Saturday, 15 July 2017

What's it like to be Asexual and Married?

Us on our wedding day!
Ever since starting our relationship, then announcing we were engaged, we have had some people say “but I thought you were asexual, how does that work??”. Rather than repeating myself, I thought I’d write a blog laying down a few facts.

Sex and Love
There is a huge difference between sexual drives and emotional attachments, and though they usually go hand-in-hand, one can still live without the other. So what I'm going to do is reflect on my feelings towards Shane and how we have approached our relationship.

To me, Shane is everything. It’s crazy really, and years back I would have never of guessed it possible to love someone this much. I have not tired of waking up in the morning to see him lying by my side, my heart still flutters when we kiss, and when I return home from work, I continue to get butterflies in my stomach at the sheer anticipation of being reunite with him once again.

Shane is my fuel, he has gotten me through so much just by loving me. I am often amazed that someone so honest and wonderful could love someone like me, but in doing so he’s helped me find my self-worth and makes me feel okay in being myself.

So you get the picture, I'm in love with this dorky git, it's a perfectly normal, healthy relationship!

The only thing that differs for us is there's a lack of interest in sex.

I’ve never been sexually attracted to Shane, but I AM so attracted to who he is. There is nothing about him which I find "sexy", but holy heck is he beautiful to me.

So what's that like?
If we are bored in the evenings, we play computer games together or draw our comics. If we’ve got too much energy we go swimming or walking, or even play fight (I get so many bruises XD)! Whenever the opportunity of sex might crop up for most couples, to us we don’t even consider it. Saying that, this doesn’t mean we don’t like being affectionate, heck, we LOVE our snuggles! We enjoy kissing and sleep in the same bed, but snuggling up and falling asleep in each other's arms is all we need.

Our views on sex?
There is nothing wrong with having a sexual connection with another person, and if you are both in love and just want to make each other feel good, then I think that’s a wonderful thing! It’s not that we are repulsed by it, but it’s just not something we have a drive for.

Asexuals in relationships is not a abnormal, in fact, there are many people who are! And each can have very different or very similar experiences to myself and Shane, if you’d like to read other people’s stories then check out the links below!

Post written by Natasha Dancy

Future Webcomic posts

Hey everyone,

I know this announcement may end up being a disappointment for a lot of my readers, but I want you all to know that I've not taken this decision lightly. Before I go any further, I'm NOT going to stop making comics, I am however, going to be changing how I release my content.


My long-form comic Tethered is important to me, and I am going to see it through to the end, but I'm going to be doing it in my own time rather than keeping to schedules. My reason for this is because it causes me unnecessary stress and also eats up SO MUCH of my spare time, when right now, I want to enjoy this life I have with Shane after we've fought so hard to get it. The last thing I ever wanted was for Tethered to be like another job, a job which I'm basically doing for free.

I sometimes have had to remind myself, I tell stories for myself, I'm not a free entertainer. I'm not obligated to anyone but myself when it comes to my comics. However, for the longest time I've been so worried about disappointing my readers by not providing, and I just can't create my artwork like this anymore.

To be honest with you there are other factors in this decision as well. The uproar with Tapas ToSthe fast flow of the comic community, the amount of times people have used me as a stepping stone, or ignored me if I'm not "flavour of the month", it's all so exhausting. It caused me to question myself in why I'm doing this, and now I've decided to take it easy before I lose my passion for comics and storytelling.

I've grown very wary of Tapas these past couple of years, I really dislike the politics behind uploading webcomics there, I am not going into any details because it's not a topic I care to debate about. This decision has NOTHING to do with our readers, if anything it was our readers that kept us there!!! We love you all so much, we loved replying to your comments, loved being there for you, but....Well...We've just seen a few things happen there that didn't impress us.

I still plan to make Hoi Butt comics, but even then I will put them up in my own time. I've always been told "it's quality, not quantity". I'd rather provide decent comics rather than a lot of them for the sake of uploading. 


For Patrons, I plan on using this time to put up more content there, I'm wanting to focus on giving you guys a LOT more exclusivity and showing you stuff that I may not be confident about, but would like to reveal to you what I go through to try and make the best I can of Tethered. I work damn hard on that story, and even if it's not the most popular comic on the web, just knowing there's a handful of people who are willing to go that extra mile just to support me and my work, well heck, you make it all worth it and deserve as much as I can give! 


