So you want to move to the UK!

Online or long distance relationships are becoming ever more common but there are hurdles to the happily ever after life in the UK. While everyone would like to be able to just fly over and set up house with their special other, there are certain routes you must follow. This advisory hopes to make clear the main options for Americans to live legally in the UK with their loved one. If you have discussed marriage, then it may be that a fiancee visa(1) is the most appropriate route. However, if you have not yet physically met, you won't be able to do this, and will have to come to the UK on another route. If you want to visit, you can do so without the need for prior entry clearance, but be aware of the pitfalls.It is a reality that some are "bounced" when entering without entry clearance. Being prepared and honest are the two most important things to remember when going through immigration for a visit. This page offers some useful advice on what to expect and what information to have at If you have decided that you want to come to the UK to get to know each other before committing to marriage, but want to stay for more than six months or can't afford to be here without working, there are a number of options which may be available to you. You may find that you could apply for a work permit(2) or that you qualify for the HSMP (Highly Skilled Migrants Programme)(3). If those are not options, a student visa(4) or BUNAC(5) may be the way to go. Each option has it's restrictions and requirements, but if you are determined there will likely be a way for you both to be in the same country legally. Please note the only provision for a "trial" relationship is by utilizing the visitor programme. (1) Fiance Visa information: (2) Work Permit information: (3) HSMP information: (4) Student Visa information: (5) BUNAC information: Previous Comments: Fred Chumba wrote: Unfortunately you are providing potentially misleading information. To qualify under the highly skilled migrant program it is based on previous earnings, degree, and age. For example if you are a recent graduate with a JD (Juris Doctorate) law degree from the US under the age of 28 and earned $60,000 as an attorney then there is a chance you could qualify under the highly skilled. However if you hold a bachelors, 40, and earned 60,000 as an advertising executive then there is a good chance that you will not qualify. Work permits for jobs that are easily filled by Brits are quite unlikely to get support for a work permit. For to be considered for a work permit that interested individual should consult the Home Office website for the latest information. Unless the person is wealthy becoming a student in the UK is not an option. School in the UK is like the US you must attend an accredited program and the visa is only good while you are studying. Once you complete your program and no longer in school then the visa is no longer valid. If it is a person is trying to circumvent the laws regarding marriage by trying to enter another way it is quite possible that it might cause them problems once they try to apply for marriage. Marriage to a non-permanent resident by a UK citizen is quite restrictive and it may mean that they have to return to their country to apply for the marriage visa. The recommendations you provide may be detrimental to the person and especially if they are considering circumventing the laws regarding marriage. Hopefully you will visit the Home Office's website and update your information accordingly. 29 September 2007 at 09:38 PM Transpondia wrote: I would suggest reading the advisory again, Fred. At no point does the advisory recommend circumventing UK law, in fact it is helping people to understand the options so that they can follow the law. Your notion that the student programme is an option only for wealthy people is defied by the number of people in the forum on student visas who are of normal means. Similarly, your notions about the HSMP and work permits programmes have some truth to them, but do not contradict anything in our advisory. Was there a point you wanted to make? Finally, your conclusion that students, HSMP, and work permits are ways to circumvent UK law come from some place in your own imagination. They are not listed as such, and do not occur in "real life". Had you read the advisory carefully, you would observe that all the relevant links are given. I suggest reading it again... 05 December 2007 at 09:29 PM Christin wrote: I read the article and the what fred had to say. I already am confused about this sunject and it has made it all worse now. I spent hours on end looking for anwers and it's unbelievably difficult. I am f.e. german but have been living here now for over 12 years and got engaged to my man in the US. He wants to come over and work and start a fa,ily but we don't even know where to start looking. Workwise it sounds like it'll be hard to find any work and this is all confusing and I am getting stressed more from day to day because I don't know where to start. Maybe you got an idea or know someone else? I really would appreciate it. 10 November 2008 at 07:04 PM

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