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Tim10
04-05-2012, 06:44
Iím from the UK (British) and my girlfriend is from Moscow (Russian). We are considering all the options of relocating to be together including the possibility of her relocating and living in the UK with me. We are therefore considering our options for marriage. After the marriage we would like to apply for a spouse visa to allow my then wife to live with me in the UK for 2 years before applying for indefinite leave to remain, but despite extensive research into all our options, we have yet to decide whether it would be better for us to get married in the UK, in Russia, or elsewhere.

To get married in the UK or even to give notice of a marriage would only be allowed if my girlfriend has either a 6 month fiancť visa, where we must marry before the expiry of the visa then change this to a 2 year spouse visa, or a visa for a visitor for marriage, which would mean my girlfriend must return to Russia after the wedding then apply for the spouse visa from within Russia. I donít like the idea of her having to return to Russia for a lengthy period after the marriage so the fiancť visa looks much better although it is very expensive to change into a spouse visa (currently £826) on top of the £826 for the fiancť visa to start with. Well worth it if it means we can be together with the least hassle, but very expensive if there are other options.

The second option is getting married in Russia. There are no visa restrictions for my visa, I can get married on any Russian visa, but I would need to get a certificate of no impediment and have this and my passport translated and apostillised, then we need to register the wedding in Russia, wait a month, then get married, which would mean 2 trips to Russia for me. However on the British Embassy site it states ďTo complete a Notice of Marriage applicants must reside in the consular district where the notice of the proposed marriage is to be given at least 21 clear days before giving notice. If a British National has a residency permit, issued by the local authorities then he does not need to physically remain in the consular district for the required period. If he does not hold a residency permit then he must be physically present for the full 21 days after his last arrival in Russia.Ē Does this mean I would need to stay in Russia for 21 days before registering for our wedding then wait for another 30 days (in Russia or between 2 trips to Russia?) before the wedding? This would be impossible as I would not be able to take this amount of time off work, I can only take two weeks off at a time. Or have I mis-interpreted the situation? Getting married in Russia would negate the need for a fiancť visa in the UK, we could go straight for a spouse visa. The disadvantage of this would be we wouldnít have lived together first.

Our third option would be to marry in another country, probably my least favourite option and one I havenít researched fully as Iíd rather have our wedding in the UK or Russia if we can do this without too much hassle.

Wherever we decide to get married, we would like to have a ceremony in the other country for our relatives there. What could be our options for this as I donít think we would be allowed to have two official weddings?

Quite a long post, but I hope someone can advise me, maybe with their own experiences, on what the advantages and pitfalls of each location for our wedding.

Thank you.

Tim

sashadidi
04-05-2012, 11:13
We avoided a month waits by finding a "friendly" doctor that for US$100 (from memory)wrote a letter that my wife to be was pregnant (not but we are in a hurry, family pressure etc!!!) and this allowed us to get married in Zags (Ryazan) in 3 days upon presenting the paper he wrote, not sure if it is possible where you are but may be worth checking and may save you some time if time is a problem. Make sure your translation of letter of non impediment has the same spelling of your surname as in your Russian Visa (russian language) otherwise they say no!!!! (IN ZAGS)
Hope this helps and good luck, a wedding in russia is still way cheaper than the same one in the west.

BabyFirefly
04-05-2012, 12:24
I found getting married in Russia to be almost too easy. I have a medical condition and I needed it done quicker, and I just went there, asked for an earlier wedding date, and they didn't even look for my doctor's letter.

DavidB
04-05-2012, 13:01
Have you looked into the process of getting the visa? Friends of mine recently emigrated to the UK and found that their wedding certificate was practically worthless. They said the visa officers were more interested in proof of living together, shared holidays, bills in join names, photos of the wedding/holidays, correspondence etc.

In terms of getting married in Russia, I think your fiancee can book a wedding date without you being there. She will need a copy of your passport and may need to get it translated into Russian.

peppermintpaddy
04-05-2012, 14:44
What about bringing your girl in on a tourist visa to the UK ,and then marrying her.Is that an option?
There have been so many bogus marriages ,its practically an industry.As long as you can prove yours is a bona fide relationship,wouldn't that be ok?
Have you looked into that possibility?

yakspeare
04-05-2012, 15:38
Marrying someone who is on a tourist visa is viewed in poor light by UK authrities...it is possible but requires a change in status and is suspect from the start...it basically shows you aren't being honest from the get go and there is a good chance for refusal(the same applies in the US too.)

