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There's someone I very much want to be with who lives in Kabul.

We tried looking at how we could legally follow a process that would allow us to be together. It feels very much as if it's been purposely constructed to make it almost impossible.

The first idea was get him here on a visitor's visa so we have six months together and can prove the legitimacy of our relationship. He would obviously have to go to Afghanistan and then we would apply for a partnership visa so he could come back and we would marry within the six-month time limit.

At the first hurdle we can't even get him a visitor's visa because the process means visiting a Visa Application centre, of which there are none in Afghanistan. The nearest one is in Islamabad, Pakistan! It's a long and dangerous journey from Kabul to Islamabad and even if it's undertaken successfully another hurdle represents itself: you have to surrender your passport while you wait for the visa to be processed. So he'd then be stuck in Pakistan for as long as it took. He has a job in Kabul and his family is there, he can't just disappear for 3 months or so.

(An extra complication is that this is a same-sex relationship hence the need for him to leave Afghanistan. He couldn't tell his family about us so any move to leave the country will mean still not telling them it's to be with someone.)

UKLGIG have advised that he should go to the UNHCR offices in Kabul as being a gay man in Afghanistan he meets the criteria to be treated as a refugee. But what they can actually do to help him we don't know.

I'm told other European countries make it easier for people to undertake this process. I'd strongly consider such a move to escape Brexit anyway but it seems so ridiculous that it should also serve to make it easier for us to be together.

Any confirmation of this and/or advice would be greatly appreciated.

migrated from travel.stackexchange.com Nov 22 '17 at 13:49

This question came from our site for road warriors and seasoned travelers.

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    A conundrum. Not exactly a good fit in 'travel'. Try expats or legal advice. Good luck! – MastaBaba Nov 22 '17 at 13:34
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    What's the question? – CGCampbell Nov 22 '17 at 13:46
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    If you wish to end up in the UK, the best scenario for you is to actually get a non-UK EU visa in one of the (non-UK) EU countries, live there for at least 6 months, and then get back to the UK using the Surinder Singh route, which should be doable before Brexit. If you do it before the Brexit date, there's still a chance that both of you'll be able to stay in the UK afterwards on the pre-Brexit rules as well. – SztupY Nov 22 '17 at 15:18
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According to gov.uk, you can apply for a 6-month partner visa online. This is a settlement visa so it's very expensive (£1,464), but it can later be switched (for another £993 + £500 healthcare surcharge) for a spouse visa without leaving the UK. You need to prove a lot of things. Specifically:

  • You are British or have permanent residence permission (indefinite leave to remain) in the UK.
  • You are engaged and will get married (or civil partnership) within 6 months of your partner being in the UK.
  • You and your partner must have a combined income of at least £18,600 a year.
  • Your partner has passed IELTS at a certified centre.

It's a long, complicated, and expensive process, but it looks like this can be done without leaving Afghanistan.

  • Thank you @adam-millerchip Having read that before I misunderstood the way the requirements work, I thought there was a process where we had to show that we had actually met in person (I must be thinking of the spouse visa?) but that isn't the case with the partner visa online. Expensive as it is, it's given me some hope! – Phteven Nov 26 '17 at 11:20
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    Yes, and hopefully since the partner visa is only six months, you don't need to pay the healthcare surcharge or get the TB test. Downsides look like he will have to pay for healthcare and is not allowed to work. – Adam Millerchip Nov 26 '17 at 11:43

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