Spousal visa waiting time?

My friend T - a British citizen by birth, married a chap (O) from an EU country 20 years ago. They both lived and worked here, owned a house together, until work took them to the other side of the world, where they lived for 11 years. Now retired, they want to move back to the UK to be near friends and family, but because of 🤬 Brexit, O needs a spousal visa. They applied before moving, but the powers that be that arrange such things took 5 months to tell them it couldn't be done until they were here, (citing prioritising emergency visas for Ukraine refugees as one reason) and returned his passport a week after they left! (He travelled on his alternative - perfectly legitimate - one). They have bought a house here, and deposited a not inconsiderable sum into their UK bank. They fear they will now be separated for up to 6 months while he waits in his country of birth, they have never been apart for more than a few days in the 27 years they have been together. Can anybody who may have experienced a similar situation offer any words of comfort? Will it really be 6 months? 
I’m a Senior Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Competition Time, Site Feedback and Marriage, Relationships and Families boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com All views are my own and not the official line of Money Saving Expert.

Comments

  • I'm a UK citizen, partner is American. We initially applied for a Partner Visa - it took at least 5 months to hear anything back. They actually denied it (for complicated reasons) but offered us a fiance visa instead. So we decided to get married. We will then have to go through the marriage visa process. I understand you can pay for a priority service for marriage visas to get a quicker decision. It's not cheap but nothing to do with visas is!

    If they can pay for priority it may be worth it. Also, when the application goes in I'd suggest they get in  touch with their  MP that is useful as we found out some information that way.

    I'm sorry I couldn't offer more comfort, but I do empathise. My partner and I have spent long periods apart because of the pandemic and the being at the mercy of the home office is not a nice feeling. I do hope your friends don't have to wait as long as we did.

  • Misslayed
    Misslayed Posts: 14,135 Senior Ambassador
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    Thank you, they haven't been in touch with their MP - it's the same one who was in post when they went away. It's worth a try!
    I’m a Senior Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Competition Time, Site Feedback and Marriage, Relationships and Families boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com All views are my own and not the official line of Money Saving Expert.
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