I have been engaged to more Russians than I can count, so some perspective is always helpful. I chased one Russian girl for 6 years, only for it to end in disappointment...the rules about proof of a relationship seem harsh but are there for a reason. The first thing I would do is start right now(if you haven't done already) a real paper trail. Phone logs, emails to each other, photos together, accumulate as much stuff as possibel ,even if it seems over the top. In terms of immigration to the UK(where you have a job and support) is to do the fiance visa route. If your goal is to be togther , regardless of country and you really feel that Russia is the answer, then get married in Russia-possibly moving to Russia even before this time. Get a job here and then marriage, temporary residency and permanent residency would be considerably easier.

Another option you ought to explore, and I know a few expats who have done this, is get married in Cyprus. The documentation and speed is much easier there.

It is important you tread carefully, I am pretty sure the UK and Australian systems are similar, in that it is easier to bring a fiance on a fiance visa into the UK than it is a wife(strange but seems to be the case.) Thus for living in the UK, the fiance visa is best. I had to research this for some friends of mine where one lived in the US and the other lived in the UK, but the UK government websites are full of information.

Tim10
04-05-2012, 16:15
Thanks for all the replies so far.

We donít have any legitimate reasons (such as medical) for bringing the wedding date forward apart from I canít get more than 2 weeks off work at a time. Paying a doctor to say my girlfriend is pregnant or similar could be an option if weíre really stuck, but I want to try and keep it as above board as possible, if possible, to avoid any possibility of anything going wrong further down the track.

Getting married in the UK on a tourist visa isnít an option Iím willing to consider as itís not officially allowed and I donít want to jeopardize anything that might come after such as applying for the spouse visa.

Iím collecting as much ďproofĒ as I can that our relationship is genuine. I have photos and videos of our time together, proof of travel (my passport stamps and confirmation e-mails from airlines) as well as our e-mail, Skype and telephone correspondence. Iím finding telephone correspondence a challenge because T-Mobile say they donít keep records because Iím on an unlimited tariff and my calls to Russia come through a UK based access number, but Iím working on it. We donít have anything like bills in joint names yet because we havenít lived together, but obviously plan to after the wedding or if she comes to the UK on a fiancť visa.

So going for the fiancť visa and marrying in the UK might make things easier for us when applying for a spouse visa. In what way, or is it just the way things are?

Iím planning quite a bit ahead here as my girlfriend wonít consider moving over here until she graduates from Uni which isnít until next February. Then I want her to come here for a holiday first as sheís never visited the UK. Weíve met 5 times in Russia over the last year and plan to meet in the Ukraine next month.

Thanks again for all the help.

Tim

yakspeare
04-05-2012, 17:19
just bear in mind that she might have some trouble coming for a holiday on a tourist visa as this isn't actually wat she is doing-she is coming to see you. there is a chance of refusal, plus the general chance of refusal if you don't mention the relationship. bad both ways...in this situation I am unclear, I know under the Australian system the best bet would be for her to go to the country on holiday with a fiance visa, which allows infinite number of visits during the time of the visa to come and go....this adds to the paper trail. but you will have to check with the UK websites to see if it is the same.. Otherwise you are going tohave to probably sponsor her visit or similar and give all kinds of guarantees.

Matt24
04-05-2012, 17:48
Thanks for all the replies so far.

We donít have any legitimate reasons (such as medical) for bringing the wedding date forward apart from I canít get more than 2 weeks off work at a time. Paying a doctor to say my girlfriend is pregnant or similar could be an option if weíre really stuck, but I want to try and keep it as above board as possible, if possible, to avoid any possibility of anything going wrong further down the track.

Getting married in the UK on a tourist visa isnít an option Iím willing to consider as itís not officially allowed and I donít want to jeopardize anything that might come after such as applying for the spouse visa.

Iím collecting as much ďproofĒ as I can that our relationship is genuine. I have photos and videos of our time together, proof of travel (my passport stamps and confirmation e-mails from airlines) as well as our e-mail, Skype and telephone correspondence. Iím finding telephone correspondence a challenge because T-Mobile say they donít keep records because Iím on an unlimited tariff and my calls to Russia come through a UK based access number, but Iím working on it. We donít have anything like bills in joint names yet because we havenít lived together, but obviously plan to after the wedding or if she comes to the UK on a fiancť visa.

So going for the fiancť visa and marrying in the UK might make things easier for us when applying for a spouse visa. In what way, or is it just the way things are?

Iím planning quite a bit ahead here as my girlfriend wonít consider moving over here until she graduates from Uni which isnít until next February. Then I want her to come here for a holiday first as sheís never visited the UK. Weíve met 5 times in Russia over the last year and plan to meet in the Ukraine next month.

Thanks again for all the help.