I am sorry it has taken us so long to get to this decision (but heck, with marriages and visa applications, you can hardly blame us :P ), Shane and I are no longer going to be uploading to Tapas. Episode 97 is the last Hoi Butt, and I am not going to continue to upload Tethered there either. Shane is going to be doing the same for both Beefpaper and Tizzy Stitchbird. If you are wanting to continue to read these comics, I will be posting it to our websites AND on Webtoon once I have the content available. You can find the comics via the links below:
Thank you to all our readers on Tapas, and we are really REALLY sorry it has come to this, but we hope you stick around to see the rest of our adventures as they continue else where. A lot of you have been with us for so long already, that it would be heart breaking to fully say good bye :(

I will remind you all as well that Shane and I are totally cool with anyone who wants to be our friend on Facebook, we also have a twitter and Instagram account if you'd prefer to keep in contact with us there! Links below!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

The Croydon Visa Centre Experience 2017

We decided to book into the Premier Inn at Croydon town centre, which is a great location because it is literally an 8 minute walk to the Visa centre. It’s also convenient because it has a really nice little restaurant for dinner, and there’s a convenient store located right underneath the hotel (Co-operative foods) where you can buy breakfast if you don’t want to pay the £6.99 for an all-you-can-eat breakfast in the hotel (we can never eat £6.99 worth of food!).

There is also a 35% discount at the Whitgift NCP carpark for all guests at the Premier Inn. When you arrive, go to reception and let them know you have a car parked there and request for a discount card. The discount card looks exactly like the car parking ticket so don't lose them! When you go to pay for parking at the machine, insert your parking ticket first and the discount card after. The machine will then ask you to insert your payment card into the same slot (it takes payment without the use of your PIN). The one we used didn't accept change so I'm not sure if they are all like that.

FYI - If you're using 4G you might lose access to the Immigration Board forums. I tried to look at them for last minute info and it said I was permanently banned due to the IP address. I think this is because SO many people have tried accessing the site using the cell tower around there, the site has flagged it as spam or a robot.

In the morning of our appointment, I was panicking about the bank statements after seeing that my newest one had become available 4:30am that morning, but my bank didn’t open until 9am, which was the time of our appointment!

With little choice left, I wrote a note to the caseworker explaining the situation and to call me should they need to see my newest statement.

At 8:40 we arrived at the Visa centre, and accidentally went into queue. The guard at the door came out saying if we have booked for a premium service, we don’t need to queue up, just show your booking confirmation and head through to security.

Security was through a door with misted glass either side, you head on in and are welcomed by a group of friendly guards who will ask you to take out laptops and electronics, place them into a box and place your bag and box onto a conveyor belt. It’s basically a mini airport security section, but a little friendlier!

Once through security, head up to the 3rd floor. When we went the lifts weren’t working so we took the stairs up. I’m not entirely sure what they do if they get anyone in a wheelchair or on crutches, I’m assuming they have a system in place for people with disabilities.

Upstairs we were welcomed by another queue, there’s a small desk up there manned by 2-3 members of staff who will take payments if you’ve not paid already, look at your application form and passports, then give you a ticket number and tell you to go sit in the waiting area next door, which has a coffee shop and photo booth there.

Just note that the wait in the queue was about 15 minutes, there were a couple of people in front of us who hadn’t paid yet and were filling out forms. If your appointment time wasn’t urgent, they made you wait at the side until they’d gotten everyone else sorted who needed to go to their appointments ASAP.

By the time we got through the line it was 9:03 am, we went through to the coffee shop and sat down clutching each other's hands nervously as we waited. By 9:28 the coffee shop started to fill out, it had suddenly gotten a LOT busier, I read somewhere it was quieter in the afternoon, but we just wanted our appointment done asap so thought we’d just deal with the wait.

At 9:35 am our number 133 was called out and told to go to booth 47, we both looked wide-eyed at each other, and rushed to the booth. We were met by a very friendly lady on the other side of the booth who asked which one of us was applying and what was my relationship to the applicant. Once we had sat down, we were asked to provide our reference, application form and passports for her to input everything into the computer system. We were also asked to pull out all our documents and place it into a little clear folder with a pop-button (she congratulated me on my organisation skills but this is how they prefer the files). If you have photocopies, it’s best to have all your files in the same order as the photocopies, just for ease of reference.

