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christiano27
26-09-2012, 14:58
I'm not sure if this is in the right place so moderators, please move it to the correct place if necessary!

I was wondering if someone could help me out a bit please?

I want to bring my girlfriend over from here to England over Christmas maybe for two or three weeks, visa allowing. What kind of visa do we need to apply for and what do we need to do in order to receive it (on both ends, we are both in Moscow and I guess my family will also have to do something in England?)?

She is from Moscow, lived here all her life and has only travelled to Moldova before. We have been together for 7 months and currently live together. Her level of English isn't great but it's improving all the time and it's of no great concern as I speak Russian. We will be staying at my family home.

What kind of factors are likely to go against us, if any?

I would be grateful if someone with experience could point me in the right direction to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Thanks in advance,

Chris

RichardB
26-09-2012, 15:08
Go for either a private visa or a tourist one (book a hotel, show the embassy the booking confirmation then cancel it once you have the visa).

The UKBA will look to see if your girlfriend has a reason NOT to return to Russia so if she has family or property in Moscow then you 'shouldnt' have any problems.

Tony P
26-09-2012, 16:16
I am not sure of the categories of UK Visas but I often do Invitation Letters in support of Russian friends' UK Visa aplications.

In those letters I confirm -
- their name, DoB and Passport Number
- length of time I have known them and relationship (friend, relative of Partner, etc)
- that they will be staying as my guest at my UK address (as printed letterhead)
- the anticipated dates and length of first stay, adding future visits may be envisaged (to hopefully get a longer visa for possible future use)
- that I will assume responsibility for any costs incurred while in UK that are not met by the Applicant
- inviting telephone contact if there is any query or further information required from me.

All truthfull and verifiable, but I have never received any confirmatory enquiry.

Basically, as Richard says, at the Visa Application stage they look for compelling reasons for the Applicant to return to Russia - job, family, property, etc.

At the point of arrival in UK, the Border Agency people often ask where they are staying etc. I doubt they have the information to check against but suspect they are looking for confidence that the person and visit is for proper purposes rather than disappearing more long term into the population.

christiano27
27-09-2012, 11:26
Thanks for the replies guys, really helpful!

I think I'll do that, Tony. Do you think it's better for me to do the letter or my Mum in England as we'll be staying at her house. Or even both?

I am about half way through the application form now but have become stumped at the part about finances. My girlfriend doesn't work at the moment and even if she was to, she wouldn't be registered as working anyway, as I'm sure you know is often the case here.

This means that I will be supporting her 100%.

Will this have a negative impact on the application?

Also, how much money would be 'required' to support us both for a whole month taking into account the fact we'll be staying at my Mum's as well?

She has her Mother and Grandmother here and also owns half of the family flat so I guess that should be enough to prove a reason to return to Russia.

Would it be better for me to write out on the form that she has her own cash and that I will be part-funding her?

Cheers again,

Chris

Tony P
27-09-2012, 12:09
Open honesty is always the best policy, in my book.

A letter from your Mother along the lines I suggested and another from you would be a good idea.

In yours I would state your relationship, that you work/live here and want to take gf home to UK for your Christmas holiday break and will both be returning here, you for your job and her for her family commitments and owned flat.

Offer to provide documentation in support and also, if possible, proof of her own funds in Russia (bank statement sort thing). She may have to do that anyway.


NOTE: One thing I forgot in my original post - I also included a photocopy of my own Passport personal details page for verification purposes.

christiano27
27-09-2012, 13:05
Yeah, I agree.

I have said this all along to her when she has suggested bending the truth. I will be 100% honest, there is no question of that.

Hmm, we may have a problem though, she doesn't have a bank account....

Is it absolutely necessary?

Tony P
27-09-2012, 13:14
Hmm, we may have a problem though, she doesn't have a bank account....

Is it absolutely necessary?

I have no idea. I doubt it - but they may ask to see means of support for the trip. They must be aware of the Russian tradition of keeping a sock under the bed !

I suggest you complete the forms and documents and go to VFS and talk to them.
Doing it the other way round, in London they only accept the Application and payment if they (the counter clerk) are reasonably happy you have it all OK. But that does not guarantee the Consulate who actually process it will see it the same way.

andymackem
27-09-2012, 14:12
If it helps, PM me an email address and I'll send you a template of the supporting letter I used when my GF came to the UK with me. Obviously not all the circumstances will match, but we had no problems with that application.

We didn't have a letter from my parents, and I don't think we'd booked flights until we knew she had the visa, but I don't remember now. It was a while ago.