Tim

2 years ago, I admit,To gain a letter of non - 'something' the thing you need from the embassy to marry a Russian in Russia, you need to have been in Russia at the date of application for 21 consecutive days, thereafter the notice is posted for 21 days - during which you can go where you want, but you can't apply at Zags before said letter is issued, and it needs to be issued to you, you also have to have an interview with the British Counsel before the notice is posted - so bank on 21 days in country plus whatever the waiting period is to meet with the Counsel seems to bugger your chances of getting married in Russia given your limited leave time.

There will be long term negative effects on your future wife's ability to gain access to the UK even when she is married to a Britain if she doesn't state that she's coming to the UK to marry and then get's married - my CFO at a former employer did a gretna green quickie, (i think they were also somehow tricky with the truth in getting the marriage license issued) with his Russian girlfriend of several years and 10 years later they still have a terrible time with the Auths and issuing visas, nobody gave a pooh about it not being a sham marriage and in fact the whole being able to prove it was a long term and stable relationship further angered the Auths that they had clearly lied on the arrival statement.

Tim10
04-05-2012, 20:14
I had my last tourist visa for Russia refused for the same reason last month. Iíve had 5 of them in the last 12 months (April 11, July 11, September 11, December 11 and February 12 all without question), and I applied for another one to go again in June. I decided it was best to tell the truth (bad thing?) when the Russian Embassy queried my purpose of visit. I was told that I must apply for a private visa from now on which is a real pain as my girlfriend now has to apply for the invite on my behalf which will take at least a month versus a few hours it usually took me to get an invite for a tourist visa! So we had to change our plans for June because there wasnít enough time to get it organised, weíre going to meet in the Ukraine instead where we both donít need a visa and my girlfriend can go on just her internal passport. Weíre planning to get a private visa arranged for September but my biggest worry now is that I will have to answer yes to the question on the application form ďHave you ever been refused a visa?Ē Would this likely cause me any problems?

Anyway, back on topic, it has been suggested to me that my girlfriend may be better visiting me for a holiday on a tourist visa, saying only that she is coming for a holiday and not mentioning me at all. Iím told there are places that could ďarrangeĒ this for her for a modest fee. Or I could sponsor her to come as a general visitor to visit friends and family and keep it all above board. I hadnít thought of her coming for a holiday on a fiancť visa, I think the main disadvantage of this would be that they only last for 6 months, if she comes over for a 2 week holiday, decides she likes it and wants to move here, it could take quite a chunk out of the 6 months if she has to return to Russia and organise the move. Even if we could extend this or get a new one if it runs over 6 months it would work out very expensive! I donít think they would let us have 2 fiancť visas if this happens?

So for the holiday we have the choice of the tourist visa and say nothing, the general visa with everything above board (but probably more hassle to get?) or the fiancť visa that we can only have once for 6 months. It seems the more I look into all this the more red tape I find, itís a real mine field!

Itís the 21 consecutive days in Russia before we can give notice of the marriage that would make marrying in Russia impossible, if that is the case? I can get a certificate of no impediment from my local registry office and have it translated and apostillised along with my passport. This certificate would then be valid for 90 days, so it still would give us a fairly limited window. I didnít know that I would have to have an interview with the British Counsel or would this just be if I was going to get the certificate of no impediment from within Russia, which Iím not planning on doing?

I think the most important thing to consider is the long term effects of where we decide to get married. If marrying anywhere else other than the UK will cause us more problems further down the line then I think it would be best to do this. If marrying in Russia wonít cause us any additional hassle in the years to come then we will consider this. Neither of us have any particular strong feelings on where we should marry, the most important consideration is the option that will be easiest for us in the long term.

Tim

DavidB
04-05-2012, 21:06
plan to meet in the Ukraine next month.

It's a bad idea. Next month there will be football in Ukraine, so you won't get a hotel or you'll pay 5 times the usual rate (literally). Even if you're staying with friends, you'll be surrounded by clueless tourists who don't speak Russian.

I think the reason your tourist visa was cancelled may have been because you bought an invitation over the internet rather than getting it for free from a hotel or tour operator. The legality of that scheme is a grey area. Business visas, on the other hand, are not a problem and you can get a 12-month multiple entry one with little effort.

It's probably a better idea for your fiancee to visit the UK a few times before you make plans. Most people first either study there or go on a temporary work assignment, or something like that. So they know what it's like before they decide to live there. Maybe she will hate it.

BabyFirefly
04-05-2012, 21:08
Yes, Tim, I agree with David, better to get a business visa and do avoid Ukraine next month!

