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NATO Civilian Dependents

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Indomitable
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NATO Civilian Dependents

Post by Indomitable » Wed Jul 10, 2024 7:28 am

I'm an American, and my company recently promoted me from a position in Germany under German SOFA status to a position in the UK that is not under UK SOFA status. Since I am not an active military but a civilian working for a company under a NATO contract, I've been guided to apply for a visa as "an international civilian employee of NATO forces, the Australian Department of Defence, or a company contracted to a NATO force." I am slated to have this role for at least five years.

However, for my wife and children, who are non-EU and non-American, colleagues have told me to apply for tourist visas for them and then process a leave to remain for each of them once they are in the UK. My wife does not yet have her US green card, and I cannot start that process for my stepdaughter until my wife's green card is complete.

I am having difficulty finding appropriate guidance. I have contacted some US Air Force passport offices in the UK, but they are not familiar with my situation. What steps and documentation must I complete to make this move happen?

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Ticktack
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Re: NATO Civilian Dependents

Post by Ticktack » Wed Jul 10, 2024 9:58 am

Indomitable wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2024 7:28 am
I'm an American, and my company recently promoted me from a position in Germany under German SOFA status to a position in the UK that is not under UK SOFA status. Since I am not an active military but a civilian working for a company under a NATO contract, I've been guided to apply for a visa as "an international civilian employee of NATO forces, the Australian Department of Defence, or a company contracted to a NATO force." I am slated to have this role for at least five years.

However, for my wife and children, who are non-EU and non-American, colleagues have told me to apply for tourist visas for them and then process a leave to remain for each of them once they are in the UK. That is incorrect, whatever visa you end up applying for, you should apply for them as your dependants. You can't come into the UK as a tourist and plan to apply from within. The system doesn't allow that. My wife does not yet have her US green card, and I cannot start that process for my stepdaughter until my wife's green card is complete.

I am having difficulty finding appropriate guidance. I have contacted some US Air Force passport offices in the UK, but they are not familiar with my situation. What steps and documentation must I complete to make this move happen?
No sin in failing, you just have to try and try again!

secret.simon
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Re: NATO Civilian Dependents

Post by secret.simon » Wed Jul 10, 2024 12:16 pm

Indomitable wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2024 7:28 am
colleagues have told me to apply for tourist visas for them and then process a leave to remain for each of them once they are in the UK.
That is bad advice. As a general rule, people in the UK on a visit visa can't switch to a long-term residence visa from within the UK. They will need to leave the UK before the end of their visit visa and then apply for an appropriate long-term residence visa from a place where they have long-term residence or citizenship already (so they can't just pop over to France and apply from there while they are visitors there themselves).

I presume that colleagues of yours who gave you this advice haven't gone through the process themselves.

Do you qualify under any of these categories?
I am not a lawyer or immigration advisor. My statements/comments do not constitute legal advice. E&OE. Please do not PM me for advice.

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