Married in the UK or US

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Married in the UK or US


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Old 25th January 2012, 10:24 PM
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Hi,

My boyfriend is a UK citizen (currently living in the UK) and I'm a USA citizen (currently living in NYC). We are thinking of getting engaged soon but wanted to know what makes more sense in terms of one of us making the move.

If we were to get engaged, but wanted to spend the next 3-5 years living in the UK, would it make more sense to get married in the US or the UK for visa purposes? We eventually would like to settle down permanently in the USA.

If we were to obtain a UK fiance visa for me, would we need to get married within 6 months in the UK? Could I work in the UK on that visa? Is sponsorship still the best route to working in the UK (I've already been sponsored in the UK for 3 years).

What would his options be in terms of obtaining a USA working visa?

Please advise!

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Old 25th January 2012, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by usatouk View Post
Hi,

My boyfriend is a UK citizen (currently living in the UK) and I'm a USA citizen (currently living in NYC). We are thinking of getting engaged soon but wanted to know what makes more sense in terms of one of us making the move.

If we were to get engaged, but wanted to spend the next 3-5 years living in the UK, would it make more sense to get married in the US or the UK for visa purposes? We eventually would like to settle down permanently in the USA.

If we were to obtain a UK fiance visa for me, would we need to get married within 6 months in the UK? Could I work in the UK on that visa? Is sponsorship still the best route to working in the UK (I've already been sponsored in the UK for 3 years).

What would his options be in terms of obtaining a USA working visa?
In your situation, the easier and probably the cheaper option is to get married in US and apply for your spouse visa ($1337). This way, you only need one visa application, which will be valid 27 months and you can work straightaway on arrival. Your fiancé doesn't need a speacial visa to be married - just ESTA/visa waiver.

To get married in UK and stay on, you need a fiancée visa ($1337), get married within 6 months (and you can't work) and then apply for further leave to remain as wife. This will cost you extra in visa fees of £550 or £850 for same-day service.

As for your fiancé/husband coming to live in US, this will always be a more time-consuming procedure, taking anything from 6 to 12 months. He can either apply for an immigrant visa which gives him lawful permanent resident status on arrival, or a non-immigrant visa and get his status changed to LPR after arrival. You will need a US-based sponsor (you or another relative, for example), there is a long wait until your case is allocated, and a medical and a personal interview at US embassy in every case. Get details on your options by posting a query on US forum.

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Old 26th January 2012, 02:39 PM
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Hi all

I have been scouring through this forum this afternoon as well as last night. Thanks to all who post such helpful information.

I have a 10 year tourist visa after a subsequent problem in 2009 on the VWP and got sent back. I have been back since then with this 10yr dealio.

I (UK citizen) got engaged in England to my American girlfriend almost a month ago. She has since returned to her teaching job in America.

We are yet to set a date, but plan on getting married in the US and then living and working in the UK.

I have a few questions that hopefully some can answer..

1) Can she visit me here in England before we actually get married (with no intention to marry on the visits) on a regular tourist visa?

2) Is it a viable option for me to fly to America for say 1/2weeks on a tourist visa, have a small wedding ceremony, return to England alone, apply and get spouse visa for her, then return to USA for a three week period months later, have a proper celebration and then both of us return to UK together and work?

3) IF I flew in to US on my tourist visa, we got married in the USA, how long would I be eligible to stay before I would need to return? It would be fine to be the USA for say 4 weeks, still on my tourist visa?

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Old 26th January 2012, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by dc7 View Post
Hi all

I have been scouring through this forum this afternoon as well as last night. Thanks to all who post such helpful information.

I have a 10 year tourist visa after a subsequent problem in 2009 on the VWP and got sent back. I have been back since then with this 10yr dealio.

I (UK citizen) got engaged in England to my American girlfriend almost a month ago. She has since returned to her teaching job in America.

We are yet to set a date, but plan on getting married in the US and then living and working in the UK.

I have a few questions that hopefully some can answer..

