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cityguru, Solicitor
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 13329
Experience:  Approved Immigration Expert.
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I am a UK citizen but have been living away for 10 years. I

Customer Question

I am a UK citizen but have been living away for 10 years. I am returning on Tuesday and will have with me my US partner of 4 years
we intend to ask for a visa for her after we have arrived - is that the right route?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  cityguru replied 3 years ago.
Hi thank you for your question.
US citizens do not require a visa to come to the UK as a visitor. However if you are planning to stay permanently then it is essential to apply for a visa as a partner BEFORE coming to the UK. Someone who comes to the UK as a visitor is not permitted under the current rules to apply for a long term visa from inside the UK. Any application made after you arrive will be refused. She will be told to leave and apply for a visa as your partner from outside the UK. Furthermore if it is apparent to immigration officials when she arrives in the UK on Tuesday that she is not planning to leave then she may be refused entry.
If you are coming on Tuesday then it is essential that she only comes for a visit of 6 months or less and then leaves and allies for permanent leave from outside the UK. You need to factor that into your plans. I do not think there is any practical way you can get a settlement visa before Tuesday .
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Oh - I understood we could apply for a family visa whilst she was in the UK. How long would she have to leave for?

Expert:  cityguru replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for the response. No you may not apply for a family visa if you enter as a visitor. It can take several weeks to get a visa although it may be possible to fast track it depending upon where she applies. As a U.S. citizen she should really apply from there. You will need to prepare all the supporting financial information and evidence of your relationship in advance.
Expert:  cityguru replied 3 years ago.
By the way if you have not seen it, the government website will give you all the basic information you need:
See the link below.