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Immigrating to the UK with my girlfriend

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  1. #1

    Immigrating to the UK with my girlfriend

    Hi all,

    So its taken me a few years but I've now realised that there's no way I'd be willing to spend 10M on a shoebox apartment here in HK *(I was born and raised here but alas it's about time to spread my wings and fly to somewhere better). My girlfriend of 3 years shares the same sentiment as I, and we've decided that the next best place to move to would be the UK (maybe Edinburgh or Bristol) so that when we do decide to raise a family we wouldn't have to worry about having to live in a tiny apartment for the rest of our lives. However - I'm in a bit of a pickle here and was hoping to get some advise. Some background info on us:

    1. I hold a British passport (British Citizen (GBR))
    2. She holds a Hong Kong passport
    3. I'm 25 and shes 24
    4. We want to move ideally within a year (we'll work here in HK for one more year then move once I secure a job in the UK)

    So the thing is..I've done my research (or at least tried to) and am aware that if she were to marry me she could stay in the UK for 2.5 years at a time on a spousal visa (until she extends it for another 2.5 years, totaling 5 years which qualifies her for naturalisation to be a Brit Citizen).

    But we're youngish and don't really want to get married so fast just for the sake of getting a visa (we will get married by the age of 28 tho)

    I was wondering if there was any other way that would enable her to come and live in the UK with me (when I move there) and also have the right to work. I'd read somewhere that each tourist visit grants her 6 months of stay at a time - If she leaves during the 5th month, how long will she have to wait until she could re-enter the UK again>? (This sounds risky and expensive) What other options could we have?

    We just want to get out of here really -

    Thanks for all the feedback in advance!


  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Pampanga, Philippines
    Posts
    25,081
    Quote Originally Posted by Alzthehero:
    Hi all,

    So its taken me a few years but I've now realised that there's no way I'd be willing to spend 10M on a shoebox apartment here in HK *(I was born and raised here but alas it's about time to spread my wings and fly to somewhere better). My girlfriend of 3 years shares the same sentiment as I, and we've decided that the next best place to move to would be the UK (maybe Edinburgh or Bristol) so that when we do decide to raise a family we wouldn't have to worry about having to live in a tiny apartment for the rest of our lives. However - I'm in a bit of a pickle here and was hoping to get some advise. Some background info on us:

    1. I hold a British passport (British Citizen (GBR))
    2. She holds a Hong Kong passport
    3. I'm 25 and shes 24
    4. We want to move ideally within a year (we'll work here in HK for one more year then move once I secure a job in the UK)

    So the thing is..I've done my research (or at least tried to) and am aware that if she were to marry me she could stay in the UK for 2.5 years at a time on a spousal visa (until she extends it for another 2.5 years, totaling 5 years which qualifies her for naturalisation to be a Brit Citizen).

    But we're youngish and don't really want to get married so fast just for the sake of getting a visa (we will get married by the age of 28 tho)

    I was wondering if there was any other way that would enable her to come and live in the UK with me (when I move there) and also have the right to work. I'd read somewhere that each tourist visit grants her 6 months of stay at a time - If she leaves during the 5th month, how long will she have to wait until she could re-enter the UK again>? (This sounds risky and expensive) What other options could we have?

    We just want to get out of here really -

    Thanks for all the feedback in advance!
    I would be very surprised if the tourist visa would give her the right to work.

    You make it sound as if getting married gives her an automatic riight to live in the UK, you still need to meet requirements and be approved.

  3. #3

    Right of course, she’ll need to take that “fit to live in the UK” test and also meet other prerequisites, which she’ll tackle once we commence with this plan (shouldn’t be any problem though)


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    220

    Having been through it (and since moved to Hong Kong), that spousal visa is a pain in the arse, and expensive. Getting dependent's visa here was world's apart.

    Can't help with your query though; unless she gets sponsored for a work visa from a company.

    jimbo, Alzthehero and z754103 like this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    香港
    Posts
    1,161

    She can come to the UK as an unmarried partner. You'll have to prove that you have been together for some time (2 years?). Post delivered to the same address, photos from vacations together etc. I'm sure there is more info on UK immigration forums...

    Alzthehero and Jaz Paul like this.

  6. #6

    The UK does allow spousal visas without the need to marry, so I don't think that will be much of a problem for you. What has been more of an issue for people in your situation, are the financial requirements you will need to meet to qualify as a visa sponsor. You will need proof of income of GBP18,600 or show you have GBP62,000 in your bank account for at least 6 months. There is also the capital outlay you will need to make upfront for your application, NHS surcharge etc.

    Alzthehero and jago25_98 like this.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    11,844

    i have living in UK for almost 30 years and 11 years in HK, my best advise

    she can apply for working holiday visa for under 30

    https://www.gov.uk/tier-5-youth-mobility

    Please note bristol ain't cheap for (better than hk though) as my friend purchased a terrace house for GBP250,000, in comparison, Birmingham, a okish area would be close to half that price.

    the best advice, is too choose an area where the job will you are working as can be easily found and a good balance between finding an affordable home while being close to amenities, best to research which cities cater for which industries as you find a better job prospect in that respect

    like with every place, there are advantages and disadvantages, while uk has affordable homes, the direct taxation is quite heavy especially income tax/paye, but car ownership is relatively cheap

    Alzthehero, shri and z754103 like this.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by imparanoic:
    i have living in UK for almost 30 years and 11 years in HK, my best advise

    she can apply for working holiday visa for under 30

    https://www.gov.uk/tier-5-youth-mobility
    The Tier 5 visa is a good pathway to secure initial residency, but OP will have to bear in mind that time spent in the UK under this visa category does not count towards the 5 year Indefinite Leave to Remain residency period, so OP’s wife will need to transfer to another visa category at some point if they want to stay permanently.
    Alzthehero likes this.

  9. #9

    As in a fiancé visa? The stipulation on that is we must plan on getting married within 6 months once we enter the UK


  10. #10

    is there a technical name for that spousal visa with marriage?


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