This thread should have an answer to virtually every question you may have relating to fiancee visas, spouse visas, ID cards, documents required, amended passports, procedures, application process, FLR and ILR etc etc..

Firstly: Regarding your application to extend your stay within UK by changing your Fiancee Visas into Spouse Visas and the subsequent introduction of ID cards and how it applies to you.

The aim of this first post is to inform everyone of the changes and new guidelines from the Home Office as at 25th Nov 2008 and how it affects everyone as at todays date 7th May 2009. These things have been discovered by information on Home Office and Filip Embassy websites and from experience etc. Here is a recap on a discussion under a different heading. This was the first posting that started the findings:

My wife a Filipina received a fiancee visa to Britain on Nov27 2008 just 2 days after the changes in UK. We are now married in Britain (a week ago) visa expires 27 May and she is now applying for a 2 year spouse visa. The Home office require her to fill out a FLR (M) form but ask for her title (Miss or Mrs)and her full name as appears in her passport. Her passport is her maiden name, but if she gives this information I think the new ID card will show her maiden name and as a Miss.

The Philippine embassy advise that she get the "amendment" page of her green passport amended to married name but I am unsure whether Home office will notice the amendment as they may not look at the amendments page of passport.

Subsequent Posts from me based on discoveries.

1) For your information, rules changed on Nov 25th 2008. The UK government are stealthily bringing in ID cards for everyone. On Nov 25th they started on those who wanted to extend their fiancee visas into spouse visas.

It seems as well as Passports being stamped with spouse visas they are now issuing ID cards also. The issue for discussion is will ID cards match the visa details and will the visa details match the name on the data page of passport?

My spouse and decided to ask Philippine Embassy to amend the amendment page of her green passport to show her married name

On the FLR(M) form we will put Mrs followed by married name and then write "see amendment page of passport" next to it. We will also write a covering letter explaining it all. We will be visiting Home Office so hopefully the Home Office will let us explain it also. If it is a problem hopefully they will advise us and correct the form themselves if we are wrong.

2) In reply to a question asked by someone I posted : “All depends on how much time you have. If you have say 2 months to spare before visa runs out it would be best to get a completely new passport from Fil Embassy. At present takes 4 to 6 weeks. If you do not have 6 weeks but you still have green passport you can amend passport with fil embassy - takes 2 to 3 working days.

In the meanwhile you can book a date at Home Office. Having a new passport removes all confusion because it has the marital name on the data page whereas amended passport has marital name on amended page which Home Office may not see. However, the Home Office website states to not book with Home Office more than a month in advance of your application because FLR forms tend to change quite regularly. They state that you should not book up appointment more than 30 days in advance of the latest print-out of the form. I have just printed out form “FLR(M) 042009” and this is ok although we are now in 052009“

3) Don’t trust what the recorded messages say. I booked up at Croydon on 15th May, whereas recorded message said no slots available at Croydon in May. When I phoned they said there were many slots still available in May. My experience is that you can only get through to the automated system if you call between 9am to 9.45am and best time I found was about 9.20am. I needed to contact them 3 times and always got through at that time but never succeeded after 10am

4) To update you all on my situation. Although our deadline for visa extension is only 27 May, it is not a problem.

Before I tell you what happened I just want to say that I thoroughly checked out Philippine Embassy website, Home Office Website and phoned both up to get as much info and advice as possible. I found Fil embassy very helpful but Home Office (although they try to be helpful) not helpful because they have to keep to guidelines on what they are allowed to say. Therefore because I cannot find answers to all my questions from those two sources I asked this website for answers based on others who have faced my situation. This website has been very helpful to piece everything together in my mind!. I now know what to do! Back to my story.......

We went to Fil Embassy yesterday to give notification of marriage and passport amendment. They saw us straight away without an appointment. As we had already filled out all our forms and photocopied everything they wanted we were in and out in less than 30 mins (including waiting time). We were told we could collect the amended passport today, but as we are now on honeymoon, will collect next wednesday. We have appointment with Home Office in Croydon 2 days later on friday.