At 9:55 am she had completed what she needed and asked us to take the folder down to the biometrics area for the next stage. Immediately Shane’s number was called, I grabbed his bag and he went on in past a glass door to go to the booth to have his photo and fingerprints taken, along with a signature. This will be used for his new BRP card which will be attached to his new visa if we are successful. This only took 5 minutes, and Shane was told to return to the waiting area while a decision is being made.

10:10 am marked when the dreaded wait began! The screens in the waiting rooms which usually tell you at what stage your application is at weren’t working right, and were showing old lists so we had nothing to go by. We decided to head on out to the bank and get the new statement just in case the caseworker asked for it, if you keep your ticket number safe you can come and go from the building as you please. We also popped into CEX where Shane treated himself to the fourth Assassins Creed game!

By 10:30 am we were twiddling our thumbs, so we headed back to the hotel room to chill and eat something and watch rubbish TV. My mum called up and scared the crap out of us because we thought it was the case worker asking for something! At 11:00 am we decided to head back and wait in the office in case our number was called out. When we arrived there were no seats left in the waiting room, we stood up until someone’s number was called and we could sit.

Our number was finally called at 11:35 am along with another number, our case was ready and results were in. We practically charged our way to booth 47, confronting a very confused looking caseworker, we gave him our number and he toddles off to collect our file. When he returned he told us it had been successful and to check all our documents were there. At this news I ended up bursting into tears because I was so happy! All that hard work paid off, and I get to keep my husband with me! The caseworker grabbed me a box of tissues and left us hugging each other while he served the next person. In conclusion to all of this, though it is a bit more expensive using the Premium Service, I would recommend it just for ease of mind. Usually you have to wait up to 3 months before hearing back about whether your application was successful, but this way you can find out within the day. For us it only took 3 hours!

Successful FLR (M) Visa Application - Croydon 2017

I've been putting off writing this blog until after the appointment to make sure it had a happy ending! But now that we've been successful, I'm going to share our experience to help and reassure others on the process. To be honest, if you've prepared everything and tick all the boxes, you shouldn't  have a problem :)

Before I start, I'll explain our situation to put it in perspective so that you can see if it can help you or not. I'm a British citizen, lived in the UK since birth, and my husband is from New Zealand. He's lived in the UK since March 2016, he came over on the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa and switched to the FLR (M) visa yesterday (July 2017). We got married on the 24th June 2017, so not too soon before applying for the new visa.

For the FLR (M) you will need to prove:

  • You are 18 years or over.
  • Your partner is either a British Citizen, have Indefinite Leave to Remain or proof of Permanent Residency, OR have a refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK.
  • That you are married or in a civil partnership that is recognised in the UK
  • You're planning to marry once in the UK (on a Fiance Visa)
  • You've lived together for a minimum of 2 years (if applying as an unmarried partner)
  • You have good knowledge of English
  • You can reach the financial requirements for yourself and any dependents (click [here] for the financial requirements)

For people on the YMS visa, it states you have to leave when your visa expires, and that you can't switch to another point based visa. If you are married you can apply for the FLR (M) visa at any time, though I'd recommend doing it soon after you get married because the YMS visa years DO NOT count towards the 5 years needed to apply for settlement or citizenship. Also, the FLR (M) isn't a point based system so it's fine to switch to this. You can apply for this visa as an unmarried partner, BUT you DO have to complete the 2 years on the YMS visa to qualify. This is because you need 2 years proof of cohabitation with your partner which is akin to marriage to qualify. The Home Office allow 28 days after your visa expires for your new visa to come through, so I'd recommend going to your visa appointment on the day the YMS visa expires so you have the full 2 years and don't leave it too late because it's illegal to overstay.

For more information on the FLR (M) visa under the partner of spouse route, click [here].

I'm going to talk about the application form (version 04/2017), where we had to pay £933 for the application, £590 for the premium service and a £500 health surcharge fee that NZ and Aussie nationals now have to pay (as of 2016).

The application form is a little confusing to fill out at times because of some of the wording, I'll go through the ones that stumped me, even though looking back it seems obvious! Other things I'll go through are documents we provided, because things like bank statements and correspondence got us worried.

The Application Form (version 04/2017)
I won’t go through it all page by page, but I will highlight parts that confused us slightly.

