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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7473
Experience:  UK Lawyer holding practising certficate for England & Wales.
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I am currently on a tier 2 visa which is sponsored by

Customer Question

Hello, I am currently on a tier 2 visa which is sponsored by the company I work for. I am getting married to a British Citizen in a month time. How would that affect my ability to stay in UK as dependant and does that mean that the count of days towards my indefinite leave to remian starts again when I change the visa status ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.I would not switch from your current tier 2 visa to spouse visa. This is because once you switch to a spouse visa, you will have to complete a further 5 years on your spouse visa until you are eligible to apply for ILR.This still means that you can get married, but just that you should keep your Tier 2 visa after you are married and not switch to a spouse visa otherwise you will lose the time you have spent on your tier 2. The only time I would switch would be if you were going to lose your current tier 2 sponsor and were not optimistic about finding a new sponsor. Provided that you remain employed by your current tier 2 sponsor and extend your tier 2 visa when the time comes then your status in the UK is not at risk. My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question. Kind regards,Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Tom,

Thank you for your reply.
So when I change to spouse visa the clock resets and then I have 3 years to apply for british citizen, is this correct ?

In terms of applying for the spouse, how does trhat work for switching the visa and when I am on the spouse visa does it allow me to work in the UK or not if my spouse is a british citizen.

Thank you

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
If you stay on your tier 2 visa then you will be able to apply for ILR after you have spent 5 years on it. Then you would be able to apply for naturalisation as a UK citzien immediately after getting ILR if you are married to a UK citizen). If you switch to a spouse visa after you are married (by giving up your tier 2 visa) then you would have to wait a further 5 years until you can apply for ILR. This is why you shouldn't switch to a spouse visa, because you would lose the time. Kind regards,Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So if I switch to spouse visa, I thought I can apply for British Citizen after staying in UK for 3 years and as long as I don't spend more than 270 days during these three years outside the UK. Am I wrong in saying this as I found this on https://www.gov.uk/becoming-a-british-citizen/if-your-spouse-is-a-british-citizen

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
The link that you have quoted is for naturalisation. As part of the requirements you must have been granted ILR to apply. If you switch to a spouse visa then you have to wait 5 years until applying for ILR because you must spend a whole 5 years on a spouse visa before applying for ILR.. If you do not switch to a spouse visa and stay on your current tier 2 then you can apply for ILR as soon as you reach 5 years from whenever you started on your tier 2 visa in the UK. It is therefore quicker than being on a spouse visa (because of the time you have already spent on it.Once you have applied for ILR via the tier 2 route then you can apply for naturalisation immediately (like the next day) provided you meet the requirements contained in the link.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sure, thank you for that.
So that means in both cases I need total of 5 years which resets when I change my visa ststus from tier 2 to spouse. However if I do that I can stay in UK and work as a british national but I won't get the birtihs passport before 5 years.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Can I start my own business in london when I get spouse visa ?
Also, in both cases I will need total of 5 years but then I can directly get british passport if married to british citizen which is not the case with Tier 2 as I will be able to get it after 1 year from getting ILR, correct ?

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
The fact that you are still asking about what happens when you are a spouse visa shows that you have not carefully read my answers. You should NOT apply for a spouse visa. You SHOULD stay on your current visa even though you marry a UK citizen. Usually, it makes sense to switch to a spouse but it does not in your case. To get ILR you need 5 years on one visa category.You presumably already have some time on your current tier 2 visa. Therefore, the quickest and most efficient way to get to 5 years in one category is to stay on your tier 2 visa even after you are married. Then, once you have reached 5 years on your tier 2 you can apply for ILR. Then once you have ILR you can immediately apply for naturalisation as a UK citizen. ONce you have naturalised you are a UK citizen and only then can you apply for your uk passport. Even if you switched to a spouse visa - which you should NOT do - you would still have to apply for ILR before you applied for naturalisation. Tom

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