Note that this will be updated as soon as further developments take place.

For all those reading this message it is important that all signatures (ie on FLR forms, ID cards, bank accounts etc are the same as in your passport. So if you obtain an amended passport with married name your signature will obviously still be in your maiden name so stick to your old signature on ALL documents. If you get a completely new passport in your married name enter your new signature on ALL documents. It is important to always be consistent with your signature on everything to avoid confusion with authorities.

A signature is normally just a squiggle in writing - most signatures are illegible therefore it does not matter if maiden or marital name. A signature is basically your unique stamp to prove it is you. The name is not the important thing in a signature (unless it is too obvious what the words say) as all authorities simply use it to check that you are the genuine person signing.

Hi friends. Just to update you on how things went at the Home office on friday.

We prepared our application thoroughly taking care to explain clearly on the forms and our covering letter what we wanted on our ID card etc.

We also put a sticky "posted" note on the first page of the passport asking them to look at the amended page of passport which showed married name. This was also explained in covering letter.

Ok, we were seen by various people but none of them wanted to look at covering letter. They did not want to ask questions but simply make decisions themselves based on what they saw in the passport. I noticed that one person was entering data onto the computer but was not looking at passport correctly so I felt it necessary to ask them to look at the amended page. She thanked me and then corrected what she had typed.

The last person who saw us was confused by the name on the computer because my wifes previous surname and maiden name were both appearing. I am glad he had asked because the ID would have shown her first name, old middle name and surname as double barrelled ie the old surname and new surname together.

They really are a pain in the neck if you don't watch what they are doing.

Anyway the good news is that my wife has been granted her extension and her ID card will be sent in a few days with the correct married name. I will keep you posted as to developments

Just to let you know that everything has worked out to plan. My wife has received her ID card. All the details are EXACTLY as we wanted. For those of you who are in the situation we were in, I strongly advise that you follow the guidelines above

Here is some further information based on conversations had.

Having gone through the whole process of helping my Fil wife apply for a fiancee visa from a Middle-East country and subsequently a successful FLR (M) application with resulting spouse visa and ID card, I think I can give good advice here to those still applying or confused by the British Embassy requirements. First, you cannot satisfy British Embassy that the two of you have a relationship unless you have proof that you have met. You need photos of the two of you together in Dubai. My wife got a Visit visa to UK first, so that we could get photographic evidence that we had met. We wrote letters to each other as evidence that the relationship was ongoing. We kept a Word document of all our yahoo Messenger chats etc etc.

If you already have photographic evidence of having met in Dubai I agree you do not need a visit visa to Britain. ee visa now. As fiancee visas run out after 6 months, your visa should not start until less than 6 months before your wedding as you also need time to apply for a spouse visa afterwards. It is correct that fiancee visas can take up to 3 to 4 months (all depending on how well you present your case) but we received ours after just 4 days without being given opportunity to state what date we wanted visa to commence from.

Also bear in mind that you need to be in Britain at least 1 month before you are allowed to marry anyway. It would be best to wait until you get your visa before making plans for your wedding. You can always change the date later. British Embassy just need to see evidence that you plan to get married ie a form from registry office will suffice

I advise that you apply for fiancee visa interview in September and do not travel to Britain until you receive the visa. If it takes 4 months you should change your wedding date once you arrive in Britain. If you get it quickly then all your plans may fit together. Regarding work. Best you do not commit to working in another country until you are married and receive your spouse visa after getting married as your application will probably be rejected as they may assume a marriage of convenience

The reason I state September is just in case you get visa immediately. You do not want it to expire before you get married. Unless you can change all your plans and go to Britain in say October and get married before January. Do not make firm commitments until you receive the visa

When it comes to evidence that you have met: the BE will not accept Internet evidence. They want to see proof that you have met face to face in person. In other words they need proof that you met in Dubai. Regarding sponsorship from your boyfriend: He will need to prove that he can support you without you becoming a burden to public funds. He also needs to prove that he has long-term accommodation you can stay at. His financial evidence could be savings statements showing how much he has to suppport you with and/or payslips to show he has a secure job.

