melanielemony replied to your photo “IT’S OFFICIAL!!! See you very soon missusfeatherbottom,…”
Fairplay to the UK thats a very quick turnaround for a visa!
Disclaimer: this rant is not directed at you or your comment. Just a venting of my frustration with the UK immigration system in…
That was quite interesting to be fair, especially considering our immigration is a hot topic in the news again right now. Methinks if we shortened visa application times and costs, people would be less inclined to be here illegally.
Out of curiosity, have you looked into US visas? I know for my sisters working holiday in the states she needed to attended an interview in the US embassy in London as well as be sponsored by her employer in the states. And again she was without her passport for several months after the interview, not knowing if she was given the visa till it was returned to her in the post a few weeks before she was due to travel. Seems a bit much compared to your form and finger prints for a (I’m assuming) study visa. I know they’re different types.
Either way, considering the UK and US are supposed to be ‘friends’ its all quite intense. Did you have to apply for a visa to come here when you visited Owain last?
I have pretty limited experience with US visas, and most of it has to do with special categories for undocumented migrants who are victims of crime or spouses of US citizens who end up being abused by their US spouses.
However, I do know that US visas do actually take a hell of a lot longer, and have no priority option. Not sure of the cost. I think a US spouse visa takes 8-10 months, and you are likely without your passport during that time as well, though I am not positive about that. It may depend on where/how your application is made, since I know there are special procedures for US/UK couples who are currently in the UK. Essentially both countries suck for immigration. I think its why so many people resort to being undocumented. The cost burdens and other requirement are onerous and sometimes unjustified. People are desperate to be with their families or get out of their situations and they just weigh their options and decided that the undocumented route is what they’ve got to do. I’d guess that plenty more people would comply with the law if it weren’t so difficult to deal with.
The US is even gracious enough to usually force you to have a medical exam before you’re admitted into the country. So that’s pleasant.
I really can’t speak to US student visas versus work visas at all. I don’t really know anything about them or what is required to get them. I’m assuming sponsorship at the very least. To be fair, once you get sponsorship for those types in the UK, its pretty easy from their since the sponsor does a lot of the leg work. However, for UK work visas, qualifying just to get sponsorship is extremely difficult. There is a minimum income amount for the job (£35k, i think), and your sponsor has to show that they’ve done something called a resident labour market test. This means that they have to prove to the UK that they is no one in the whole of the EU who suits the job, and that’s why they have to hire you. That resident labour market test is sometimes waived in very narrow circumstances though, like if your job is on the shortage list or if you have graduated from a UK uni and are still in the UK and get a job offer.
As to the “special relationship” between US and UK, there is something called the visa waiver program for UK citizens visiting the US. And I think you’ve had experience with that before. US citizens are issued 6 month visitor visas at the border when entering the UK if they haven’t got a visa beforehand. That visa forbids working, receiving public funds, and getting free NHS while you’re there. They have also been known to turn Americans away at the border if they think you’re planing to stay too long and you don’t have enough motivation to not overstay the visa. I got the side eye when I came in the country in October when I was only going to be there for 5 days, but then wasn’t looked at twice when I entered in December for 3 weeks. It really depends on the person looking at your stuff. They really really like to see that you’ve booked a return flight if you’re trying to get a visitor visa stamp at the border. It gives them assurance that you are planing to leave.
I did have a Tier 4 student visa, which is the same one I’ve just been issued, back in 2012 when I was there from August to November.
So we’re nice enough to let you in but for us to go to the US we still need to preapply and pay for that pleasure. :p I did get a shock some 2 years after my last trip to the states, by being emailed that my visa waiver was about to expire…I never imagined it would last two years, thought it was pretty much over when my plane left the tarmac at JFK!
I think the US does have the most difficult visa process. But I guess as a result of 9/11…two of my three trips were pre 9/11 and no visa or preregistration required. After then and voila visa waiver, and thats for a friend nation! I don’t know what would happen if I turned up in the US without a new visa waiver. I can’t imagine its fun.
I definitely think the UK needs to sort its visa process out, after reading your post. Not only for friendlies but those with genuine need to be here. Of course we have the added stress of free borders across the EU but thats a different kettle of fish really. I had a friend from California who got sent home after living in Cardiff for several years. Never claimed benefits or job seekers, paid her rent and taxes etc on time. She just struggled to find a job (in the recession, of course!) Kicked her out cus of a tiny clinical error that was the immigration offices’ fault, not hers. Again, thats how we treat our friends, eh!
Yep. It’s pretty much crap from both sides of the pond. The US does have some weird and invasive requirements (the medical exam), but other than that I believe the requirements themselves, at least for spousal visas are much much easier. (other requirements, I have no idea about)
2 years ago the UK introduced a new law that said that inorder to bring over a spouse, the British citizen had to be earning at least £18.6k per year. There is no third party support allowed to supplement this, and the income of the non-EEA spouse does not count if they are applying from outside the UK. Additionally, although you are allowed to make up the shortfall in by showing savings, the amount you need is 16k+ 2.5xthe amount you’re short. So that means that someone earning 18.5k peryear would have to have 16.3k in savings. to make up for a £100 quid shortfall. Like it wouldn’t even count for anything if your parents just gave you the extra hundred quid every year. You’d get your visa denied and be indefinitely separated from your partner. Also, that salary amount is far higher than full time on minimum wage and 45% of British citizens would not be able to meet it. There is literally nothing you can do to get yourself out of that situation if you can’t meet the requirement.
Thankfully so long as the non-EEA spouse is already in the UK with permission to work, their pay can be counted too.
As for the American financial requirement, we require you to make around $19k per year to sponsor a spouse and we allow pledges of support from third parties. That’s equivalent to about £11k, which you’d be able to meet on full time minimum wage pay in the UK. So basically, it would be super easy for Owain to move here if that’s what we wanted, since as a (nearly) qualified lawyer there is literally no way that I would be paid any less than that provided I found a job as a lawyer. Plus, even if something did happen, my parents could just pledge that they’d support us and we’d be fine. Unfortunately, living here is really not a feasible thing for me, as without being able to drive, i am basically at the mercy of my parents and our shitty public transport to have any sort of independence. Our closest bus that I would not be genuinely frightened to ride is at least 4 miles away, and its a mile and a half from the front door of my house to reach anything that isnt a forest or other houses.
People are up in arms over the UK requirement, and rightly so, since it ONLY applies to UK citizens with non-EEA spouses. Obviously a UK citizen with an EU spouse would not be a problem. The real kicker is that an non-UK EU citizen living in the UK could bring in their non-EEA partner without having to meet the financial requirement. Yep. Purely discriminatory against their own citizens. Until a UK citizen leaves the UK and exercises treaty rights, he is under UK domestic law, meanwhile, the EU citizen from some other country gets to reap the benefits of being an EU citizen. So, there is a loophole known as the Surrinder Singh route, wherein a UK citizen and their non-EEA partner move to somewhere else in the EU based on EU law (usually somewhere in Ireland due to language issues) and live and work there for a few months. Then, upon reentry to the UK, the UK citizen now gets the benefit of their EU citizenship and can actually live with their spouse.
To sum it up, both countries are shit in a lot of ways, but they are different ways of being shit.
At least there is that loophole. ireland is quite nice or it’ll be good for second language skills!
I would love to know where the UK government gets this idea of what people earn. £18.5k a year….theoretically myself and owain and polly and all the other graduates from 2011 should be earning that by now. Theoretically. As a solicitor you shouldn’t have a problem earning that though.