Complex one here (I think)

I am from the UK and currently have a outland visa application in the works for Canada.

I did go over to Canada in September 2020 to stay there whilst my visa was approved but then in Jan, 2021 I seen that the UK was gonna potentially close the borders and force mandatory hotels, so I decided to come home in Feb (26th) to visit family just in case they closed the borders for a long time.

Anyway, my Canadian fiancé came with to visit my family as they are all really close with her. We only intended to come for a little visit (couple months at most) but then she fell pregant... so we've ended up staying.

Her visitor visa runs out the 26th of July and we don't really want her to go back to Canada yet as she could end up being stuck there on her own without me for god knows long due to Canada now shutting their borders and because of Covid in general.

My question is, could me and my Fiance go to europe in the first week of July for a couple of days then return to the UK to "re-set" those 6 months to give us a bit of time to sort things out before going back to Canada together.

She has only been here on a visitor visa once before which was only for 10 days and she was also here for 2 years studying (on the tier 5 youth mobility scheme, which was from November 2018- September 2020)

So, this will be her FIRST successive 6 months, if that makes any sense.

Thank you.

  • 2
    Short answer: no. Even though there is no hard limit on the time you can spend in the UK, you are not supposed to use consecutive visits to live in the UK, which is essentially what she would be doing. Unless you have clear plans for her to leave the UK when coming back (which you don’t seem to have, quite the opposite, she will quite likely be refused entry at the border, which could result in a pretty messy situation. As your situation is probably for a longer term stay, you should probably ask on expatriates.SE instead for actual solutions.
    – jcaron
    Commented May 29, 2021 at 13:21
  • The "correct" but expensive option is to apply to switch to a family visa. If you plan to marry soon, you could also stay in another country for some time and obtain a marriage visitor visa.
    – xngtng
    Commented May 29, 2021 at 13:28
  • 2
    The current covid border restrictions allow a fiance of a Canadian to enter to visit that Canadian. You would both have to quarantine, but that should be fine. Commented May 29, 2021 at 13:59
  • @xngtng it is not possible to switch if you entered as a visitor. Also, the family visas are for settlement, which is not contemplated here, and they are far too expensive for a visit. The proper option is to leave and return as a visitor, but as jcaron and Traveller both have noted it's likely not to succeed. The other option would be to look into COVID-related relaxation of the visitor limits, the details of which I do not recall at the moment.
    – phoog
    Commented May 29, 2021 at 16:52
  • 1
    This sounds important enough to take to an expert rather than relying on internet advice ... gov.uk/find-an-immigration-adviser
    – Ben Bolker
    Commented May 29, 2021 at 20:48

1 Answer 1


Your ‘visa run’ plan will probably look suspiciously like an intention to live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, which is against Immigration Rule V4.2(b).

If she is questioned on attempting re-entry after spending 6 months in the UK followed by such a short time out of it, your fiancée may well need to prove a compelling reason to leave the UK (eg a job waiting for her in Canada) in order to convince the Border official that she won’t just stay there with you (and, presumably, her baby in due course).

If she can’t convince them, she will likely be denied entry or given a much shorter stay than the usual 6 months. If that happens, her travel history to the UK as a visa-free national will be damaged and could cause problems on future visits.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-v-visitor

  • Understood. Is it a guarantee that she will actually be stopped by an officer or is there a chance we just come straight through?
    – Ryan
    Commented May 29, 2021 at 13:38
  • Canadian nationals can use ePassport gates to enter the UK, so there’s a chance she’ll just get through assuming these are still functioning. Or she could be stopped and questioned; the likelihood of that may well be considerably higher than normal given Covid restrictions and the need to show your negative PCR test and passenger locator form gov.uk/uk-border-control/at-border-control
    – Traveller
    Commented May 29, 2021 at 14:44
  • 4
    While Canadian nationals can use the ePassport gates, the gates don't always open: their programming could easily see your fiance's recent, long stay in the UK, refuse to open for her, and refer her to an immigration officer for assessment. IMO, It is not a good bet that she'll just sail through. And, as noted by traveler (in comments) and jcaron (in an answer), it is far from a sure thing that she'd be admitted at all. Commented May 29, 2021 at 14:47

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