1) Can she visit me here in England before we actually get married (with no intention to marry on the visits) on a regular tourist visa?
Shouldn't be a problem, but expect her to be quizzed about her exact purpose of visit, where she will be staying, with whom, return date and so on. Make sure she has answer to all these, making it clear she has no desire to marry or live longterm in UK (don't talk about future plans). To show she will definitely return, carry a letter from her school/college stating when she is expected back.

Quote:
2) Is it a viable option for me to fly to America for say 1/2weeks on a tourist visa, have a small wedding ceremony, return to England alone, apply and get spouse visa for her, then return to USA for a three week period months later, have a proper celebration and then both of us return to UK together and work?
Except that your fiancée (now wife) will have to apply for her own visa while in US, you acting as her sponsor. As she won't be joining you for a while, delay applying for her visa until about a month before her expected travel date. Her spouse visa will allow her to work in UK straightaway.

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3) If I flew in to US on my tourist visa, we got married in the USA, how long would I be eligible to stay before I would need to return? It would be fine to be the USA for say 4 weeks, still on my tourist visa?
I think 3 months is the limit for a tourist stay. You don't need a special visa to marry in US and return home - just ESTA/visa-waiver.

Just to remind you that rules for family reunion/migration are under review and revised regulations, yet to be announced, are expected to have much stricter requirements for financial resources as well as longer probationary period before eligible for settlement (from 2 years to 5 years). So depending on the details and start date, be prepared to bring forward your wedding and travel plans to be dealt with under existing rules.

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Old 26th January 2012, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Joppa View Post
Shouldn't be a problem, but expect her to be quizzed about her exact purpose of visit, where she will be staying, with whom, return date and so on. Make sure she has answer to all these, making it clear she has no desire to marry or live longterm in UK (don't talk about future plans). To show she will definitely return, carry a letter from her school/college stating when she is expected back.


Except that your fiancée (now wife) will have to apply for her own visa while in US, you acting as her sponsor. As she won't be joining you for a while, delay applying for her visa until about a month before her expected travel date. Her spouse visa will allow her to work in UK straightaway.


I think 3 months is the limit for a tourist stay. You don't need a special visa to marry in US and return home - just ESTA/visa-waiver.

Just to remind you that rules for family reunion/migration are under review and revised regulations, yet to be announced, are expected to have much stricter requirements for financial resources as well as longer probationary period before eligible for settlement (from 2 years to 5 years). So depending on the details and start date, be prepared to bring forward your wedding and travel plans to be dealt with under existing rules.
Thanks for swift response Joppa.

That all seems to make sense, although my concern is that even with a priority request for her spouse visa, for her to get the spouse visa and return to England with me from USA, we would take a risk upon not returning together if I only had another 3 weeks after the wedding on my return ticket.

In regards to finances currently needed, has there be any rough stipulation assumed for this? i.e. earnings of £500 a month .


In regards to 'from 2 years to 5 years', does this mean that she would have to be in the UK for 5 years before she could apply for permanent residence? Do you know what the visa situation becomes if you were to leave the UK together within those 2 years, say for 2 years and lived in australia, and then returned to the UK?

Where could I keep up to date on such changes in regulations?


I really appreciate this help

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Old 26th January 2012, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by dc7 View Post
Thanks for swift response Joppa.

That all seems to make sense, although my concern is that even with a priority request for her spouse visa, for her to get the spouse visa and return to England with me from USA, we would take a risk upon not returning together if I only had another 3 weeks after the wedding on my return ticket.
You need to plan your travel dates carefully so as not to exceed the US limit and fit in with timing for spouse visa application.

Quote:
In regards to finances currently needed, has there be any rough stipulation assumed for this? i.e. earnings of £500 a month.
Current rule is you must have £105.95 left over after paying for housing and council tax each month.

