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Marriage Visitor visa vs Family visa


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A friend has an interesting situation.

 

Just to paint a picture of the background - this is a British male and Thai transgender relationship of 3 years+. They have had a previous visit visa application declined (mainly) on lack of evidence supporting 'reasons to return'. Financial and accommodation Settlement criteria are easily met.

 

They intend to live together in the UK but, understandably, want to test the water on a 6 month visit.

 

Applying on the basis of registering their Civil Partnership (aka fiancee visa) would be the obvious route to take. However, there is every possibility that the reasons to return criteria might not be met.

 

My friend feels 'forced' into applying on a Settlement basis. The downside of this is cost - and also the risk that his partner may not settle to life in the UK.

 

It occurred to me that a reason to return would actually be to make the follow up Settlement application. On a practical basis the applicant is either going to return to Thailand because they don't like the UK - or, they love the UK and want to return to apply for Settlement.

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If it was me I wouldn't be taking on the hassle and expense of a settlement visa if the intention is just to test the water. Far easier to go for another visit visa and address the reasons why it was refused before.   

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Just to be clear as you mentioned marriage visit visa in the topic subject but not in the post:

 

1) A marriage visit visa is required for someone wishing to get married in the UK. It can't be changed into a settlement visa in the UK and the holder must leave the UK before it expires.

 

2) A fiance/fiancee visa is a UK settlement visa. It's valid for 6 months during which marriage must take place, otherwise the holder has to leave the UK. Once the marriage has taken place, the holder applies for further leave to remain. This adds an extra layer of application and expense.

 

3) A standard visitor visa is valid for up to 6 months. The holder cannot marry or register a civil partnership nor give notice of marriage or civil partnership, but can convert a civil partnership into a marriage:

 

https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa

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1 hour ago, TCA said:

Just to be clear as you mentioned marriage visit visa in the topic subject but not in the post:

 

1) A marriage visit visa is required for someone wishing to get married in the UK. It can't be changed into a settlement visa in the UK and the holder must leave the UK before it expires.

 

2) A fiance/fiancee visa is a UK settlement visa. It's valid for 6 months during which marriage must take place, otherwise the holder has to leave the UK. Once the marriage has taken place, the holder applies for further leave to remain. This adds an extra layer of application and expense.

 

3) A standard visitor visa is valid for up to 6 months. The holder cannot marry or register a civil partnership nor give notice of marriage or civil partnership, but can convert a civil partnership into a marriage:

 

https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa

 

Yes, thanks, I understand all that.

 

The options are family visa route (Settlement) where they register their civil partnership.within 6 months and then apply for FLR etc....or apply for the 6 month ‘fiancee’ Visa ......

 

The reasons to return is a real tough one......that is why the Settlement route was chosen. Whilst the costs for the Settlement application will have to paid at some time I think those costs,  versus the possible risk of the applicant not settling to UK life, are worth deferring.. IF the applicant can satisfy an ECO on reasons to return........... that is where the next stage of the steps to Settlement becomes important as a reason in itself to come back to Thailand

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45 minutes ago, Jip99 said:

The reasons to return is a real tough one......

Without knowing specifics, it shouldn't be any tougher than any other tourist visa application, but if the person can show no ties to Thailand then it doesn't leave many options.

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1 minute ago, TCA said:

Without knowing specifics, it shouldn't be any tougher than any other tourist visa application, but if the person can show no ties to Thailand then it doesn't leave many options.

 

 

Indeed.

 

That is why the sponsor favours the Settlement route where reasons to return obviously do not apply.

 

The relationship/financial/accommodation criteria are fairly easily satisfied and, at the end of the day (if all goes well ) a Settlement application will still have to be submitted.

 

The only risk is 'cold feet' by either party in those first 6 months.

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On ‎8‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 3:29 PM, Jip99 said:

The only risk is 'cold feet' by either party in those first 6 months.

 If they are not yet sure that a permanent relationship and life together in the UK is what they definitely want, then my advice is to wait until they are!

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, 7by7 said:

 If they are not yet sure that a permanent relationship and life together in the UK is what they definitely want, then my advice is to wait until they are!

 

 

 

 

Sound advice but life isn’t quite like that.

 

Being 10,000 km apart and seeing each other for 4 or 5 weeks a year is hardly the way to cement a relationship.

 

This is a classic for a 6 month visit visa but with significant issues regarding reasons to return that is not the sponsors chosen route. 

 

 

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