UK Visa Application Advice - UK & Japanese citizens
June 11, 2008 10:24 AM   Subscribe

I am a British citizen, my fiance is Japanese. We are getting married in Japan in August. Immediately after the wedding, we are planning on going to the UK Visa Application Centre in Osaka to apply for a spouse visa to allow my (by then) wife to re-enter the UK and work. I will then return to the UK towards the end of August and she plans to return in September (once the visa has been approved). Can anyone who has been through or knows about this process offer any advice, experiences or opinions?

Specifically, we want to know:

- How realistic are the time-scales for processing (they estimate between 1 & 3 months - is it more likely to be 1 month or 3?)
- How easy is it to book an appointment at the Visa Centre?
- How busy does the centre get? (Can we just turn up without an appointment?)
- What sort of documentation is it best to take? (evidence of genuineness of relationship etc.?)

Many thanks in advance
posted by mairuzu to Law & Government (3 answers total)
My wife is a UK citizen, we did this in the US. The application is straightforward, especially if you are obviously a young married couple and there is no reason to suspect the marriage is fraudulent or that you will need to be supported by the welfare state. However, you should make sure you submit documents as per the guidance on the UK immigration websites.

Japanese Embassy has little information on these details. Looks like in Japan they use an intermediary to verify the application, that site's FAQ is here.

Here is the guidance from the home office for your type of visa application. Put together as much of the documents listed there as possible.

The home office telephone helplines in the UK have decent answer times, especially off-peak. Don't ask if you can record their advice, though. They will hang up on you if you do.
posted by yoz420 at 11:37 AM on June 11, 2008

Best answer: I`ve done this in Osaka too. We had been living together for four years whilst married and had a baby so there wasn`t much grey area in the application. It took my wife less than 3 days after the appointment to receive confirmation by email that the visa would be processed positively.

You can apply online here or print out the documents. I recommend applying online. But print out the (17 page!) form so you have a reference and an idea of what they will ask you.

I think you want this form but you`ll have to check regarding your circumstances. You have to prove you have enough finances and that you can support yourselves. You also need proof that you have a place to live as well as proof of relationship such as photos and ideally proof that you have lived together. If you have enough documents, 1 month is enough to apply. The whole list of required documents can be found on part 8 of the linked pdf above.

For us this meant me going back to the UK for 2 months alone looking for work and then for a place to live.

It is easy to make an appointment at the centre but they are really strict. If you go just to ask questions you better be prepared - she can only go in by herself and they check your bag before you go in. My wife went to the visa centre first and asked questions. They directed her to the online application page above. When we had all the required documents and she had finished the application they gave her an appointment.

I waited in the coffee shop next to it for 2 hours whilst they went through her application. Don`t have the ice coffee it`s horrible. It was all worth it in the end though, we`re going back together on the 22nd June.
posted by quaisi at 6:06 AM on June 12, 2008

Oh and it`s costs 500 quid. And it only lasts for 2 years. Yay England.
posted by quaisi at 6:08 AM on June 12, 2008

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