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Tamari SL
Tamari SL, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 1147
Experience:  LLB UK (Hons) with International Law, Foundation in the UK Law, OISC
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I'm confused about a specific rule about applying for a

Customer Question

Hi, I'm confused about a specific rule about applying for a Family Route visa. I'm currently in the UK on a visitors visa. I've gone through the majority of the application for Family Route visa now, and see nothing that would bar me from applying for Family Route visa while currently in the UK on a visitors visa, but I am seeing a legal advice site online that implies I CANNOT do this. Would like to better understand.
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any paperwork with the UK government? What country do you live in? What is your citizenship?
Customer: I currently reside in the UK, but I am a US citizen. I have begun the application process for Family Route visa with my partner (UK citizen) but have not yet filed/submitted.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about the visa?
Customer: Not yet.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I don't think so - but happy to provide any more detail that might help.
Submitted: 6 days ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Tamari SL replied 6 days ago.

Welcome to Just Answer, I will be assisting with your question today. Please note that my support on this site is for general information only and there is no intention to create a legal relationship. Thank you!

Expert:  Tamari SL replied 6 days ago.

Please ignore any phone call request pop-up if you do not wish a telephone consultation, they get generated automatically without any input from the expert, so I have no control over these requests.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Ok thanks!
Expert:  Tamari SL replied 6 days ago.

To confirm, you are currently in the UK on a visitor visa and you wish to switch to a spouse visa as a dependant on your partner, am I correct?

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Maybe to clarify my statements earlier - as I'm from the US, I wasn't required to have a visa to enter the UK (it's been less than 6 months since my last arrival)
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
I'm unsure if I'm technically on a visitors visa or not. But yes, I am in the UK and want to switch to a Family visa as a dependent of my partner.
Expert:  Tamari SL replied 6 days ago.

Sure, it is correct, you are not required to apply for a visitor is prior to your entry in the UK but you are regarded as a visitor in the country, therefore, visitor visa rules apply to you.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
We are unmarried but have lived together for the past 2 years.
Expert:  Tamari SL replied 6 days ago.

Unfortunately, switching from a visitor visa to a spouse visa is not permitted, you must leave the UK and apply for it, from the US.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Does my situation meet the requirement I'm here on a visitor visa? This is difficult to understand because I cannot find any note to that effect during the application process or the site
Expert:  Tamari SL replied 6 days ago.

You are in the UK as a visitor unless you have any other UK visa.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Ok thank you. "How you apply depends on whether you’re in the UK or not." and then there are links for how you would apply within the UK or outside of the UK - why would this be an option if not permitted? Would you be able to send me the source that states that it is not permitted?
Expert:  Tamari SL replied 6 days ago.

Immigration status requirements according to the rules under Appendix FM

E-LTRP.2.1. The applicant must not be in the UK-

  1. (a) as a visitor; or
  2. (b) with valid leave granted for a period of 6 months or less, unless that leave is as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, or was granted pending the outcome of family court or divorce proceedings
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Ah, okay. Thanks for that. Does that mean that once I apply, I cannot return to the UK at all? Or would I be able to return back for visits?
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Until my spousal visa is granted, that is
Expert:  Tamari SL replied 6 days ago.
Correct, you should wait for the decision first and then enter the U.K.
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Especially given that I would be sending my passport
Expert:  Tamari SL replied 6 days ago.
Your passport will be with the Home Office before the decision is made.
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Wow, that's incredibly frustrating that its not listed anywhere in the application itself. Especially since there is a link for applying from within the UK, AND there was an option that I'm currently on a visitor visa
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Well thank you for your help - I think this shows that since these types of things are buried in the legal sections that aren't included in the application + advice pages, and these are obviously big decisions!
Expert:  Tamari SL replied 6 days ago.
I agree it is a big decision.
I always advise clients to instruct a lawyer when submitting these kinds of applications as immigration rules are quite complex and this application is particular is quite expensive as well.
I am happy that I have helped today. Good luck!