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PGCE Bursary used for UK spouse Visa?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Ryanj1991, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. Ryanj1991

    Ryanj1991 New commenter

    Hi :)

    I was wondering if there is anyone here who has used/attempted to use their PGCE bursary (26k) to get their non-EU spouse into the UK on a spouse visa?

    Local MP won't help or offer advice.
    Home Office won't help or offer advice.
    Citizens Advice won't help or offer advice.

    The wording of the financial requirements is rather vague. I don't think I can bring my wife in on the bursary alone, but was thinking about when I start my job. I then have the bursary income + my actual salary.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Ryan :)
  2. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    My experience is from too long ago am afraid as things have become very much more difficult since then!
    The HO is a complete waste of space. Every time I finally got through (to Croyden I think) I got different answers - that's if I actually got to speak to someone proficient in English!) I got more help and correct advice phoning the British Embassy in the US. Have you tried your union? I was lucky enough to speak personally to an Australian lady when I rang who had personal experience and who was very helpful.
    My daughter has most recently been through all this on applying for the spouse visa for her US husband. She wasn't employed when she applied as she has ongoing health issues and was on ESA at the time. As soon as he landed her ESA finished and their finances rely on him being employed and I think he needs to be earning at least £18K+ for when the review comes up in 2 1/2 years. Unlike my husband.... we could apply for Indefinite leave to stay after 2 years - that is now increased to 5 years. Better start saving too for the fees increase with predictable regularity and just what they are supposed to be for I have no idea ! As I understand it my son in law has to pay a contribution for NHS care. (no health tourism here then ! )
    When I can speak to her I will ask her is she has any helpful info. to add.
    Ryanj1991 likes this.
  3. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Ryanj1991 likes this.
  4. towncryer

    towncryer Lead commenter

    Some very helpful information on this website:


    It might be worth asking a visa lawyer to advise you on the financial side....you would have to pay a bit but it might save a ton of money later,
    Ryanj1991 likes this.
  5. Ryanj1991

    Ryanj1991 New commenter

    HO - yeah already dealt with them. Premium rate number at £1.37 a minute to be told that they do not offer advice for personal matters. I'm unsure how 'Can a teacher training bursary be used as evidence of income?' is personal? What a waste of time and money.

    I could try phoning the British Embassy abroad, they may help? That is something I will try.

    I don't mind paying for the NHS surcharge - that is totally understandable, but the charge for the application is rather extreme. I don't know how they can justify that. The immigration lawyer I have been in contact with told me that it is a multi-million pound industry. I liked how she used the word 'industry' haha.

    Any further hidden details on the application would be greatly appreciated. :)
  6. Ryanj1991

    Ryanj1991 New commenter

    I messaged my university today to see if they can advice any further on this. I have also asked if they can word my 'bursary' as a 'grant' to be on the safe side. I will see what their response is.

    I was hoping to go down the route where I can provide evidence that in the 12 months before the application I had an income of over £18,600 and that my future earnings at my school will also be above £18,600. That seems the safest time to apply. If not, I'll have to wait until 6 months after I start teaching. :(
  7. Ryanj1991

    Ryanj1991 New commenter

    I've been in contact with quite a number. The Home Office charges callers £1.37 a min to tell them that they cannot help and that you need to go to a lawyer. They then give you a list of HO approved lawyers or something like that.

    Even they are unsure on the matter as the ruling isn't clear. I can see their point of view. They don't want to advise me on something for the application to be rejected.
  8. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    The financial requirement is both vague and cryptically written either deliberately to get people to give up, or just because standards are so low within the civil service.

    The hard truth is you can only relax re the FR if you have 62,500 GBP in the bank AND it has remained untouched for 6 months. Anything else will be checked and triple checked and even simple things like sending internet banking statements can lead to rejection.

    I would suspect your bursary won't be accepted (not that I know) as you are sponsoring your spouse and doing so on the basis (I presume) of public funds? That is a massive no-no.

    Savings and income can be combined to hit the FR limit above but it is an impossible formula to work out and worj with.

    You cannot get help or advice from the HO but there is lots online and many lawyers do allow one free question as yours online.

    I did help friends in Asia when there and will see if I can find the notes and helpful sites for you. Don't give up or get over stressed but be prepared for some of the most inhumane and unprofessional treatment you could ever think possible.

    And that it will take time and split you apart for many months.
  9. Ryanj1991

    Ryanj1991 New commenter

    One mistake and the application is rejected and they keep £1,700 in application fees. Like the lawyer said... it is a multi-million pound industry. Speaks volumes really.

    Safest option is wait until I''ve been in a job for 6 months and can supply them with all of my payslips etc. I'm sure they'll still try and find something wrong with the application.

    I was just wondering if anyone has done it before, or if knows of anyone who has done it?
  10. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    I did help about 10 or so Asian friends throughout the last years. They all ended up working backsides off and borrowing money so they could use the savings route,three of them were denied due to payslip discrepancies and so went this route.

    IF you can go down the savings route there is no need whatsoever to use a lawyer or solicitor. They will be taking thousands of pounds extra in essence just to check the forms you will need to fill in yourself anyhow.

    What you need to be very careful of is deadlines. For example, you will need a stamped and certified bank statement (on their headed paper) that is no later than 28 days from when you send the online application. Sounds easy but we found most banks did not want to do this and it needed calls to managers. Very stressful when you have just paid around 1700 quid (and 1200 now I believe to the NHS?) online and that clock is ticking to receive your statement. As you say, no refunds at all (but you can get the NHS fee back if denied)

    For the 1700 quid the HO does not even acknowledge receipt of your papers. So send registered post and keep the signature. (The supporting documents get sent to Sheffield, again adding serious costs as your Asian spouse needs to get the couriered to you her papers (the spouse needs to take a TB test often and in home country) before that 28 day deadline AND then to Sheffield. Some visa offices abroad offer a scan and send service BUT there are many, many horror stories of junior clerks not scanning all documents and presto....you are told the application is denied as YOU did not not the supporting docs!)

    Can you go down the savings route? 62,500 GBP held for six months prior to your application?

    (While every application is different, the general feeling in Asia was a standard application took around 6 months. Those paying priority still had to wait 60 working days. My friends all got a scary 'your case is not straightforward' email on day 59. This is simply how the HO avoids investigation to missing target times - it blames you and no, they will not tell you what is not straightforward about your case....one poor friend spent 50 GBP on their premium number just to be told exactly that....)

    Be patient, keep calm and go for lots of fresh air walks!


    If I remember rightly, the warning you MUST fill in VAFA form too which is written on here in anger, refers to a form that does not exist anymore! It is only used by North Korean applicants. This had us all sweating buckets.

    Their standards are abysmal.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
  11. Although the Uk visa process is really complicated, the rules changed in 2017, and it's even more complicated now.

    Although The HO is a complete waster of time because nobody helped me there either. I used my PGCE bursary a month ago, my brother helped me out in the process. He's a lawyer basically working at optimusLawUk. you should contact immigration solicitors like these and they will help you out with their free immigration advice platform.

    you should read this article for more information:
  12. Ryanj1991

    Ryanj1991 New commenter

    I went ahead with it and got her in last year :)

    So you can use the Bursary :)

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