Matt24
04-05-2012, 21:42
Itís the 21 consecutive days in Russia before we can give notice of the marriage that would make marrying in Russia impossible, if that is the case? I can get a certificate of no impediment from my local registry office and have it translated and apostillised along with my passport. This certificate would then be valid for 90 days, so it still would give us a fairly limited window. I didnít know that I would have to have an interview with the British Counsel or would this just be if I was going to get the certificate of no impediment from within Russia, which Iím not planning on doing?

Tim
You should really look at the embassy site, and follow the links, there is, as far as I remember, a treaty that RF & UK are signatories to, that allows bodies to certify their citizens status, as far as being free to marry for Brits the body the Russians recognise is the Embassy - there are plenty of people willing to sell you translations and notarisations, but they might not work in zags. I'm not trying to piss on your parade, it's just if there was a different way of doing it, it would be all over the brit community here in the big onion.

Completely serious, however mad it might sound - Las Vegas? Perfectly legal in both jurisdictions - minimal residence requirements

Tim10
04-05-2012, 22:15
No problems with staying in The Ukraine. Everything is already booked and prices are very reasonable. Most of our time will be spent in Yalta in the Crimea, a long way from any football, and at £23 a night for a decent hotel (although not quite in the centre, but thatís all right) I canít complain. Iíve paid 3-4 times that for hotels in other places. I have heard about price hikes for hotels in certain places so I made sure we avoided anywhere near any of the games.

I am keen to get my girlfriend to come here for a holiday, get a feel for the place and meet my family, and she wants to come too, but with her university commitments and to a lesser extent work commitments this probably wonít be possible until after her graduation in February. Iíve suggested next Easter, which is our rough plan at the moment. So itís still quite a long way off, but I want to plan well in advance and make sure all bases are covered. I think with these things itís vital that I get everything right first time!

Iím open to all suggestions regarding the marriage and its location. The text I quoted about the 21 consecutive days was from the Moscow British Embassy site. I havenít heard about the treaty you mention but Iím still researching so will have another look later. If we decide to go down this route Iíd make sure that everything we did from translations to the ceremony itself was all done correctly. At this stage Iím just trying to gauge opinions, get advice, hear about other peopleís experiences, good or bad, and find out if the research Iíve done so far is correct. Itís all been very helpful so far.

Thanks again for everyoneís input.

Tim

yakspeare
05-05-2012, 00:32
If marriage is the aim then don't go the tourist visa option, you don't get the paper trail or it will be dubious....paper trail is everything if you want marriage in the UK.

How's your job? you seem to be stressed about time off and other things-are you a big earner? (rhetorical) if you are and can easily support her, bite the bullet and do it right in the UK....fiance visa i still think is best...since you intend to marry and I assume its very serious then one holiday visit nowish and married in 3-4 months is quite reasonable. Otherwise you may not be ready to take the plunge.

If your job in the UK ain't great, ditch it and come here. If you are highly qualifed you can get a 3 year visa and life is a breeze...if you ain't come as an English teacher, it's dead easy, pays crap but you will survive and be with your girl, pick up some extra private students, get married, get residency, tell the school to fark off and pull in a nice income working for yourself...

Tim10
05-05-2012, 03:32
I think I need to think very carefully about our visa options for when my girlfriend comes for a holiday. I think a fiancť visa would only be worth the risk if our wedding is imminent at the time of her visit next year. The last thing I want is to put her under any pressure to hurry things along, especially if she needs to decide if the UK is for her. I appreciate the paper trail is important, so if we donít go for a fiancť visa for the first visit then maybe the general visitor visa for visiting friends and family would be a better option than a tourist visa?

Iím by no means a big earner but earn enough to support us. Hopefully my girlfriend will find work after the marriage.

My job here is secure, but Iím not highly qualified and canít speak Russian. It seems that itís virtually impossible for me to find employment in Russia because the only jobs I can find where Russian isnít a requirement demand qualifications and/or experience that I donít have. Iíve tried Head Hunter and numerous agencies. The only exception Iíve found so far is teaching but as you say it is very poorly paid and I have no teaching experience or qualifications. There are a few places which do teaching scholarships which could be an option, although I really donít know if Iím cut out to be a teacher so it would be a huge riskÖ

One of my biggest fears with living in Russia is getting stranded out there, if the money is poor I may not be able to afford to visit the UK to see my family, especially if we start our own family, and returning to the UK could be impossible for us as I wouldnít have a job on returning here so no means of support, if we decide in a few years we want to move back here.

