migrating to UK from USA.... anyone got any tips?

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liamt

Member
Hi guys,

i want my american GF to come and live with me in england. she is living in the USA at present and we are going to get together after our divorces etc. (and no tut tutting please, we are both in horrendous marriages we want out of!)

has anyone got any tips on this? how easy is it? i guess i need to be earning a certain amount? but IIRC its only something low like 18k and im well over that.

what other pitfalls might i see? tips?
 

mjn

Distinguished Member

spinaltap

Distinguished Member
Last year, my daughter's American house-mate had to relocate back home against her wishes because she wasn't (then) earning a minimum of £23k. I believe that minimum figure now exceeds £30+k.
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
I am not the person to ask, as I did this back in 2003-4 and am now filing for divorce from my wife who is a US national.

Are you planning to bring her back over on a fiancé once you both get divorced? It's expensive, and time consuming.
 

liamt

Member
Last year, my daughter's American house-mate had to relocate back home against her wishes because she wasn't (then) earning a minimum of £23k. I believe that minimum figure now exceeds £30+k.
ah, so even if she were my dependant i would need to earn over £30k? i earn exactly that. i need a pay rise lol
 

liamt

Member
I am not the person to ask, as I did this back in 2003-4 and am now filing for divorce from my wife who is a US national.

Are you planning to bring her back over on a fiancé once you both get divorced? It's expensive, and time consuming.
that was the plan. sorry yours didnt work out mate. we are still all in the planning stages etc. a long way to go yet. just checking out the feasibility at the moment.
 

ssbib

Distinguished Member
I am in the process of doing this for my wife now. She is in the Philippines and is coming to the UK in the next few months. It's a minefield but luckily I have a list of everything you would need to get and everything your wife would need to get. Want me to send it you in a PM?

And yeah financial requirements if £18,600 pretax if she has no dependent children. If she has children that amount goes up for each child.
 

liamt

Member
I am in the process of doing this for my wife now. She is in the Philippines and is coming to the UK in the next few months. It's a minefield but luckily I have a list of everything you would need to get and everything your wife would need to get. Want me to send it you in a PM?

And yeah financial requirements if £18,600 pretax if she has no dependent children. If she has children that amount goes up for each child.
yes please mate. please send.
she has one child. so we should be ok.
yes, seems to be a minefield but not every year does a stunning 22 year old fall for a 42 year old english dude! they do seem to like us brits! :)

how does this work with say the NHS? can they use our services or would we need to pay additional fees? does this change when married?

god this is all so complicated isnt it!?
 

ssbib

Distinguished Member
yes please mate. please send.
she has one child. so we should be ok.
yes, seems to be a minefield but not every year does a stunning 22 year old fall for a 42 year old english dude! they do seem to like us brits! :)

how does this work with say the NHS? can they use our services or would we need to pay additional fees? does this change when married?

god this is all so complicated isnt it!?
Cool, I'll send it in a few minutes. I think if you are going to bring her to the UK as your fiancé and get married here then the process is slightly different. I got married in the Philippines so we missed that step and then are going straight for the settlement visa. I think you get the fiancé visa first and then apply for settlement afterwards. I'll send you everything I know for the final settlement visa and I think you can just send a condensed version of that for the fiancé visa.

It is a complete minefield. Just as you start to get an understanding of what you need you can find more information that you missed or certain parts that are hidden. I have it all worked out now though so not to worry and I'm here if you have any questions.

She will have to pay a surcharge to the NHS, which you pay when you pay the settlement visa fee. You have to pay again in 2 and a half years when you go for further leave to remain also. The amount for this varies depending on the country she is from. Why this amount varies I don't know. My wife's is £600. Yours might be more or it might be less. I'm not too sure about her being her in a fiancé visa to be honest, she might need regular holiday insurance. The fiancé visa is essentially the same as a standard visit visa but allows you to get married also while here.
 

liamt

Member
Cool, I'll send it in a few minutes. I think if you are going to bring her to the UK as your fiancé and get married here then the process is slightly different. I got married in the Philippines so we missed that step and then are going straight for the settlement visa. I think you get the fiancé visa first and then apply for settlement afterwards. I'll send you everything I know for the final settlement visa and I think you can just send a condensed version of that for the fiancé visa.

It is a complete minefield. Just as you start to get an understanding of what you need you can find more information that you missed or certain parts that are hidden. I have it all worked out now though so not to worry and I'm here if you have any questions.