Quote:
In regards to 'from 2 years to 5 years', does this mean that she would have to be in the UK for 5 years before she could apply for permanent residence? Do you know what the visa situation becomes if you were to leave the UK together within those 2 years, say for 2 years and lived in australia, and then returned to the UK?
Yes. Currently there is no limit on how long you can stay away from UK during probationary period, provided your home is in UK and your absence is 'incidental', such as holidays or business trips. If you were to move to Australia for 2 years, that might not satisfy your residential qualification.

Quote:
Where could I keep up to date on such changes in regulations?
Any change will be announced on UKBA site. You can subscribe to regular news feed at UK Border Agency | News and updates

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Old 26th January 2012, 09:51 PM
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Thanks Joppa. Big chat to have with the fiancée now

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Old 5th February 2012, 06:15 AM
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Hello,

I believe Im in a similar situation and could use some advice as well. From what I gather, its much easier to get married in the US because my fiancee wouldnt need to have a fiancee visa to marry in the US.

He gets deployed fairly soon and we wanted to arrange something before this happens. The only way for that to happen is if we marry in the UK. So now we're wondering how to go about doing so.

Wed like to get married when I visit him before he is deployed and after this I would return to the US while he finishes his tour. That being said... how can we go about doing this?

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Old 5th February 2012, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc7 View Post
Hi all

I have been scouring through this forum this afternoon as well as last night. Thanks to all who post such helpful information.

I have a 10 year tourist visa after a subsequent problem in 2009 on the VWP and got sent back. I have been back since then with this 10yr dealio.

I (UK citizen) got engaged in England to my American girlfriend almost a month ago. She has since returned to her teaching job in America.

We are yet to set a date, but plan on getting married in the US and then living and working in the UK.

I have a few questions that hopefully some can answer..

1) Can she visit me here in England before we actually get married (with no intention to marry on the visits) on a regular tourist visa?
I can't see any problems, provided she meets the usual conditions for a tourist stay, such as return flight, enoungh funds and a reason for returning to UK , i.e. her job.

Quote:
2) Is it a viable option for me to fly to America for say 1/2weeks on a tourist visa, have a small wedding ceremony, return to England alone, apply and get spouse visa for her, then return to USA for a three week period months later, have a proper celebration and then both of us return to UK together and work?
The only thing to watch out for is the timing of your fiancée's settlement visa. It's valid for 27 months and she can apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after 2 years. But if she gets her visa too soon and delays her relocation to UK, she may be cutting it too finely to apply for ILR before her visa expires. Also it's she who applies for her UK visa in US, not you - you just act as her sponsor by filling part of the application and give evidence of funds and housing. If she is staying in US for some time before moving with you to UK, delay her application until a month before she is due to travel to UK. Current processing time is only 3 days so chances are her visa will be issued quite quickly.

Quote:
3) IF I flew in to US on my tourist visa, we got married in the USA, how long would I be eligible to stay before I would need to return? It would be fine to be the USA for say 4 weeks, still on my tourist visa?
You can usually stay the maximum of 90 days, but that depends on what the border agent gives you. They may give you more - up to 6 months - or less. If you've been to US frequently, chances are you may get less than someone who hasn't been for a long time, or only comes once a year.

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Old 11th February 2012, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Joppa View Post
In your situation, the easier and probably the cheaper option is to get married in US and apply for your spouse visa ($1337). This way, you only need one visa application, which will be valid 27 months and you can work straightaway on arrival. Your fiancé doesn't need a speacial visa to be married - just ESTA/visa waiver.

To get married in UK and stay on, you need a fiancée visa ($1337), get married within 6 months (and you can't work) and then apply for further leave to remain as wife. This will cost you extra in visa fees of £550 or £850 for same-day service.

As for your fiancé/husband coming to live in US, this will always be a more time-consuming procedure, taking anything from 6 to 12 months. He can either apply for an immigrant visa which gives him lawful permanent resident status on arrival, or a non-immigrant visa and get his status changed to LPR after arrival. You will need a US-based sponsor (you or another relative, for example), there is a long wait until your case is allocated, and a medical and a personal interview at US embassy in every case. Get details on your options by posting a query on US forum.
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?

Cheers

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