Tim

peppermintpaddy
05-05-2012, 03:49
I think I need to think very carefully about our visa options for when my girlfriend comes for a holiday. I think a fiancť visa would only be worth the risk if our wedding is imminent at the time of her visit next year. The last thing I want is to put her under any pressure to hurry things along, especially if she needs to decide if the UK is for her. I appreciate the paper trail is important, so if we donít go for a fiancť visa for the first visit then maybe the general visitor visa for visiting friends and family would be a better option than a tourist visa?

Iím by no means a big earner but earn enough to support us. Hopefully my girlfriend will find work after the marriage.

My job here is secure, but Iím not highly qualified and canít speak Russian. It seems that itís virtually impossible for me to find employment in Russia because the only jobs I can find where Russian isnít a requirement demand qualifications and/or experience that I donít have. Iíve tried Head Hunter and numerous agencies. The only exception Iíve found so far is teaching but as you say it is very poorly paid and I have no teaching experience or qualifications. There are a few places which do teaching scholarships which could be an option, although I really donít know if Iím cut out to be a teacher so it would be a huge riskÖ

One of my biggest fears with living in Russia is getting stranded out there, if the money is poor I may not be able to afford to visit the UK to see my family, especially if we start our own family, and returning to the UK could be impossible for us as I wouldnít have a job on returning here so no means of support, if we decide in a few years we want to move back here.

Tim

Very wise Tim re the fiance visa.You have to be 100% sure you are going ahead with the wedding before you play that card.Its probably a card you can only play once (with the same woman)
Maybe the better long term plan is the UK.You know the system here,you have a job,so its a good idea to hold onto that in these precarious times.Maybe you could investigate the job opportunities available for your future wife in the UK.Just a thought,best of luck mate.

Dolgoprudny Neil
05-05-2012, 08:02
I'm pretty sure that the 21 days thing (and the consular interview) are if you want to obtain the certificate of no impediment in Russia. You can obtain it in the UK instead - I did and I did not have to follow the 21 days/interview, although this was over 3 years ago (feels somewhat longer!)

Also, avoid the tourist visa marriage in UK plan, for the reasons others have given. Not worth getting the hassle.

yakspeare
05-05-2012, 08:29
Just to leave the option open, so you understand you do have this option-teaching doesn't require any qualifications, just a native speaker of English. There are short curse you can do hat increase your chances marginally but they do make you a beter teacher(the best is called CELTA)-but even without it you are highly employable.

Is your girl in Moscow? Typical teaching salaries 30-40000 roubles a month for the standard "Mcschools"(franchise schools) with usually shared accomodation r you pay extra to rent your own(expensive). You can pick up some private students and charge between 1500-3000 roubles an hour(which is an impressive hourly rate even for the UK)....when you have enough privates and you have the temporary residency permit after marriage, you can ditch the school and make between 100,000 and 200,000 a month on your own (3333 to 6666 dollars)- which isn't bad money. I don't live in Moscow and I make an amount between these, just working nights with my days usually free. This is enough to support a wife(assuming she doesn't work) in Moscow.

So keep it in mind, but I think the Uk is a better place to raise a family IMHO. But it's up to you. But if the UK is too much drama, there are jobs you can do here.

Tim10
05-05-2012, 10:10
I think it will pay to play things safe but also to do things right. I think the biggest danger is if there are any delays, for any reason, between my girlfriendís first holiday and the wedding particularly as she will be returning to Russia afterwards.

My girlfriend has a decent education and is in the final stages of an English diploma so Iím sure there will be opportunities for her here, hopefully as a translator or interpreter. Itís still on my to do list regarding research. Iím sure she will find something thatís all right.

My teaching options are quite limited due to my lack of teaching qualifications but there are places that will train, but itís getting one of these places and if I will be able to do it if I do! The starting salary was only around 20,000 Rubles a month raising to 26,000 so very poor, our combined salary would be less than what I earn on my own in the UK!

Itís still an option though especially if I can eventually teach privately. But in the long run I think our standard of living will be higher in the UK.

Tim

Hans.KK
05-05-2012, 16:18
My girlfriend has a decent education and is in the final stages of an English diploma so Iím sure there will be opportunities for her here, hopefully as a translator or interpreter.Better check if she need additional education to work like that in the UK.
Russian educations/qualifications is not allways recognized directly "as is", often you need some ekstra on top to be qualified.


