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View Full Version : Married couple who are AT hikers - we need your help!



HockeyGirl
11-07-2013, 14:52
This may sound like an odd request but please bear withme... If you are part of a married couple, or a couple who have been livingtogether, and you have hiked the trail in whole or part (at least halfway) Iwould be grateful if you would contact me on the following matter if you feelyou could help.
My partner and I met while thru hiking the trail lastyear (2012 - we are Button and Loops), we met just a couple weeks into thetrail and not long after were inseparable. We are still going strong as acouple a year and a half later but unfortunately come from different sides ofthe pond!
We are now trying to apply for a 2 year visa for Loops tocome to live in the UK, but one of our qualifying criteria is to show evidenceof a long term, sustainable relationship akin to marriage for 2 years.Our application will be sent in April 2014, but we are counting our 8 months onthe trail as part of this time.
We are now concerned that someone with no knowledge oftrial life will find it hard to believe that living together in a double tent,being together 24 hours a day and hiking the trail with all of its trials andtribulations constitutes a situation like marriage - which is obviously viewedvery conventionally in a house with bills in joint names etc.
We are hoping to enlist a little help from empatheticmarried or coupled AT hikers who might feel they could write a short statementshowing that they have done the same as us and that it counts very much as anactivity for married people to sling a pack on their back and stroll into thewilderness for months on end!
If anyone feels they might be able to help us out, pleasefeel free to contact me. Thank you and happy trails everyone :-)

HockeyGirl
11-07-2013, 14:57
Forgot to add - just in case you want to check out we are not fibbing - www.postholer.com/button (http://www.postholer.com/button)

Mags
11-07-2013, 16:01
Nothing to add for advice, but I do hope this story turns out well. :) Good luck you both. The fact that is documented online may help, too!

Venchka
11-07-2013, 17:50
To a non-government type person, a thru-hike together - with no previous hiking experience - qualifies as way tougher than ho-hum typical marriage on many levels. This forum is filled with folks who started thru-hikes together and were not together by the time they got to the Smokies. I hope you find a sympathetic person to review your application.
Cheers!

Wayne

Tuckahoe
11-07-2013, 19:01
I am probably stating the obvious, but have yall consulted an immigration laywer? It seems to me that when dealing with issues with legal ramifications its a very good idea to be talking to a lawyer.

illabelle
11-08-2013, 07:03
My husband and I hike together, but we don't meet your criteria of having done half the trail - less than 30%. I can certainly say that life on the trail involves a certain level of intimacy what with being together 24/7, depending on one another, sharing responsibilities, etc. Maybe scouring trail journals and books would help you find helpful descriptions of trail life that could aid your case.

stranger
11-08-2013, 11:03
This is just a visa thing, I've done 3 of them, New Zealand, Australia, and now Switzerland. What you need to do is 'demonstrate' a genuine, stable relationship. How you do this is usually set out through the visa application process, but it's largely subjective.

Really what they want to see isn't 'love', they want to see joint bank accounts, signed leases, phone bills, things like that. You can also have family write letters on your behalf, get personal and professional references, etc...

Ultimately, like most visa processes, it comes down to the person reading the application. If you have been together for less than 2 years, they are likely to ask questions, I think a thru-hike would only strengthen your case, but I wouldn't spend much time talking about the trail, but about the experience together.

In other words, people who aren't committed to each other don't spend 5 months travelling around together, etc...

stranger
11-08-2013, 11:13
The good thing about relationships is that it's difficult to say to someone 'no, I don't believe you are in a genuine and stable relationship', so keep positive and collect as much information as you can, get as many testimonials as you can.

j2ponies
11-08-2013, 11:13
I guess I'm a simple (not simple minded) person. If you live like married, why not just be married..No more red tape..or have I fallen off the planet...

stranger
11-08-2013, 11:22
Regardless, the 2 year thing is often just a general guide, it's used in New Zealand and Australia as well, but it's not a requirement, it's a target of sorts. Either people believe you or they don't, and if it's genuine it's usually fairly obvious. Sorry for all my posts.

Astro
11-08-2013, 11:56
I guess I'm a simple (not simple minded) person. If you live like married, why not just be married..No more red tape..or have I fallen off the planet...

That was the same thing that immediately came to mind for me to.

stranger
11-09-2013, 00:02
Because not everyone believes in marriage, kinda like asking a Christian to turn Jewish.

Marriage is primarily an American institution, not many people get married outside the US in my experience.

j2ponies
11-09-2013, 10:39
Marriage is a God thing.no other labels. Because one doesn't believe in something doesn't make it less real.
I'm not preaching to anyone..Some don't believe in hell....it's still there..... all I meant is it would cut through all the red tape they go through.
Are they American? What's wrong with keeping American?
christian turning jewish isn't even a good analogy.

stranger
11-10-2013, 04:03
Marriage is a God thing.no other labels. Because one doesn't believe in something doesn't make it less real.
I'm not preaching to anyone..Some don't believe in hell....it's still there..... all I meant is it would cut through all the red tape they go through.
Are they American? What's wrong with keeping American?
christian turning jewish isn't even a good analogy.

