My UK Spouse Visa Experience [Story] (Vlog #10)

In February of 2016, I applied for my UK Spouse visa, however this was not our original intention. When Chris and I first started discussing our visa options, it seemed as though the Fiancé visa was the obvious choice. This would have allowed me to come to the UK for 6 months while we planned our wedding. Then, after the wedding – I would have applied for the 2.5 year FLR(M) visa (twice) before being able to finally qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

But, after some very careful consideration – we decided that the Fiancé visa might not be the best route for us. Chris was planning to visit the US at the end of 2015 for the holiday season. We thought that this would provide the perfect opportunity to get married (see our ‘secret’ visa wedding). By doing this, we would be able to apply directly for the Spouse visa – as we did!

Why We Chose the Spouse Visa

Choosing the Spouse visa was not an easy decision. We had already started planning our wedding in the UK and we certainly didn’t want to cancel that. We didn’t want to detract from the day – as we still wanted it to be special. But, ultimately – the Fiancé visa route was significantly more expensive. In our situation, it would have been tough (to say the least) to be able to afford it. In the end, being together meant more to us than using the ‘traditional’ visa route.

Watch the video below to find out more about our visa journey. We discuss why we chose the Spouse visa and how we coped with the stressful application.

Want to know more about our visa experience, expat life and international long distance relationship? Subscribe on YouTube to see new videos every Wednesday & Sunday.

What Was Your UK Visa Experience?

Have you applied for a UK visa before? It doesn’t matter if it was a student, work or family visa – we want to hear from you. Each visa story is unique. We know from firsthand experience that everyone has different coping mechanisms to deal with the stressful process.

For us, the most difficult part was waiting. We got through this by talking to each other every day & trying to keep our minds distracted from what was going on. Which aspects of the application did you find most difficult? How did you cope? Let us know in the comments below and join the conversation.



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Chelsea Martin

Chelsea Martin is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and a Certified Behaviour Adjustment Training Instructor (CBATI). She has been training dogs professionally since 2007, and is the Head Coach for Dogs Trust Dog School Nottinghamshire. She met Chris on a trip to England in 2013, Married him on New Year's Eve - celebrating 2016 as husband and wife!

20 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Hi, Chelsea! I have a question for you. Do you mind send me an e-mail and i will explain you? Thank you in advance.

  • Thank you for making this video! My husband and I have been together for the past 5 years, finally got married in August and applied for the spouse visa to get me to UK a few days after. We didn’t get the “online application has been received” email until 3 weeks after we applied. It’s been 11 business days since we got the email (we also paid for the priority service), but my nerves, anxiety, and emotions have been out of control and all over! The waiting is definitely worst part of the process because it is completely out of your control and you don’t know what to think. But this video has given me some hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel, thank you! Fingers crossed that we hear a positive response soon! :)

    • Hi Carrie,

      Wishing you the best of luck with your application! I understand that it is an especially nerve-wracking time. I’m keeping you both in my thoughts and sending as much positivity your way, truly hoping that your visa application is approved! If you don’t mind me asking, when did you hope to arrive in the UK by?

      I hope to hear from you soon!

      Only good things,

      • Hi Chelsea!

        We received our “a decision has been made” email this morning, so we should by Wednesday! Keep your fingers crosse and the good thoughts coming!! We put my planned arrival date as 23rd of October.

        Thanks for the positive thoughts! :)


        • Hi Carrie,

          Wonderful news! I was a nervous wreck at this point. Are you going to Skype with your husband or anyone else while opening it? October 23rd is coming up pretty quick :D Keeping my fingers crossed for a positive outcome! I can’t wait to hear back from you :3

          Only good things,

          • I am freaking out, just a complete nervous wreck! Yes, I’m going to skype with my husband when I open it. I’m also going have my sister, mom, and dad there because I don’t know if I’ll actually be able to open it. It’s so nice being able to talk to some one who actually knows what we’re going through… no one really understands/knows that it can be refused. thank you for all the kind words, thoughts, hope, and for this blog (it really helped us during the whole process)! Hopefully I’ll have good news to share tomorrow! :)


          • We got our visa!!!! We owe you both a HUGE thank you because your blog posts were read more than a few times and your videos were watched on repeat! I’m leaving for England to be with my husband on the 21st of October! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your kind words, assistance, and positive thoughts!

            Carrie and Danny xx

          • IEEEEEE AMAZING NEWS!! Many congratulations to you both!

            Are you on instagram or other social media so we can follow you and keep in touch?

            Only good things,

          • Hi Chelsea,

            Yes I am on instagram. My name is cmart91 :)

            Also, I’ve sent an email to you guys asking just a couple of questions.
            Thank you! :)

  • I had bookmarked a page for this site that gave detailed steps on how to apply for the UK spouse visa and I can’t seem to find it anymore. Did you take it down?

    • Hi Stefanie,

      Unfortunately we did take our visa guides down. The OISC has threatened to prosecute us for providing immigration advice as we are not solicitors (despite our legal disclaimers & that we try to only speak from personal experience). As such we have had to remove all visa guidance, articles and videos from our site & YouTube page. We are also unable to answer any questions about the visa process or else risk criminal prosecution.

      You can read our full statement here:

      Apologies again.

      • Wow That’s a shame! I am quite surprised with that, but now I can understand why I’ve searched for a few articles and couldn’t find it. I’m glad we saw it before though.

  • Hi guys,
    I’m applying for my visa right now. Very confused. Is it called “the family route visa” some questions on here seem confusing and I hope I’m on the right visa. Thanks!!

  • Hello Chelsea and Chris. Just passing to say thank you for your help. We have got the Visa and your tips were really helpful. We wish you all the best! Dênia and Daniel. :)

  • Hi Chelsea, thank you for your posts. The positive note in them is really encouraging. My fiance (UK citizen) and I are planning our wedding. We are looking into the Visa process and found that it can take upto 3 months to receive a decision. We have been long distance for 2 years now (visiting each other every few months) and we don’t want to spend one day apart after wedding. I’m sure you know the feeling. So we have been considering having a small legal ceremony (going to registration office and getting married) few months prior to wedding date. We want the wedding to be the mark of the start of our new life, fly back to the UK together and go on our honeymoon to Spain. We are worried however whether this will be able issue. Will they see our legal ceremony or as you say visa wedding as real evidence? All I know is I can’t wait to start my life with my fiance.