The reason I state September rather than earlier is because you need 1 month before you can legally get married. Registry office will not book up wedding until fiancee has been at an address for at least 7 days and marriage cannot take place until a further 15 days has passed = total 22 days. Then you will need to apply for spouse visa afterwards so will need at least 2 months left of your 6 month visa when you arrive. Therefore you should not receive visa earlier than September = 4 months.

A visit visa is only necessary if you do not already have photographic evidence that you have met. If you have proof that you have met you do not need to visit first. You can apply immediately for fiancee visa and so save the cost of an unneccessary extra air fare

In reply to other topics but similar, my replies were:
At the end of the 2 years of your spouse visa (FLR) you will want to apply for ILR indefinite leave to remain (unlimited stay in Britain). At this time you will need to prove that the 2 of you have been living together consistently. The Home Office will want to know for sure that it isn't a marriage of convenience but a TRUE marriage. I would advise it is ok to visit home (Fil) for emergency reasons or for a brief holiday but best to go together. Basically always keep in mind that after 2 years you will be applying for indefinite stay so you need to build up your "portfolio" now. Best not to do anything (unless necessary and can be justified with evidence) wich might jeopardise your application in 2 years time.

You cannot apply for work permit until you are married. After you get married you will first need to apply for extension of your fiancee visa to a spouse visa = 2 years. Under spouse visa you will be allowed to work.

Therefore, once you are married on Jun 18th you can immediately start applying to the Home Office for spouse visa via their website. You will need to print-off the FLR (M) form and follow the instructions. However, best not to apply for FLR (2 years extension to your visa) until you have 1 month left on your 6 month fiancee visa. In the meantime (after your wedding) spend time getting your passport amended to married name.

My thorough investigation into Home Office and British Embassy website tells me (if I have understood them correctly) that they do not want you to apply for extension to your visa more than 1 month before expiry date - maybe that is the ILR - I will look again. If you did apply too early your application would be rejected. Note more clarity given by someone else in next post (immediately after this one).

Regarding question on Birth Certificates and other documents:

Hi. are you applying for fiancee visa to British Embassy to come to Britain? B Embassy are very clear on their website that your documents MUST be originals.

I can identify with your concern of giving away your original birth certificate. You are quite right to be concerned. What country are you in at the moment? My wife and I are experienced in her application for fiancee visa and spouse visa outside and inside Britain.

The advice given about giving a certified copy of birth certificate is true as I was also advised this by professional body. It all depends on what is easier and less expensive for you. You could get another original if you want, but it may be easier to actually visit British Embassy. However you WILL have to leave with them ALL your original documents - not just Birth certificate but originals of ALL the documents they ask for.

If you are applying for Fiancee visa outside Britain it takes up to 3 months to process so they will not give your documents back immediately. In our case (miraculously?) according to our prayers the fiancee visa was ready for collection just 4 days after she visited the BE. Best to hand in original documents (rather than mail) and collect later rather than them send through the post

When it came to spouse visa we presented all original documents by visitation choosing "premier" service. After being granted the visa all documents were given back to us immediately

I got this reply subsequently. They are correct! This is what they wrote:

Regarding ILR (not so for FLR) Website says: You must not send us your application more than 28 days before the end of your two-year qualifying period. If you do, we may refuse your application with no refund of the fee

you would apply for FLR(m) if you was on a spouse visa, if you was not physically in the UK 2 years (-up to 28 days) before your spouse visa expired, many people would never need to thou, especially now a spouse visa is valid for 27 months, not 24 months.

you would also apply for FLR is you could not pass the life in UK test before your visa expires.

from the FLR (m) guidence form ,,

You and any children under 18 applying with you should
apply before the end of your/their permitted stay in the UK

once your'e married then you can apply for FLR.

If the above does not solve your problem the following website probably will. Excellent website!!!

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