U.K. National bringing U.S. partner to UK
July 31, 2016 5:37 AM   Subscribe

Have been trying to understand the intricacies of bringing my SO to live in the UK. I'm UK born with dual UK/USA citizenship. She's from the US. We both currently live in the US but would like to move to the UK.

I believe the situation for EU citizens going into the UK with a US partner is different to that of UK nationals wanting to do the same thing. Would love to believe itthat making it work doesn't involve the requirement of making improbable amounts of money in the UK but alas I fear this is so. We've only been together 18 months just now, so we have a bit of a wait, I think, (for the purpose of demonstrating that we are genuinely a couple) before we can act. That's fine.
posted by aesop to Law & Government (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Have you looked through the UK Visa and Immigration website? That's both the official government word on what is required and the place where you make the actual application, so theoretically they should have everything you need. You do need to make a specific amount of money, requirements are listed here. If you still have questions maybe you can come back and clarify?

And yeah, it is easier if you're an EU citizen instead of a UK one, for now at least, but it seems that's not relevant for you anyway.
posted by shelleycat at 7:07 AM on July 31, 2016

Would love to believe that making it work doesn't involve the requirement of making improbable amounts of money in the UK

It's £18,600 which is not an improbable amount of money.

We've only been together 18 months just now, so we have a bit of a wait

You need to have been living together for 2 years. You can be engaged instead but then you have to marry within 6 months and your SO cannot work.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:54 AM on July 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm a UK citizen who married an American, who now lives with me in the UK and has naturalised as a UK citizen herself. We went through the process from 2007 to 2011.

The whole process (spousal/unmarried partner visa, FLR, ILR, citizenship, passport, don't worry you'll learn all the acronyms) took several years and filling in a lot of forms. It's completely possible without a lawyer or vast amounts of money (think low thousands). But it is invasive, unpleasant, boring and quite limiting (we had to cancel more than one holiday due to our documents being stuck in Home Office backlogs). There's also the current Tory government who have changed the requirements for salaries etc markedly (especially for non-EU migrants) and generally made things even more difficult than they were before.

The single best resource I've found is the forums at UK Yankee, which are full of people going through the same process, people who work in or directly with the system and loads of American expats who can advise on culture shock, taxes, healthcare, adjusting socially and a whole raft of other things. Highly recommended. Ping me a MeMail if you have any specific questions, although as above our experience is at least five years out of date now.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:39 PM on July 31, 2016 [2 favorites]

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