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Hello! My fiancee is currently studying in Scotland, working on his PhD. We plan to get married in October and apply for a EEA Family Permit (correct one?) so I can live there with him for the next 1 - 1 1/2 years while he finishes at University. I am an American citizen, he is a Swedish citizen. We are hoping he gets a job in the UK or America after he finishes. My questions:

How long should we expect the visa to take if we both have clean records and have traveled a bit? I've seen everything from 10 days to 60 days! Wondering if I'm going to be "trapped" in the US by myself while he has to go back. :(

Which leads to my second question, can I return with him to Scotland and apply for the EEA Family Permit at the Consulate there? We'll be living only and hour and a half from Edinburgh, and there's one there.

We were contemplating getting the "paperwork" for our marriage done in June when he visits so we can get the ball rolling but our very conservative parents feel we should not do that and kind of "guilted" him in to agreeing not to do it. Will we have enough time to do this in the 2-4 weeks he'll be here in October? Or is this really one of those things you should get started as soon as possible?

Thank you so very much for any help! I'm a bit stressed out having to plan a wedding AND battle family concerning things AND research what I need to apply for and how. :(

Genevieve
 

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The EEA permit thing works a bit differently from the way things are handled in France, but a general rule of thumb is that you cannot start the process until after you are married. You will need your marriage certificate (probably a "certified" or apostilled version) to start the process rolling - and those can take a couple of weeks to get after the ceremony.

Chances are you will have to wait back in the US after the marriage to get the paperwork processed - what you can do now is to check on your state's procedure for obtaining a certified or apostilled marriage certificate. This can be the source of most of the waiting time.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hello! My fiancee is currently studying in Scotland, working on his PhD. We plan to get married in October and apply for a EEA Family Permit (correct one?) so I can live there with him for the next 1 - 1 1/2 years while he finishes at University. I am an American citizen, he is a Swedish citizen. We are hoping he gets a job in the UK or America after he finishes. My questions:

How long should we expect the visa to take if we both have clean records and have traveled a bit? I've seen everything from 10 days to 60 days! Wondering if I'm going to be "trapped" in the US by myself while he has to go back. :(
In February 2011, British consulate in US had 39 applications for EEA Family Permit. None took more than 10 working days, and 92% were processed within 5 days, so pretty quick. See EEA and Swiss nationals - visa application guide, and Supporting documents with a link to EEA Family Permit.

Which leads to my second question, can I return with him to Scotland and apply for the EEA Family Permit at the Consulate there? We'll be living only and hour and a half from Edinburgh, and there's one there.
You should not travel to UK without getting your EEA Family Permit, as it can cause trouble at the border. It can be applied for at any visa-issuing diplomatic post outside of UK, and it's issued free, but get it in the US as it only takes a week or so. Remember also the permit is valid for 6 months. Before expiry you should apply for a residence card to UK Border Agency in Liverpool - current wait time is around 5-6 months. It will be valid for 5 years and it will be in the form of a sticker (vignette) in your passport.

We were contemplating getting the "paperwork" for our marriage done in June when he visits so we can get the ball rolling but our very conservative parents feel we should not do that and kind of "guilted" him in to agreeing not to do it. Will we have enough time to do this in the 2-4 weeks he'll be here in October? Or is this really one of those things you should get started as soon as possible?
Generally, arranging marriage in US involves less red tape than in UK, and most seem to manage in a short space of time, though booking a reception venue, caterer, flowers and transport etc should be arranged in advance. As Bev says, find out from your courthouse etc what their specific requirements are, as they vary slightly from place to place, such as blood test, and any additional documents he needs to bring from UK other than his passport. He can just come over on visa waiver - no special visa required. Getting a state marriage certificate can take time (no apostilles needed for EEA Family Permit application). You can often speed it up by agreeing to take the signed license in person to the state vital record office. Find out about it.
 
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