My teaching options are quite limited due to my lack of teaching qualifications but there are places that will train, but itís getting one of these places and if I will be able to do it if I do! The starting salary was only around 20,000 Rubles a month raising to 26,000 so very poor, our combined salary would be less than what I earn on my own in the UK!Well I can tell that my salary in my native country was/is 10 times as high as I can get here in Russia on russian conditions (if I could get at job), so I am not here because of the salary. And BTW, if you do not speak a usefull russian you have no chances to fit in on the russian working marked, sorry.
It is important to fully understand the orders and instructions that are given, if you are making any failure/errors there are literally only you to pay, and some had had to work for free for days/weeks/months ......
That is why teaching is a easy chooise, there are rarely economic consequences if something goes wrong, in other professions, things are a little more gritty.
If you work as an expat or in a foreign company which has included their home country's working conditions then things are better, but there is a long distance between them.


Itís still an option though especially if I can eventually teach privately. But in the long run I think our standard of living will be higher in the UK.I think you are right.

Tim10
05-05-2012, 22:27
My girlfriend has expressed an interest in continuing with her studies in the UK, this would probably be part time evening courses while working during the day, just as sheís doing in Russia right now. I really need to research her employment situation next.

Money isnít everything I agree but itís important to earn a sufficient amount to live comfortably. Iíve decided that I donít want to live in accommodation with shared/poor facilities and I donít want to be worried about putting meals on the table and buying clothing, especially if there are any children in years to come. Iím not on big money in the UK, but we will have enough not to worry about such things even if my girlfriend isnít working.

Iíve been told that it will be ďalmost impossibleĒ to find a job in Russia given I canít speak Russian and donít have relevant qualifications or experience for jobs where Russian isnít necessary. I might get that 1 in 100 lucky break, but chances are it wonít happen. I think teaching really is the only chance to make this work, but itís something I wouldnít have considered under any other circumstances. Trying to control a class full of teenagers would be my worst nightmare, smaller groups and adult learners would be more my thing. I once sat in on a lesson my girlfriend was giving to 2 private pupils which I quite enjoyed, but that was my one and only experience of teaching!

So itís a very scary thought for me, I donít know what would happen if I wasnít cut out to be a good teacher. Maybe Iíll take to it, or maybe Iíll hate it after the first day, I just donít knowÖ

I hope my girlfriend will be able to find a suitable job here. She could maybe consider taking a position temporarily while she studies, even if this was on minimum wage she would still be earning double what she earns now in Russia.

Tim

peppermintpaddy
06-05-2012, 00:18
Tim,you havent said where in the uk you are.If you are in one of the big cities,your gf could always try to get a job teaching English to foreigners.I know a Polish girl who works teaching foreign schoolchildren English.
Maybe she could work as a translator in the court system or the Border Control Agency.
London has many possibilities for Russian Language speakers,including tour guides.Maybe that was helpul-I hope so. Good luck to you both -PP

Tim10
06-05-2012, 06:55
I live and work in Chesterfield. I can’t imagine there’s a great deal round here although I’ve not looked yet, but it’s within easy reach of Sheffield, Derby and Nottingham where there may be better opportunities. The other thing is in this day and age of technology there may be opportunities that are remote or partly remote based, and maybe she could travel for individual assignments slightly further afield. I saw a news report a few months ago about the NHS employing interpreters, they interviewed a Slovakian girl who did this. My girlfriend has worked as a teacher of both English and music so there could also be opportunities here.

I’ve not researched this nearly as much as the immigration system yet though as we only really started discussing the whole thing about a month ago.

Tim

jasone65
06-05-2012, 08:19
I married my wife in Russia 5 years ago. It was very easy and alot less hassle than trying to do it in the UK. I did think prior to our marriage it would be nice for my wife to visit me in the UK first. We applied for every visa and they were all refused. The only reason was my wife not having a job and her own accommodation. All the refusals stated lack of evidence she intends to return to Russia. My evidence of our relationship ment nothing. As I said, this was some 5 years ago,but im sure it still has some form of relevance now. My gut feeling is if your girlfriend has no job and own apartment, i.e. no reason to return to Russia, her visa application will be refused. I hope I am wrong though. If you apply for a fiance visa, you need to have booked the wedding within the specified timeframe. We married in Russia and then applied for the spouse visa which was granted very quickly without the interviews as long as your support documents are all in order.
If you decide to marry in Russia, I can PM you a company who can help you with all the documents required, if you need it. I have no connection with them. They did mine and used to do my visa's.

Tim10
06-05-2012, 13:58
My girlfriend does have a job in Russia, and the flat she lives in is owned by her Father. If we decide to eventually relocate to the UK clearly she will have to leave her job in Russia, but it will be up to her Father what to do with the flat. I have heard that we may come into problems because she technically doesn’t own property herself, although she is officially registered as living in this flat and has stamps in her internal passport to prove it.