Please don't state an opinion as fact, it makes you come across as naive. Of course 'they' are not American, hence the need to deal with the UK visa process, one person is American, the other is British.

My point was that marriage is largely an American institution, because America is largely a very conservative, Christian dominated country. Therefore YOU may think marriage is normal and 'a God thing' but understand that the overwhelming majority of people in this world would disagree with you.

MuddyWaters
11-10-2013, 08:17
Please don't state an opinion as fact, it makes you come across as naive. Of course 'they' are not American, hence the need to deal with the UK visa process, one person is American, the other is British.

My point was that marriage is largely an American institution, because America is largely a very conservative, Christian dominated country. Therefore YOU may think marriage is normal and 'a God thing' but understand that the overwhelming majority of people in this world would disagree with you.



The 7 billion people in the world, 9 % are not religious, and 2 % are atheist.

Most religions, and societies, have their own marriage /union customs. Pretty much about 89% of the world. Working for an international company, I know plenty on non-american people and guess what....they are all married. Yep, chinese, taiwanese, iranian, indian, muslim, european, go figure.

Less people get married today than ever before for various reasons. Women arent dependent on men where they are educated, job instability and uncertainty about the future today plays a role too. This is true in most developed countries. Married couple rates are around 50% today, down from 90% in the early 1900s.

It isnt limited to americans, or Christians.



The OP says they are a couple, but how does that work with one here and one there?
I dont get the situation, If they both stayed here together and lived together for a year afterwards, sure.

Meeting, living together for 6 months on the trail, then one went home to UK, and they just email and talk over the next year, well that probably doesnt pass the most basic smell test IF someone wanted to be an a-hole.

Wish you good luck though. Make up the best lie possible that cant be refuted.

"Applications for unmarried partner visas tend to be more difficult than those based on marriage as you need to show that you have been together for two years and that it is a permanent relationship. The requirements since April 2003 are as follows:

You have to show that any previous relationship whether in marriage or as an unmarried couple has ended.
You should have been living together for at least two years in a relationship similar to marriage. You will need to provide documentary evidence confirming that you have been living together for this time.


You always can just come in on passport, DONT tell them how long they will stay, they will want to see means of support for the full time, After that 6 months, you should know if you want a permanent relationship and you can get married, file a civil union, whatever. If you dont, then get on with life.

j2ponies
11-10-2013, 11:14
What God says is not my opinion. It is His truth. You say most of the world would disagree . I agree with that.. The majority's disagreement, is that not an opinion.?.I am hardly naive.
However, I didn't realize one of them was not an American..my apologies. I hope it works out for them whatever it is….and for you too.

j2ponies
11-10-2013, 11:16
Muddy water, thanks for explaining that. good information.

Wise Old Owl
11-10-2013, 11:34
Thanks Stranger - you saved me from typing the same thing... she needs to work on the proof - that's a little tougher - but it looks like it will work out... - my immigration lawyer was a waste of my time and money. I eventually sat down and read all the rules over the course of a month and got thru the mess of American citizenship $1400 and 8 months later, I got it done. - Going the other way would of been interesting... As I carried British birth and pass ports for the first 13 years of life.


Hey lets keep this on track...

MuddyWaters
11-10-2013, 11:55
I dont think they are talking wanting to change citizenship, just a 2 yr visa.

My understanding is that if you are visiting a member of the opposite sex, thats usually a strike against you for getting a temporary visa to start with.

Renouncing US citizenship requires you to pay your exit tax. US has the deepest tax tentacles of any country in the world.

Mags
11-10-2013, 19:00
Marriage is a God thing.no other labels. Because one doesn't believe in something doesn't make it less real.
I'm not preaching to anyone..Some don't believe in hell....it's still there..... all I meant is it would cut through all the red tape they go through.
Are they American? What's wrong with keeping American?
christian turning jewish isn't even a good analogy.

Let's keep the religious, social, or political debates away from the OP's question. If you don't know say so..and wish then good luck. :)

Thanks!

Any further posts will get some annoying link to animated GIF of my choice. ;)

PD230SOI
11-10-2013, 19:39
Hi,

I would recommend NOT lying. Many folks working the visa line have seen it all and are very good sniffing out a lie. One little lie would encourage them to dig very deep or just deny you if they are busy.

document everything you can and be honest.