Section 3 - Your Sponsor’s Details
Okay, yea, this seems simple enough. The only issue for me was 3.2 Name at birth… I was born with a different name (it’s complicated), so I was worried that this would confuse the Home Office. Luckily, I still had my change of name deeds and wrote a small letter just explaining why my names had changed so much JUST in case this caused them to become suspicious at any point. My view is, honesty is the best policy.

Oh, and some people are confused with 3.9 How long has your sponsor lived in the UK. I just put ‘since birth’.

Section 6 - Your relationship to your sponsor
Here they want to know things like, when we met, how did we meet, when did our relationship start and how we keep in contact.

So for this section, considering when we met in person was different to how we FIRST met (we met on twitter), we decided to provide details on BOTH. I gave dates on the different stages, like “we first met online on the 12th April 2014 but we first PHYSICALLY met on 16th February 2015”.

Also, for 6.8 where you have to mention ALL addresses you’ve both lived at, along with a start and end date. We have only lived at one address, and so just put that, the date Shane moved in here with me and left the end date blank.

6.9 IF RELEVANT, have you lived together permanently in the UK with your sponsor since your LAST grant of limited leave to remain as a partner. - If this is your FIRST application, just put N/A.

Section 7C - Accommodation
Don’t laugh, but this actually stumped us in this section. Especially 7.13 Does anyone other than your sponsor live in the property?...I think they could have worded that better, because our first thought was “Why yes, SHANE lives with me…” but eventually we worked it out haha!

Basically it’s for people who might be house sharing, or have other family living with them, and the Home Office is trying to establish if you have enough room for another person (this can be a reason to reject an application if you don’t have enough living space). Just to prove that our flat could accommodate us both, AND to show that I own the place, I included things like the Land Registry (which they photocopied), floor plans, and correspondence between myself and my solicitor to show I had purchased the property and also am currently renewing the lease.

Section 9 - Biometric Residence Permit
As Shane was on the YMS visa, he has already gone through the process of getting his biometrics done, so we could fill this section out just fine. If you already have yours, in 9.14 put the location of where you got your fingerprints taken, and in 9.15 you might need to do some research into this one, but make note of the diplomatic post(s) involved in your biometric application. For Shane it was the “British High Commission Wellington” - we didn’t expect it to be called that, so not sure if that might catch other people out too.

Section 10 - Personal History
At 10.14 it asks for what ties you have with any countries, for this section Shane just put “New Zealand” and stated he had family there.

Consent and Declarations
There are quite a few things here to be signed, but not all of them need signing! The ones we signed were all of Section 14 - Shane signed his one and I signed the last two giving the Home Office permission to do checks on my accounts should they need to. Then if you read section 15 it’s pretty easy to work out which ones are for you.

I am only going off what I did, and am no way a professional in immigration in any way, but I hope this gives some reassurance if you’re stuck on the form. I’ve got no idea what you need to put if you have kids, but there are some excellent forums you can visit if you need extra help!

  • Photocopy your application form, it is good to have reference to it because the Home Office will take the original copy and you will never see it again!
  • If you forgot to take photos for the application, there is a photo booth in the visa centre and also at the Whitgift shopping centre nearby.
  • You can leave the visa centre when your application is being considered, just be sure to keep your ticket number safe because you will have to show this at the entrance when you return.

Supporting Documents
Now this is something that really got my anxiety shooting sky high! I became extremely paranoid about the supporting documents, to the point where I completely over-prepared. But then again, even the lady at the Visa Centre told me “better safe than sorry”. A saying you hear bantered around a lot in these situations, and it’s so true.

I divided the supporting documents up into sections, as follows:

Section 1 - 5
  • Applicant’s passport (and any previous ones)
  • Sponsors passport
  • Change of Name deeds
  • Applicant’s and Sponsor’s Birth Certificates

Section 6
  • Flight tickets of sponsor travelling to NZ
  • Flight tickets of applicant travelling to the UK
  • Screenshots of conversations between us using Google Hangouts
  • Scans of our scrapbook which showed proof of us meeting each other’s family over the years (X5 which contained about 12 photos)
  • Printout examples of our webcomics
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Proof of Shared Financial Responsibilities
    • Council Tax bills (X2)
    • Car insurance with Applicant as joint driver on Sponsor’s insurance
    • Proof of shared savings account (stamped and signed by bank)