So for the holiday really I would like to avoid the fiancť visa if possible (but it’s still an option), so the other 2 options are for me to sponsor her to come over as a general visitor for visiting friends and family, keep things all above board and have the all important paper trail, or a third option is for her to come over on a tourist visa. No paper trail (as I understand?) but there is a “visa man” recommended to me by a friend who could organise all the paperwork for a small fee. Apparently this visa man recommends not saying anything about any relationships, just that the visit is for a holiday. I think all that’s needed in the UK is a hotel booking which could be cancelled if we don’t need it. I don’t know anything more about him at this stage. I’m a bit dubious about the last option but would consider it if it were the only way to get her here. It's not clear yet wether visa man could help my girlfriend with the paperwork if we decide on the General Visa for visiting friends and family option.

But on the other hand I don’t want to risk causing us any additional grief when we are applying for fiancť and/or spouse visas further down the line, would using visa man (especially for a tourist visa) likely cause this?

We want to consider all options before making a decision, everything from a holiday in the UK to where we will have the wedding and on what visas, so any information on what companies can help us would be much appreciated, thanks!

Tim

jasone65
06-05-2012, 17:44
The fact that she has a job in Russia is a good plus. It shows a certain amount of need to return if required. She has roots here. She will need to demonstrate this job with her support documents if possible. Regular payments into her bank account, maybe a letter from her employer.

Tim10
07-05-2012, 00:42
Itís good my girlfriend has a job to go back to and Iím sure that will help with her visa application, I think she is paid twice a month so there should be plenty of payments into her bank. Iím just a bit concerned that she doesnít own the property herself. But saying that many thousands of tourists from outside the EU must visit the UK every year, surely all those donít own property in order to get a visa?

It does still concern me about visas being refused, and itís the fiancť and/or spouse visa I really donít want to make a hash of. A relative of one of my colleagues at work is trying to bring her boyfriend/husband (not sure which) over from Egypt. His visa was refused due to lack of evidence of their relationship despite them speaking regularly on Skype and submitting the logs. I donít know the ins and outs of this particular situation, if Skype transcripts were the only things they had or if there was more evidence that got disregarded, but itís making me ever more paranoid about keeping everything. Some of the earlier hotel bills have been thrown away so I canít get those back, likewise airline receipts for earlier trips. Iíll keep absolutely everything from now on!

Tim

Ildy
07-05-2012, 09:58
Why don't you combine the honeymoon with the wedding? I know you said you wouldn't want it, but why? That is probably still the most simple option. We got married in Mauritius and if you haven't been married before, all you have to do is to sign a paper there that you are not married. That's it! After that you probably have to have your marriage registered in the UK, but that's usually quite simple.
Good luck!

peppermintpaddy
07-05-2012, 13:17
Why don't you combine the honeymoon with the wedding? I know you said you wouldn't want it, but why? That is probably still the most simple option. We got married in Mauritius and if you haven't been married before, all you have to do is to sign a paper there that you are not married. That's it! After that you probably have to have your marriage registered in the UK, but that's usually quite simple.
Good luck!

So,is your husband Russian Ildy?.......AND...you haven't had your marriage registered in the uk yet?

Ildy
07-05-2012, 17:48
So,is your husband Russian Ildy?.......AND...you haven't had your marriage registered in the uk yet?

Non, none of us is Russian or English, but had no issues registering the wedding in any of our home countries...

peppermintpaddy
07-05-2012, 20:21
Why don't you combine the honeymoon with the wedding? I know you said you wouldn't want it, but why? That is probably still the most simple option. We got married in Mauritius and if you haven't been married before, all you have to do is to sign a paper there that you are not married. That's it! After that you probably have to have your marriage registered in the UK, but that's usually quite simple.
Good luck!


Non, none of us is Russian or English, but had no issues registering the wedding in any of our home countries...

How do you know that it's usually quite simple registering in the UK?

I thought you were speaking from experience.

Tim10
08-05-2012, 02:56
Two reasons really, firstly we would like to invite our relatives (then have a ceremony in the other country for the other relatives) and secondly Iím still not sure if marrying elsewhere will cause us any further problems. Itís still an option though.

Tim

Draenog
19-05-2012, 02:02
Hi Tim, Hi everyone, I want to thank you all for the information you are all offerring regarding marriage. I am heartened to a certain extent because I have my TEFL qualification and am taking my CELTA qualification too soon.
I'm hoping to find work in Yekaterinburgh or Chelyabinsk as a native English teacher and then offically meet and marry my Russian girlfriend. Then fark the School off and build a private student base.

So in some respects I am, as a lower intermediate Russian speaker in a good position. My girlfriend owns her own apartment also and works full time.

