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After a particularly tough year in Seoul, my (Korean) wife and I decided to take an extended break and stay with my family in the UK for 5.5 months (with 1-year-old twins). However, after the first month here, we decided that the UK was a far superior place to raise kids. We now want to stay here full-time, but my wife is a tourist (<6 months so no visa). She must head back in September.

From our third month here, I’ve been working. I’ve done my research on the settlement visa and want to meet the financial requirements ASAP. She will go back to South Korea in September then she’ll apply for the settlement visa in Seoul in Oct/Nov.

My only worry is whether my wife’s time here on a 5.5 month trip will count against her. Is this likely to get her refused?

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There is nothing in UK immigration law that would cause an earlier stay as a visitor to disqualify someone from coming to the UK as an immigrant.

There have been cases where a change in plans after entering the UK has been seen as evidence of dishonesty. If your wife said that she was planning to stay for 5.5 months when she entered the UK, as the question suggests, then she should have no problem in this regard, either.

You will probably want to gather evidence to support your assertion that your plans did in fact change, in particular that your wife did enter as a legitimate visitor. The fact that she's planning to leave the country to make her settlement visa application should work in her favor.

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