Section 7A
  • A signed letter from employer (on official letter headed paper) stating
    • Sponsor’s name
    • Address
    • National Insurance Number
    • Job title
    • Length of Employment and that I’m still employed there
    • Salary
    • Length currently salary has been held
    • Confirmation of yearly bonuses
    • Payslips and P60 are genuine

  • 6 most recent payslips (signed by employer)
  • My recent P60 (signed by employer)
  • 6 bank statements*
  • Letter explaining bank statements*

* This was a last minute stress for me, there is a 28 day rule in regards to bank statements. From what I can tell (I couldn’t find where it specifies this, but people are saying this in the forums), if you’re doing a postal application you have to have 6 of the most recent statements, and the last statement can’t be older than 28 days from PAYMENT of the application. But for premium service, it’s 28 days from the APPOINTMENT. Our appointment was on the 10th of July, and the last statement was dated the 8th June. What made this worse was that at 4:30am in the morning of the 10th I received an email from my bank saying “YAY! Your most recent statement is now ready!” - the bank didn’t open until 9am and that was when our appointment was!! So on the morning of our appointment I hand wrote a letter using my sketchbook paper explaining this to the case worker, and told them to please PLEASE contact me if they need me to run to the bank and get this statement as proof. Turned out they never called me and the application went through just fine.

So who bloody well knows haha!

Section 7C
  • Land Registry for current accommodation
  • Correspondence between  solicitors and sponsor about property purchase
  • Correspondence between  solicitors and sponsor about lease extension
  • Floor plans of property
  • Photos of property (these were not needed).
Section 13
  • 25 pieces of evidence of correspondence to our current shared address from 5 different sources
    • 9 in dual names
    • 16 in single names

That’s it folks! We were approved on all of this, and I’m pretty certain it was way too much because the lovely lady who spoke to us saw it all and said “if you want an answer today, I’d advise on providing less evidence!”.

If you want to hear about our experience in Croydon and a breakdown of time taken there, please click [here]!

Useful links:

Long Distance Relationships and Visa’s (New Zealand to UK)

Sooooo, I’m going to tell you all about our experience going from our long distance relationship to my partner moving to the UK, and give you useful tips of what to prepare for if you want to fully commit and make the move to be together.

Now, before I start, I will say that we have been relatively lucky due to Shane’s age (he's 4.5 years younger than me) and the fact that our countries are linked by the common wealth (I'm a Brit, Shane's a Kiwi), which opened up other visa options and privileges at the time (back in 2015).

Long distance relationships are manageable, but can be painful when you want nothing more than to be together. So we decided to do something about it, and I got my research hat on to make a start!

Our Search for Visa’s
I came across a visa called “Youth Mobility Scheme” visa, which is available for people between the ages of 18-30 years, really cheap and allows you to spend two years in the UK to “experience life”, which is PERFECT for those who want to later apply for a FLR (M) visa. Keep in mind that you can only be on this visa once, so make the most of it!

On the YMS visa, you are allowed to:
  • Work
  • Study (but only on short courses, nothing like a degree!)
  • Be self-employed

You can’t:
  • Work as a professional sportsperson (e.g. a coach)
  • Extend your stay
  • Get public funds
  • Bring a family member (they must apply separately)

This visa is only available between certain countries, to see if your country is eligible click [here]. For the YMS visa guidance (which I highly recommend you read!) please click [here] and download the PDF.

Applying for the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa - 2015
Now, the YMS visa is pretty simple to apply for in comparison to the FLR (M) visa, I actually think we unnecessarily worried about the YMS application when I look back at it now!

To apply you need to prove the following:
  • You’re between the ages of 18 and 30 years
  • You don’t have children who are dependant on you
  • Show you have a valid passport with enough years (more than 2 years left)
  • If you’re from certain countries, you will need to show you have a sponsor
  • You have £1890* in savings

*I would highly recommend having more money than this saved in your account, job hunting is difficult here in the UK, and unless your partner can support you, you might find yourself struggling. For more about applying for the visa, click [here]. You will need to create an online account at Visa4UK, and during your online application, you will be able to book a date for your biometric appointment too. You will need to download the application form, fill it out and take it to your biometric appointment, along with your proof of payment and all supporting documents.

