american marrying a brit

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american marrying a brit


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Old 15th November 2010, 11:32 PM
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hello wonderful people willing to lend a much needed piece of advice!
I'm American Sean (28 years old). My fiance is English Grace (23). I want to marry her, but the laws don't make it easy, hence we have several questions.
Here are the details:

Grace is here (in the US) on an F1 student visa and is about to finish her optional practical training. She has a flight out of here in April, 2011, just before her visa time is up. I will go to live with her in England after the school year ends in mid-late June, 2011.
I am an American ESL teacher with a masters degree in Multicultural Education.

I have read in several places that getting married here is the easiest and cheapest option, so that is our starting point... but now what? Here is what I understand:
Step 1: Get married.
Step 2: Apply for my (American Sean's) spouse visa to live and work in England, for which I will need our marriage certificate.
Step 3: Get the visa.
Step 4: Move to England, get a job, do the family thing.

These are our questions:

1- Do we need to do anything special before we get married? (I know she doesn't need a special visa, but is there any pre-requisite?)

2- Once we're married, English Grace will have to move back to the UK in April. I will not be able to leave the US until mid-late June. Does this pose a problem?

3- When is the best time frame for us to be married in terms of visa waiting time, deadlines and considering our leaving/arrival dates?

4- Once married and I move to England on my spouse visa, can we move around/work in other countries in the EU?

5- We will eventually want to move to the US together. Will we be able to do that? Can we just move back and forth working in either country? (It's my understanding that we will have to get a separate American visa for English Grace)

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Old 16th November 2010, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgaldo View Post
hello wonderful people willing to lend a much needed piece of advice!
I'm American Sean (28 years old). My fiance is English Grace (23). I want to marry her, but the laws don't make it easy, hence we have several questions.
Here are the details:

Grace is here (in the US) on an F1 student visa and is about to finish her optional practical training. She has a flight out of here in April, 2011, just before her visa time is up. I will go to live with her in England after the school year ends in mid-late June, 2011.
I am an American ESL teacher with a masters degree in Multicultural Education.

I have read in several places that getting married here is the easiest and cheapest option, so that is our starting point... but now what? Here is what I understand:
Step 1: Get married.
Step 2: Apply for my (American Sean's) spouse visa to live and work in England, for which I will need our marriage certificate.
Step 3: Get the visa.
Step 4: Move to England, get a job, do the family thing.

These are our questions:

1- Do we need to do anything special before we get married? (I know she doesn't need a special visa, but is there any pre-requisite?)
Just the usual procedures for marrying in your State. You may need to give notice, some require blood test etc.

Quote:
2- Once we're married, English Grace will have to move back to the UK in April. I will not be able to leave the US until mid-late June. Does this pose a problem?
No, this is usual for people in your position, as UK spouse would want to go home to sort out the accommodation, get a job etc.

Quote:
3- When is the best time frame for us to be married in terms of visa waiting time, deadlines and considering our leaving/arrival dates?
Get married just before she returns to UK, and then pay extra for priority service to get your settlement visa, which should be ready within 15 business days. You can ask your visa to be postdated by up to 3 months. Then you should be able to move to UK when your school year finishes. Remember, though, you need to have confirmation of suitable accommodation in UK, so you can't apply until she rents a flat etc in UK. It's possible to live with your future in-laws or other relatives and friends until a more permanent accommodation is sorted, in which case you need confirmation of their accommodation, how many people are living, and which part of the house will be for your exclusive use (minimum: own bedroom) etc. You also need to satisfy funding requirement, so that you don't become a charge on the UK government (no recourse to public funds), such as a job in UK for your wife (called sponsor), joint savings and your willingness and ability to get a job in UK. Find out what you need to do to apply for settlement visa in WorldBridge site, with links to UK Border Agency: https://www.visainfoservices.com/Pag...g=Welcome_Page

Quote:
4- Once married and I move to England on my spouse visa, can we move around/work in other countries in the EU?
She can move freely within EU (and a few other countries) to live and work - you will need to get a residence permit as a spouse, which you normally apply for after arrival, which usually gives you the right to work as well (but this depends on the country - some make you wait). Remember your settlement visa is valid up to 27 months, and after two years in UK you apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR), a bit like the green card for permanent residents. After a further year (3 years in total), you can apply for naturalisation as British citizen, giving you complete freedom of movement like your future wife.

Quote:
5- We will eventually want to move to the US together. Will we be able to do that? Can we just move back and forth working in either country? (It's my understanding that we will have to get a separate American visa for English Grace)
She will need to make a fresh visa application for US. If you have obtained ILR, you can stay away up to 2 years and you are accepted back as returning resident. Only naturalisation as British citizen gives you freedom to return to UK at any time (called right of abode). To get the best of both worlds, your future wife should then work towards gaining US citizenship. Any children you will have will be dual nationals from birth.


Last edited by Joppa; 16th November 2010 at 12:27 AM.
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