UK Fiancee Visa Application - The Proper Approach
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A UK fiancee visa is the entry clearance applied for by an applicant from the Philippines who wants to celebrate his or her marriage with the British sponsor in the UK.
Thus, after several months of courting and intimate chats over the internet, if the Filipina girlfriend finally says yes to her British boyfriend's marriage proposal, her dream of a grand wedding in the UK will at last become a reality.
But now what? How do you start applying for a UK fiancee visa? Unfortunately, it's not that simple to file for a UK fiancee visa application in the Philippines.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
According to ECO-Friendly, the first thing which an applicant must prepare, when applying for a UK fiancee visa in the Philippines, is the list of supporting documents which he or she must gather and submit to the VFS-UK Philippines together with the accomplished application form.
Aside from the usual supporting documents listed in the UKBA website like pictures of the applicant together with the UK sponsor, or the booking acknowledgment issued by the appropriate UK office, ECO-Friendly explains that the applicant must also think of other proof that will strengthen the allegation of the impending marriage.
Although the UKBA website provides a list of some of the supporting documents which an applicant for a UK fiancee visa must submit, it is by no means a comprehensive or an all-encompassing list. As stated in the previous "ECO-friendly" pages, the list of supporting documents to be submitted varies for each and every UK fiancee visa applicant and it is up to the latter to determine the documentary evidence which he or she thinks would help in obtaining a favorable result from the ECO.
PROOF OF IMPENDING MARRIAGE IN THE UK - The Booking Acknowledgment
There are several documentary evidence which applicants for a UK Fiancee Visa can file in order to prove that their intention to marry in the UK is genuine.
Based on ECO-Friendly's experience, the best proof is a UK document showing that that the impending marriage is already scheduled and will be celebrated within the country. This official document is referred to as the Booking Acknowledgment. It is issued by a UK Register Office or any other establishment accredited under UK laws to hold wedding ceremonies.
To obtain this document, the British fiancee must proceed to his local Register Office and inform its Superintendent Registrar of the wedding plan and arrangements. Under the general rule, the planned wedding can only be filed with the Register Office after the couple planning to get married files a Notice of Intent to Marry, "IN PERSON," with the said office. It is therefore compulsory for the Filipina fiancee to be present in the UK before she and her fiancee can file for the Notice of Intent to Marry.
ECO-Friendly, however, explains that in the case of the Filipina fiancee who is still in the Philippines applying for the UK Fiancee visa, the British sponsor/fiancee is allowed to obtain an advance provisional booking by himself on the condition that the "formal notice" will be submitted to the Superintendent Registrar as soon as the parties are legally able to do so. It is thus very important that once the Filipina fiancee enters the UK, the notice of intent to marry is processed and applied for immediately, in order for the marriage to take place within the six months mandated period.
REQUIREMENTS WHICH THE UK FIANCEE VISA APPLICANT MUST POSSESS
Under the UKBA website, the Filipina applicant must possess the following qualifications in order to be eligible for the UK Fiancee Visa applied for:
- That the applicant for the UK Fiancee Visa and the British sponsor plan to marry in the UK within a period of at least six (6) months upon the applicant's entry to the UK
- That the applicant for the UK Fiancee Visa and the British sponsor intend to live together permanently in the UK after the celebration of their wedding
- That the applicant for the UK Fiancee Visa and the British sponsor have actually met in person prior to the filing of the application (internet meeting not considered as personal meeting as contemplated by the rules)
- That prior to the marriage of the applicant and the British sponsor, the former has sufficient accommodation within the UK, without obtaining any assistance from public funds
- That upon the celebration of the marriage between the applicant and the British sponsor, there is adequate accommodation for the now married couple, as well as sufficient funds for their everyday needs without assistance from the public funds
ECO-Friendly would like to emphasize that the foregoing requirements are the primary qualifications which the applicant must possess in order to be eligible for the UK Fiancee Visa. It is therefore up to the applicant to establish his or her eligibility by presenting the documentary evidence to support this allegation.
Since the list of supporting documents provided under the UKBA website is not applicable to each and every applicant (as explained in the ECO-Friendly Blog page dated 08 June 2011), said applicant must determine by themselves, which particular set of evidentiary documents he or she must submit in order to corroborate all the allegations in the application, in effect establishing his or her eligibility for the UK Fiancee Visa.
Under the UKBA website, the following are the supporting documents required to be submitted, and which must be used by the applicant as basis for the papers which should be filed with the application:
- Completed visa application form
- Valid present passport as well as old/expired passports
- Colored passport photo, in accordance with the specification of the VFS-UK
- Evidence of applicant's marital status
- Evidence of compliance with the English language requirement
- Applicant's bank statements
- Tax returns
- Business Bank Account Statements
- Evidence of other income
- Details of prospective accommodation in the UK before and after the celebration of the marriage
- Evidence of British sponsor's current employment and other means of livelihood or income
- Evidence of Immigration status of the British sponsor
- Evidence of applicant's relationship with the British fiancee
Again, ECO-Friendly would like to strongly emphasized that full compliance with these documentary evidence is not an automatic guarantee that the application for the UK Fiancee Visa will be approved, and it is still up to the ECO to approve or refuse the application.
A truthful and honest application supported by a comprehensive list of supporting documents which fully explains every allegation or declaration stated in the petition is therefore the key to a successful petition.
As we say at ECO-Friendly, "A SATISFIED E.C.O. WILL DEFINITELY ISSUE A FRIENDLY AND FAVORABLE DECISION."
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Please do not hesitate to call, text or email ECO-Friendly for any queries you may have pertaining to your application for a UK fiancee visa.