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Married in the UK or US - Page 2


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Old 11th February 2012, 09:31 PM
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This post has made me consider getting married in the US instead of the UK. It sounds so much easier and cheaper. That being the case, are there any special requirements to apply for the spouse visa (I.e do we have to have been together for a certain amount of years to qualify etc)? Also, what is the average processing time for this type of visa and can we definitely pay for the expedited process?
Rules for spouse visa are very similar to a fiancé(e) visa. While they don't specify how long you should have known each other, clearly there must be evidence that it isn't a marriage of convenience. So you need to send in evidence of a genuine relationship, such as photos taken together, travel tickets of trips together, how you kept in touch when apart and so on.

Currently the turnaround time is only 3 days, so it's probably not worth paying extra $300 for priority service. Of course if your application isn't straightforward or there are issues (such as previous visa denial or refused entry into UK), it can take longer, esp if they have to send the case to London for special attention. This isn't common and usually you can finish the whole process within a week to 10 days, including getting your biometrics done.

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Old 11th February 2012, 10:08 PM
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Rules for spouse visa are very similar to a fiancé(e) visa. While they don't specify how long you should have known each other, clearly there must be evidence that it isn't a marriage of convenience. So you need to send in evidence of a genuine relationship, such as photos taken together, travel tickets of trips together, how you kept in touch when apart and so on.

Currently the turnaround time is only 3 days, so it's probably not worth paying extra $300 for priority service. Of course if your application isn't straightforward or there are issues (such as previous visa denial or refused entry into UK), it can take longer, esp if they have to send the case to London for special attention. This isn't common and usually you can finish the whole process within a week to 10 days, including getting your biometrics done.
Awesome! Thanks Joppa. This definitely sounds like the better option. Looks like I should start planning a US wedding instead of a UK one.

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Old 13th February 2012, 11:49 AM
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For us it was different. My US partner lived in Florida but the nearest state offering a civil union was over 1000 miles away. This meant not only the cost of my flights to the US, but also my partner's costs of travel, plus place to stay (which far exceeded the cost of applying for a second visa). Couple that with the fact that no family would be able to attend, we figured (for us) it would be cheaper and better to become civil partners in the UK and pay for the FLR visa afterwards.

The only downside to this approach (especially now) is that there could be changes coming into force (possibly April - this as yet is uncertain) meaning that marrying in the UK on a fiancée visa might mean then having to wait a full 5 years before being able to apply for ILR rather than the 2 years. Getting married in the US and then applying to be here before April might mean avoiding this change and only needing to wait 2 years before applying for the ILR visa.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 13th February 2012, 04:08 PM
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For us it was different. My US partner lived in Florida but the nearest state offering a civil union was over 1000 miles away. This meant not only the cost of my flights to the US, but also my partner's costs of travel, plus place to stay (which far exceeded the cost of applying for a second visa). Couple that with the fact that no family would be able to attend, we figured (for us) it would be cheaper and better to become civil partners in the UK and pay for the FLR visa afterwards.

The only downside to this approach (especially now) is that there could be changes coming into force (possibly April - this as yet is uncertain) meaning that marrying in the UK on a fiancée visa might mean then having to wait a full 5 years before being able to apply for ILR rather than the 2 years. Getting married in the US and then applying to be here before April might mean avoiding this change and only needing to wait 2 years before applying for the ILR visa.
Of course personal circumstances may make it better to marry or enter a union in US or UK. Also the wishes of families should be taken into account.

While I don't think the new rules will come in as early as April, they are definitely under consideration and will very likely affect a lot of people planning family migration/reunion.

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