But I want to ask, is it more advisable for me to go as a worker with a school first and meet my girlfriend 'later'

or is it better to marry my girlfriend in Russia and then get my temporary residence visa and start working for myself then?

Also, suppose I marry my girlfriend in Russia, get my TRP and PRP and am married for 10 years, will UK recognise the relationship then?

Aminmoscow
13-06-2012, 17:06
I hate to be cynical, but...

You would likely be much better off getting married in Russia than in the UK.

That is, if you are a man an concerned about the aftermath of a divorce. Just thinking ahead.

If you are a girl, well then it's just the opposite.

Take care and cover your ass(ets) well. ;)

penka
13-06-2012, 18:55
I hate to be cynical, but...

You would likely be much better off getting married in Russia than in the UK.

That is, if you are a man an concerned about the aftermath of a divorce. Just thinking ahead.

If you are a girl, well then it's just the opposite.

Take care and cover your ass(ets) well. ;)

Amin, I'm not sure what you are talking about. One can always sign a prenup. Even in Russia.

Also, the Russian legislation, to my knowledge prescribes both parties' assets to be divided 50-50 in the case of divorce, apart from those that had been acquired prior to marriage.

If the Russian citizen were to marry outside of RF, one would require a marriage certificate, translated, with an apostil stamp (notarie publicus) and a stamp of the Russian embassy in the country of marriage which should be legalized in Russia (embassies are usually recommending authorized translators). Then, it's just to rush with the docs and 100USD bill to the local authority here to put the stamp into the domestic pass.

alexomsk
04-07-2012, 01:38
Hi Tim,

I'm in the same boat (-ish). Just returned to the UK after spending 10 years living in working in Russia. I would now like to settle in the UK with my Russian girlfriend of 3 years - she's from Omsk.

I think that if you plan to settle in the UK long-term, then the fiancee visa is the way to go. It's pricy but legit and so less likely to get refused. You'll have to prove relationship (I have 3 years worth of photos, emails and visa stamps - but you should be able to put together enough "ammunition" yourself!). Your girlfriend could stay in the UK for up to 6 months on the fiancee visa. I also heard this visa can be extended/renewed if you need more time to make up your minds.

I didn't know the Russian person had to RETURN TO RUSSIA to apply for indefinite leave to remain (2 yr settlement) following the marriage - seems like unnecessary added hassle. However, this could work in your favour. Get the fiancee visa first, get the g/f over for a couple of months - if she likes it, you tie the knot...then she flies back to Russia to apply for the settlement visa (1-1.5 months) and you go out to visit her for 2 weeks. That will give you a chance to celebrate with her family in Russia...but your marriage certificate will be English (looks better if you plan to settle here). After 2 years in the UK, you can get your wife permanent leave to remain...providing all goes well with the marriage.

Alternatively, if you can see yourself living and working in Russian long-term, then get married there instead. It will be cheaper - docs and the marriage itself. Once you're married to a Russian, you can apply for a residence permit, which will basically mean no more visa hassle. I think you're wrong about teaching being poorly paid in Russia (especially in Msk)...if you work minimal hours for a private school in exchange for a visa and some $, then freelance the rest of the time - we're talking 70-80 pounds per 1.5 hr class in Msk. I've seen jobs babysitting oligarch kids for 800 quid a week! Msk is expensive though - got to weigh everything up. I actually make less now working in the UK than I did teaching in Siberia! I'd say 24 grand English a year in Msk is easily possible...if you're a good teacher, stick your neck out a bit, and aren't prepared to bend over for the private schools. I'd also say you should learn Russian if you want to settle there - definite plus.

alexomsk
04-07-2012, 01:58
Your info about the Russian person having to return to Russia after marrying in the UK is not necessarily true. Read this from the official ukba site:

>Can you 'switch' if you are already in the UK?
>You may be allowed to switch into the category of husband, wife or civil partner if:

>you are currently in the UK with permission as a fiance(e) or proposed civil partner, or as the husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried/same-sex partner of a relevant points-based >system migrant, and you are still with the same husband, wife or partner;

Applying for settlement using the FLR(M) = 561 quid (standard app by post)
Premium 1-day service (attend in person) = 867 quid

Conclusion: possible to stay in the UK after marriage and exchange the fiancee visa for 2 yr indefinite leave to remain (settlement). No need for wifey to return to Russia unless she's missing the vodka, herring...or Kerzhakov's shooting!)) :11513:

Taty25
22-07-2012, 16:39
Marrying in Russia would be way easier, and you don't even need to pay a doctor to speed things up. Just tell the ZAGS official you have a return ticket and need to get back because of work.