Originally Posted by AS701
A colleague previously in a similar situation mentioned this site as being a big help. Please let me know if I've misread any of the rules or posted in the wrong place.
Quick background: my fiancee and myself have been together just over six years (I popped the question last Nov). She's American and I'm British, and we met when I did a year of study abroad in the US. We're looking to legally marry late this year/early next, and then have the 'party' wedding later on with family, friends etc. This is so we can get started on the visa process and get her out here as soon as possible. I have a few questions that if anyone could give me some pointers on, would be an immense help.
1). Would it be easier for the visa process if we are married in the UK or the US? Most evidence I've found suggests the US is a cheaper and more straightforward option, but I wanted to check if there would be any impact on the visa process if we did the paperwork out there.
2). If we marry in the US, would it make more sense for my partner to apply from the US or the UK? If the latter, how does this work from an arriving in the UK perspective, i.e.: does she need to arrive on a tourist or other visa and then apply?
3). Would it be advisable to speak to an immigration lawyer? My colleague utilised what he called a 'half service' whereby he and his partner did the paperwork and just had the lawyer let them know what they needed to do and check their form over. I guess this question also boils down to, how arduous is the process? We have time and are willing to do it ourselves, but want to make sure we do it correctly.
4). How soon after (presumably) receiving the visa, can my partner both move over here, and then work?
5). What are the total cost estimates for the whole process? I'm aware of the base fees of £1033/1523, plus the health surcharge. Are there any further costs likely and if so what and how much should we expect?
Any further advice would be massively appreciated.
Hope everyone is having a good weekend!
1. Yes, get married in the US. Then apply for the spouse visa for your wife
2. The spouse visa MUST be applied for from the US
3. Read the following website carefully to see how to apply:
If no 'skeletons' in the cupboard the completing of the online application should be straightforward also the submission of supporting documents. Many people do it themselves. Once submitted the process takes up to 3 months or you can pay extra for priority service.
4. Once approved you have 30 days to pick up the BRP document.
5. Visa fees and the NHS surcharge are the main expenses. Priority service is approx 800 GBP more and there might be expenses in getting all t he supporting documentation together.