My mother- and father-in-law are permanently relocating to the UK. My father in law is a British citizen, and has resided in the US for the past 20+ years. My mother in law is a US citizen.

It is to my understanding that my mother-in-law will have to apply for a family visa, granting her 'temporary leave to remain' in excess of 6 months so long as they meet the requirements, which brings me to my question.

If my father in law resides in the US, how can they meet the minimum income requirement (without savings), as his income for the past 12 months was earned outside the UK? He does have a job lined up in the UK, which will more than satisfy the income requirement, but does that count for anything?

Furthermore, the website states that this process takes 12 weeks but can be completed same-day if they are to apply in person. However, it appears that they can only do that from within the UK. Is there any way to expedite the visa application process?

Finally, how would my mother-in-law go about applying for indefinite leave to remain once she is granted the family visa and residing in the UK?

  • 1
    When I did this a couple of decades ago some consulates could do same day processing. I turned up with my wife at the Chicago consulate about 8am, we were seen before midday and came back about 4pm to pick up the documents allowing her to immigrate to the U.K. The key thing was to anticipate every document they might ask for as evidence and have it with us. Another couple doing the same thing annoyed the officials by not having evidence they were asked for, and were eventually sent away to come back with it later.
    – rhialto
    Feb 6, 2018 at 6:59

1 Answer 1


You mother in law will get permission to enter for 2.5 years with the family visa, she can reapply in the UK when the 2.5 years is coming to an end. Once she has been there for 5 years she can apply to remain indefinetly.

Read 5.2 in the financial requirement appendix. Basically your father in law needs to have 6 months proof of earning the minimum income or more and prove he has a job lined up that will start within 3 months of his return to the UK that meets the minimum income.

You can apply for premium service in the USA. This costs $1600 extra https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/usa/applicationcentre.html

If you have anymore questions ask in the comments. I do have experience of getting a family visa for a US citizen but we did it the normal way.

I would advice using an immigration lawyer to help seen as though the UK government website is mainly about sponsors applying from within the UK and its hard to find the information you are looking for. I did it from within the UK without a lawyer for a long term relationship, which is the same as the family visa and has all the same requirements for a spouse(apart from marriage certificate).

  • Comment should not be used for additional questions; they can be done as new questions or you can go into a chat room for a further discussion.
    – Giorgio
    Feb 6, 2018 at 23:45
  • @Giorgio question about my answer is fine right?
    – BritishSam
    Feb 7, 2018 at 9:38

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