not meet the co-habitue requirement of having lived together for two years. We have known each other since 2011 but have been living together since August only. We have taken many holidays together (a week in Jordan, five days in Lebanon, three days in Holland and three days in Lebanon again). I was going to argue in my cover letter that we could not have possibly lived together back in Syria in 2011 (where we met) because living with someone without being married to them can be a crime and is a cultural and social taboo. After that he had to leave the country because the EU suspended the programme we were both working for (this is where we met). In the three years that followed we tried to take every opportunity to meet but could do it only once when I was still in Syria because of how difficult it is to travel outside and even inside the country. I eventually left Syria in June 2013 and went to Lebanon to find a better job and also to be able to travel and see him and we did spend some holidays together (Jordan and Holland) and he spent last Easter with me in my place in Beirut. We then applied for the fiancee visa and here I am.

The reason why I traveled a month after the visa was issued is because the visa was issued very quickly. The lawyer who was helping us said it would take a month to two months. But we applied on June 13th and got it on June 23rd! I had to arrange a visit home to see my family and wrap up my life in Beirut before coming!

Your advice is highly appreciated.


Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi Afra,
Forget about contacting the home office. They are not there to give advice.
Because your situation is complicated, whichever application you submit you should instruct a solicitor to prepare it for you.
You get only the time you are given on your visa in your passport, not 6 months from the date you enter the UK.
In my view, if you have only lived together for a period Aug-November then you can expect your application for an unmarried partner's visa to be rejected.
However, extensions to fiance visas are also rare and only granted in exceptional circumstances. Simply deciding that you were premature in deciding to marry is not sufficient and it would be rejected. In order to get an extension you have to effectively say that you will get married and would have already but have been prevented from doing so for reasons outside of your control,
If you submit an applicaiton for either application though before your current application expires then it will at least buy you some further time to work out whether or not you wish to marry.
Kind regards,
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7432
Experience: UK Lawyer holding practising certficate for England & Wales.
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