The biometric appointment is so they can take photos and fingerprints and put you onto the system if you are successful, and make an identification card for you (kinda looks like a driving licence, it’s called a BRP card). When booking the appointment, Shane had to pay the Visa fee of £235 there and then. There is also now a Health Surcharge needing to be paid on top of these fees (Shane didn’t have to pay for it when he applied, but it was introduced for Kiwi’s and Aussies back in early 2016).

Once your appointment is completed they will give you a stamped and approved document for your biometrics, you then post your application off with all your supporting documents, it’s also best to include a self-addressed prepaid envelope otherwise it can take even longer for them to send it back using the cheapest option available!

The appointment itself doesn’t take very long, it’s the wait after for approval which was the real nightmare! We applied in December, which we were concerned about because of all the bank holidays around that time. However, it must have been quiet because we had a response in exactly two weeks!

Our document checklist for this was:
  • Completed and printed application form
  • Completed and printed Appendix 7 form
  • Stamped bank statements (proof of funds)
  • Covering letter from bank all stamped
  • 2X passport sized photos (both signed on the back)
  • 2X passports (old and new one)
  • Stamped and approved biometric exam document

You can’t apply any sooner than 3 months in advance, so keep that in mind if you’re wanting to aim to live somewhere in a certain time. On the application it asks if there’s a date you’d like the visa to start, Shane and I requested the 14th March. I will warn you not to apply for your visa at the very last minute either, just in case you’re refused due to an issue. A lot of people also warn not to book the flight before you find out the results in case you need more time to resolve problems you might encounter. However, Shane and I were a little confident that it would go well, and booked the flight anyway before prices shot up!

A couple of reasons why you might be rejected, from what I’ve seen:
  • You’ve been refused entry before
  • Your Passport does not have enough years left before expiration
  • You’ve committed a criminal offence (I read someone was rejected for being charged of drink-driving within a certain period of the application)
  • Provided incorrect documents

When March eventually decided to show up, I flew out to NZ for a week to help Shane pack and be an emotional support as he said good bye to friends and family. We left on the 13th March (New Zealand time) to arrive exactly on the 14th March in the UK, the day Shane’s visa started.

When you arrive in the UK, get your BRP card from the post office as soon as you can, it’s illegal not to have it. Another thing I will point out, if you’re asked to register with the police because of your country of origin, do it. I’ve heard of people who don’t and this is a criminal offence, you don’t want this to be a reason as to why you can’t stay with a loved one.

Other useful blogs:

Tips and Tricks (for people in relationships)
Before applying for the YMS visa, I decided to look at what options were available to us AFTER the 2 years were completed (something I recommend EVERYONE doing). The reason for this? You don’t want to be one of those couples who miss out being with each other because you didn’t think ahead… There are plenty of stories of couples not reading guidelines properly, applying and then one of them being deported because they didn’t meet the requirements.

Think ahead. Prepare.

The FLR (M) visa means that Shane could stay in the UK as either a married OR unmarried partner (both options require different specifications to be met). When applying for the YMS visa back in January 2016, we kept that in mind. At the time we still wanted to make sure this was definitely what we wanted (in regards our relationship) and so kept our options open (not very romantic, but practical!). When applying for the FLR (M) visa under the unmarried partner route, one of the main thing that differs from being married, is that you need to to prove you've lived together in a relationship ‘akin’ to marriage for a minimum of 2 years. Where as, if you marry, you don't need to prove the two year cohabitation, but you do still need to prove you've lived together. If you haven't lived together, you need to explain why.

As proof of cohabitation, you will need 6 correspondence from 3 different sources in both your names showing you live at the same address, OR 12 correspondence in one of your names (6 in the applicants and 6 in the sponsors) OR mix and match, for example 4 in both your names, 2 in the applicants and 2 in the sponsors.

A correspondence will be things like utility bills, joint membership letters (for us we have National Trust membership) or documents from the government run places (H&M revenue etc).

So before Shane moved over I wrote to all the utility companies and requested for Shane to be added onto the bills so we had both our names on them, then when he was over we got him a bank account and applied for a joint savings (which is also good to show shared financial responsibilities).

Lastly….ALWAYS keep an eye on visa changes, while Shane was over, New Zealander’s were no longer exempt from the Health Surcharge and the fees for the FLR (M) went up by 25%! Back in 2013 the financial requirement rose to £18,600, and in early 2017 there was talk of it rising AGAIN.

I hope this information helps others in our situation! For those of you who want to know more about the FLR (M) Visa and our experience, please click [here] for my followup blog!