She will have to pay a surcharge to the NHS, which you pay when you pay the settlement visa fee. You have to pay again in 2 and a half years when you go for further leave to remain also. The amount for this varies depending on the country she is from. Why this amount varies I don't know. My wife's is £600. Yours might be more or it might be less. I'm not too sure about her being her in a fiancé visa to be honest, she might need regular holiday insurance. The fiancé visa is essentially the same as a standard visit visa but allows you to get married also while here.
many thanks again mate! much appreciated! i hope it all goes well for both of us!
 

liamt

Member
Have you met her?
haha. not yet, she is coming over for a week in the near future. im more just looking into stuff at the moment.
and yes, she isnt a man, she isnt a nigerian prince either lol.
but of course i need to make sure its all kosher obviously.
 

liamt

Member
I'm getting night terrors, and it's nearly midday.
haha. do not fear my friend. im not rushing into anything, just working out feasibility etc.
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
My suggestion is to meet her over there first, and her child (which adds a whole different set of emotional and logistical complications). See how you get on.

Been there, seen it, bought the t-shirt, paid for my divorce lawyer's next holiday.
 

qwerty321

Member
I have an old colleague that had a long distance relationship over several years with some visits by both sides. After that his now Wife took the Fiance visa route. It is slightly different now, IIRC the steps are:
- Fiance Visa (6 months)
- Spouse Visa (2-2.5 years)
- Extension (2-2.5 years)
- Indefinite Leave to Remain (10 years)

After a year or so of ILR, the person can apply for citizenship, dont have to wait the whole 10 years.

Things may have changed slightly but this is similar to what my Sister in Law is going through. Can't remember the latest fees and stuff but I'd say at least £5k over the whole process. May be more now due to NHS surcharges. Thankfully with my Wife, there were less steps.

If you are yet to meet her for the first time then a visitor visa might be the first step.
 

liamt

Member
My suggestion is to meet her over there first, and her child (which adds a whole different set of emotional and logistical complications). See how you get on.

Been there, seen it, bought the t-shirt, paid for my divorce lawyer's next holiday.
her and her friend want to visit london on holiday, and i will meet them.
 

ssbib

Distinguished Member
I have an old colleague that had a long distance relationship over several years with some visits by both sides. After that his now Wife took the Fiance visa route. It is slightly different now, IIRC the steps are:
- Fiance Visa (6 months)
- Spouse Visa (2-2.5 years)
- Extension (2-2.5 years)
- Indefinite Leave to Remain (10 years)

After a year or so of ILR, the person can apply for citizenship, dont have to wait the whole 10 years.

Things may have changed slightly but this is similar to what my Sister in Law is going through. Can't remember the latest fees and stuff but I'd say at least £5k over the whole process. May be more now due to NHS surcharges. Thankfully with my Wife, there were less steps.

If you are yet to meet her for the first time then a visitor visa might be the first step.
It's definitely an expensive process. I think your estimation of 5k for the 3 visas is spot on.
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
her and her friend want to visit london on holiday, and i will meet them.
Is the child's Father known, present, alive, incarcerated, active in the child's life? I assume you've considered all of these areas plus many more
 

liamt

Member
Is the child's Father known, present, alive, incarcerated, active in the child's life? I assume you've considered all of these areas plus many more
oh yes, its going to get messy i think. but hopefully will be worth it all!
 

qwerty321

Member
It's definitely an expensive process. I think your estimation of 5k for the 3 visas is spot on.
Checking the latest fees on the Home Office site (HERE), the fee for Indefinite Leave alone is just over £2,200. I think £7-8k is more of a realistic figure now. Absolutely ridiculous.
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
Have you really not met each other? I'm pretty sure you have interviews etc & you have to tell the story of how you met, fell in love etc so they can (try) ensure it's not a sham marriage etc
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
Personally I think you need to meet for considerably more than a short holiday. Communicating over the internet is all well and good but you don't have any idea what the warts and all parts of each others daily lives are.

Particularly when there's a child involved. You're not just marrying someone you barely know, you're becoming a father to a child who may resent you and make your new marriage an absolute hell*.


* Also been there, seen it, bought T-shirt, ripped T-shirt up, swore to never buy another T-shirt and tried hard not to string said child up with ripped T-shirt. So glad we never made it to the altar.
 

liamt

Member
Have you really not met each other? I'm pretty sure you have interviews etc & you have to tell the story of how you met, fell in love etc so they can (try) ensure it's not a sham marriage etc
not yet, im probably jumping the gun, i just want to find out how easy it all is. still a long way to go but i like to be prepared.
 
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