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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7661
Experience:  UK Lawyer holding practising certficate for England & Wales.
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Good day, I am currently studying towards a Bachelors degree

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Good day,
I am currently studying towards a Bachelors degree in accounting.
My boyfriend of 2 years is a British citizen and lives there permanently.
How do I go about joining him and working in the UK legally ?
Thanks question.
How long have you co-habited (ie lived together) with your boyfriend during the two year period?
Kind regards
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We haven't lived together as I am in South Africa.

We've known each other 7 years and only started a serious relationship around February 2014.. I think.

We did spend time together over Christmas 2014 and decided we need to find out how to go about getting married legally and to live and work in the UK once my studies are completed if not sooner.

Thank you question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.
If at the time of the application you are able to produce sufficient documentary evidence that you have lived (ie. cohabited) together period of two years then you would be classed as Unmarried Partners. This would mean that you could apply on his basis, rather than having to marry,
Sometimes the home office allow persons to be classed as unmarried partners even though they have not lived together whole of the two year period.
Given that you have not lived together period of time at all, it is fairly unlikely that you will be successful in arguing that you should be regarded as unmarried partners.
Basically, this would mean you would have to marry.
There are two ways of doing it. It is not absolutely necessary to go there to marry in order to get you a visa to come here. You can apply fiance visa so that you can come here specifically purpose of marrying. Once married you would then have to apply spouses visa (settlement – Further Leave To Remain). Two applications, two application fees.
Alternatively, You can either marry outside the UK and then apply directly spouses visa. Once application, one application fee.
There is a slightly larger amount of documents to submit fiancé visa because you have to show that you intend to marry once she arrive here.
The eligibility criteria is largely similar applications. The advantage is that if your fiance visa is refused then you are not married. If you marry and you spouses visa application is refused initially and then on appeal then you are stuck being married but in different countries.
Here is the criteria you would need to fulfil fiance visa, as I say the criteria is largely the same spouses visa. If you meet this you will almost certainly not be refused a spouses visa:-
• You plan to marry within 6 months of her arriving here
• You plan to live permanently together here
• You have met each other
• You can support each other without the need funds
• You have suitable accommodation which is owned or lived in only by you or your household and where you and your dependents can live without any help from public funds
• Meet the financial requirement (salary threshold):
You will also have to pass an Englsh Language test:-
The application will have to be supported by evidence proving the above eligibility criteria. They key to a successful application is producing well-collated documentary evidence above criteria. You will also have to produce statements made by both of you explaining and supporting how you meet the eligibility criteria.
You will need to apply /spouses visa using form VAF4 which is available from the UKBA website
Generally, I’ve found that persons considering applying for fiancé/spouse visa are surprised by the documentary requirements and complicated nature of the application preparation.
You should consider instructing a immigration solicitor based here in the UK to prepare an application (whichever way you decide to do it).
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,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you info. The whole idea is to get married and build a life together. The big thing would be : if I apply fiance visa and go live with him long as I'm allowed and as long as we need to satisfy the rules (or even get married) ; supporting ourselves means both of us have to work. Can I apply fiance visa, go to the UK and work there in the meantime ?

If you apply fiance visa then you would only get 6 months leave to remain, during which time you must marry and then apply spouse visa. You would not be able to work in the UK when you are on your fiance visa, but you would be able to work once you have switched the spouse visa.
Kind regards,
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