Good luck.

dkcombs2
11-10-2013, 20:39
This may sound like an odd request but please bear withme... If you are part of a married couple, or a couple who have been livingtogether, and you have hiked the trail in whole or part (at least halfway) Iwould be grateful if you would contact me on the following matter if you feelyou could help.
My partner and I met while thru hiking the trail lastyear (2012 - we are Button and Loops), we met just a couple weeks into thetrail and not long after were inseparable. We are still going strong as acouple a year and a half later but unfortunately come from different sides ofthe pond!
We are now trying to apply for a 2 year visa for Loops tocome to live in the UK, but one of our qualifying criteria is to show evidenceof a long term, sustainable relationship akin to marriage for 2 years.Our application will be sent in April 2014, but we are counting our 8 months onthe trail as part of this time.
We are now concerned that someone with no knowledge oftrial life will find it hard to believe that living together in a double tent,being together 24 hours a day and hiking the trail with all of its trials andtribulations constitutes a situation like marriage - which is obviously viewedvery conventionally in a house with bills in joint names etc.
We are hoping to enlist a little help from empatheticmarried or coupled AT hikers who might feel they could write a short statementshowing that they have done the same as us and that it counts very much as anactivity for married people to sling a pack on their back and stroll into thewilderness for months on end!
If anyone feels they might be able to help us out, pleasefeel free to contact me. Thank you and happy trails everyone :-)

[email protected] Just finishing thru hike with wife. You may contact us.

HikerMom58
11-10-2013, 20:49
[email protected] Just finishing thru hike with wife. You may contact us.

Wow.... You just finished a thru hike and your married at age 3? LOL!! :p

Seriously, that's nice of you to offer your help. :>)

stranger
11-11-2013, 06:01
Hi,

I would recommend NOT lying. Many folks working the visa line have seen it all and are very good sniffing out a lie. One little lie would encourage them to dig very deep or just deny you if they are busy.

document everything you can and be honest.

Good luck.

Yes, what they said.

Another Kevin
11-11-2013, 09:01
Renouncing US citizenship requires you to pay your exit tax. US has the deepest tax tentacles of any country in the world.

US expatration tax applies only to taxpayers with $2 million net worth or who paid average net income tax of $155,000 per annum in the last five years, or who fail to certify that they have been in compliance with the tax code for the 5 years prior to loss of citizenship. How many "hiker trash" are that rich?

Astro
11-11-2013, 10:20
US expatration tax applies only to taxpayers with $2 million net worth or who paid average net income tax of $155,000 per annum in the last five years, or who fail to certify that they have been in compliance with the tax code for the 5 years prior to loss of citizenship. How many "hiker trash" are that rich?

Don't know, but if I was that rich, I know I sure would do a lot more hiking! :):D

Rain Man
11-11-2013, 15:01
You can easily say you met 6 months before the trail, then decided to hike the AT together, etc... There would be no way for them to question that.

It's possible you might want to review the WhiteBlaze User Agreement before publicly posting that someone commit a felony?

4. Discussions involving how to commit illegal acts ... are forbidden.

Rain Man

.

MuddyWaters
11-11-2013, 20:11
US expatration tax applies only to taxpayers with $2 million net worth or who paid average net income tax of $155,000 per annum in the last five years, or who fail to certify that they have been in compliance with the tax code for the 5 years prior to loss of citizenship. How many "hiker trash" are that rich?


Not many 25 yr olds

Quite a few 55+

2MM isnt rich. Not even close. One might be able to retire at 55 with that if they lived conservatively though, thanks to near zero interest rates.

Malto
11-11-2013, 20:40
Hey Button,
good to hear everything is going well. Good luck on your Visa. I can be a witness that you two weren't killing each other in PA if that would help! :)

Another Kevin
11-12-2013, 06:56
Not many 25 yr olds

Quite a few 55+

2MM isnt rich. Not even close. One might be able to retire at 55 with that if they lived conservatively though, thanks to near zero interest rates.

In the US these days, being able to retire, at any age, is beyond the means of most people. But we digress.

stranger
11-16-2013, 01:32
US expatration tax applies only to taxpayers with $2 million net worth or who paid average net income tax of $155,000 per annum in the last five years, or who fail to certify that they have been in compliance with the tax code for the 5 years prior to loss of citizenship. How many "hiker trash" are that rich?

Yes, learn about US expat tax requirements...it's important to know what your responsibilities are...cause no one will tell you. Keep in mind that the tax free threshold is US $96,000, meaning if you early less than that you still have to file a return, but you pay no tax. You also must declare any foreign bank account (which mean any bank an US citizen has outside the US) that exceeds $10,000, it's called FBAR.

It's not a big deal to do this once you get in a swing of it, it's just a little annoying and costs a few hundred bucks

stranger
11-16-2013, 01:35
It's possible you might want to review the WhiteBlaze User Agreement before publicly posting that someone commit a felony?


Rain Man

.

Fair point, it was a stupid thing to say...it wasn't my intention to break the terms of service, upset anyone or encourage someone break the law...in my mind I was passing along information, rather than giving advice. When you travel around the world you meet others who do the same, everyone tells their story, visa's often come up...I've heard a hundred different ways people have gotten visa's, and I was sharing what I've heard. I regret the statement and removed it.

HockeyGirl
11-20-2013, 17:00
Hey Malto - thanks for the good wishes - we are still quite happily trekking along together in life and I'm glad I've convinced Loops to make the leap over the pond - just wishing it were easier for him to do.

Thanks for the general positive comments from people - to clarify, we're not quite ready for marriage yet! We would just like to be a normal couple living together full time - Loops has used up his visitor visa time over 5 visits this year.

And we've got an offer of help so whiteblaze to the rescue again!
Happy Trails!