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Going back to UK with S.African wife and daughter

Here's where to discuss the practicalities and issues involved in moving back to the UK.

Going back to UK with S.African wife and daughter

Postby Dogmatix » Mon 20 Dec 2010 16:51 GMT

Hi There,

Hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

I'm UK born. I moved to South Africa end of 1995 with my parents.
15 years later, I still don't have permanent residence and working on work visas

I now want to move back to the UK with my South African Spouse and our two month old daughter.

I've read quite a few posts on this forum but most are outdated (2008) and contradictory.

Considering there is now a child involved what is the process and implications involved in returning to the UK with my foreign national wife?
My daughter will be travelling to the UK on her British Passport.

There are conflicting stories about the requirement for my Spouse to apply for a Spousal visa before entering the UK, others say enter on temporary residence permits and enlist the help a lawyer once there, etc. etc.
Anyone know the correct procedure?
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Postby Dave » Mon 20 Dec 2010 17:29 GMT

This is the info from the horse's mouth:

UK Border Agency: Spouses: internal guidance

On the face of it, it looks as if the process should be straightforward in your case, given that you and your wife have a daughter - and, if you married in South Africa or any other Commonwealth country, that should also simplify matters a little. (Marriages solemnised in Commonwealth countries are accepted as valid under UK law - Kay and I were married in Bangladesh, and we were told by my colleagues in the Consular section that legally the Consul couldn't marry us; we had to marry under Bangladeshi law.)

From what I've read, and without knowing anything more of your circumstances than you've told us already, I'd say that you'd be better off applying for your visa before setting off for the UK rather than trying to get in by an "easier" route and subsequently trying to change your wife's status - any hint of subterfuge rings alarm bells with immigration officials, who would far rather deal with honest statements of circumstance. (I'm sure there must be large numbers of applicants each year who shoot themselves in the foot by lying in their applications when there's no need to.)

But I hasten to add that I've never worked in immigration, know no more about current rules than is publicly available and make no claim to give an authoritative response here.

ideally there'd be a simple straightforward guidance on how to apply for the various possible types of visa on the High Commission website, but I don't know whether there is - presumably not, otherwise I'm sure you'd have found it already.

Best of luck, anyway. :-)
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