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Hello everyone!

I am an American who was married to my British husband last December. Our VAF4A was quickly approved, and I flew into Heathrow without any problems earlier this month.

Notes on Clearing Immigration at the Airport
• Make sure you have your marriage certificate to hand, to show the Entry Clearance Officer with your passport!

• The ECO asked to see a photocopy of my husband's birth certificate or passport. I didn't have it on me, so I suggested I could "show him the whole binder that we sent into UKBA originally," as it was in my carry-on luggage. The ECO just chuckled and said it "wasn't necessary" and proceeded to ask me questions.

Questions I remember being asked
• What is your address? [I gave my UK address, as I had been living in London for 2+ years prior to visiting the states. This opened up the fact that I had previously been in the UK on a student visa]
• What and where were you studying here in the UK before getting married?
• How did you meet your husband?
• On what day were you married? [I said "uh, on a Tuesday?" which made the ECO laugh - they were looking for the date!]
• Was it a surprise when he proposed?
• Why have you decided to come to England, instead of the USA? [I was personal and straightforward with my answer - I simply explained that while my husband and I like America, I loved living in London because it's such a vibrant city, my husband has a great job, and we eventually want to start a family in London]
• What does your husband do, and where does he work?
• How old is your husband, and what is his birthday?
• What are your career plans? [I told him I still have one more year left of studies before I become a trainee solicitor, and plan to work in financial or legal services].

All in all, a very smooth and easy process. My ECO was really nice and wished me a Happy Valentine's Day as I landed on the 14th of February!


A few quick questions
• Husband & I were planning on registering our marriage certificate with the Foreign Office here in London. HOWEVER, this has apparently been discontinued as per:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/...istry-service-discontinued-for-overseas-brits

"There is no legal requirement to deposit your foreign marriage or civil partnership certificate with the GRO, or to have your marriage/civil partnership recorded in the UK. The deposit of a foreign certificate does not make the marriage legal in the UK, nor does it ‘recognise’ the marriage as a valid one. The validity in UK law of a marriage or civil partnership contracted in a foreign country is in no way affected by its having been, or not having been, recorded in the UK."

So, what next? Do we register our marriage with the US Embassy, or elsewhere?

• My current spouse visa expires in October 2016, but my passport expires 9 months earlier. Do I simply get a new passport, but continue to carry my old passport (with the spouse visa inside) around with me when I travel? Or will I have to obtain an entirely new visa early?

• What is the suitable form for the next application, ie the one we'll make in October 2016, but before the Indefinite Leave to Remain application? I realise it's still years (!) away but I'm curious and want to know what sort of documentation & evidence this will require.

Many thanks in advance, as always!
 

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Yay good one congrats...

But i got really scared reading it imagining, what if my fiance gets the visa and he will be asked all these questions? it went smooth because you were confident in answering them maybe because you've been here before and can speak fluently... but what if they ask the same question to my fiance? i'll be scared to death as he doesn't speak much english huhuhu
 

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Hello everyone!

I am an American who was married to my British husband last December. Our VAF4A was quickly approved, and I flew into Heathrow without any problems earlier this month.

Notes on Clearing Immigration at the Airport
• Make sure you have your marriage certificate to hand, to show the Entry Clearance Officer with your passport!

• The ECO asked to see a photocopy of my husband's birth certificate or passport. I didn't have it on me, so I suggested I could "show him the whole binder that we sent into UKBA originally," as it was in my carry-on luggage. The ECO just chuckled and said it "wasn't necessary" and proceeded to ask me questions.

Questions I remember being asked
• What is your address? [I gave my UK address, as I had been living in London for 2+ years prior to visiting the states. This opened up the fact that I had previously been in the UK on a student visa]
• What and where were you studying here in the UK before getting married?
• How did you meet your husband?
• On what day were you married? [I said "uh, on a Tuesday?" which made the ECO laugh - they were looking for the date!]
• Was it a surprise when he proposed?
• Why have you decided to come to England, instead of the USA? [I was personal and straightforward with my answer - I simply explained that while my husband and I like America, I loved living in London because it's such a vibrant city, my husband has a great job, and we eventually want to start a family in London]
• What does your husband do, and where does he work?
• How old is your husband, and what is his birthday?
• What are your career plans? [I told him I still have one more year left of studies before I become a trainee solicitor, and plan to work in financial or legal services].

All in all, a very smooth and easy process. My ECO was really nice and wished me a Happy Valentine's Day as I landed on the 14th of February!


A few quick questions
• Husband & I were planning on registering our marriage certificate with the Foreign Office here in London. HOWEVER, this has apparently been discontinued as per:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/...istry-service-discontinued-for-overseas-brits

"There is no legal requirement to deposit your foreign marriage or civil partnership certificate with the GRO, or to have your marriage/civil partnership recorded in the UK. The deposit of a foreign certificate does not make the marriage legal in the UK, nor does it ‘recognise’ the marriage as a valid one. The validity in UK law of a marriage or civil partnership contracted in a foreign country is in no way affected by its having been, or not having been, recorded in the UK."

So, what next? Do we register our marriage with the US Embassy, or elsewhere?
Unnecessary.

• My current spouse visa expires in October 2016, but my passport expires 9 months earlier. Do I simply get a new passport, but continue to carry my old passport (with the spouse visa inside) around with me when I travel? Or will I have to obtain an entirely new visa early?
You carry 2 passports.

• What is the suitable form for the next application, ie the one we'll make in October 2016, but before the Indefinite Leave to Remain application? I realise it's still years (!) away but I'm curious and want to know what sort of documentation & evidence this will require.
After you have resided in the UK for 30 months, you apply for further leave to remain as a spouse which is FLR(M).
 

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Until the end of 2013, you could deposit foreign marriage certificate with General Register Office and obtain UK-style marriage certificate from them. This was useful, esp if you were married in a non-English speaking country. Alas this facility has now been withdrawn, so you have to use your US certificate whenever a marriage certificate is required. It should be accepted just like UK one, and it's in English.
 

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Wow there are lots of questions!I also was prepared to answer some questions upon my arrival but instead I only got asked one question of whether my husband was meeting me at the airport (obviously he was) .The ECO I got didn't seem to be bothered with what was going on around her as she was simultaneously chatting with an another ECO next to her while checking my passport,though can't complain.
 

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ECO (entry clearance officer) works at overseas visa hub (office). Immigration officer mans the counter at UK border.
 

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hi, this is a great post -
congratulations by the way.

we are just about to go through the process of sending out visa application off. Married two weeks ago and my wife (American) is currently still back in the states.

What did you do about sending the documents with a prepaid return?
We cannot find anywhere who will issue a pre-paid waybill/postage label...

so considering just sending it without and then getting in touch with them when they receive it.

any ideas? really interested to hear how you did it

many thanks
Matt
 

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I wrote this at the same time you responded it seems.
The reason I posted again is because my wife is currently driving around (literally as I type) and has been to Fedex and the person at the desk there said she can't.

Clearly we cant take a fedex employees word about this and I wanted to try asking someone else who has recently gone through the process.
 

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Make a shipping account online with UPS. Print your own shipping labels from home, or simply include a note in your folder with your UPS account number on it.
 

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• My current spouse visa expires in October 2016, but my passport expires 9 months earlier. Do I simply get a new passport, but continue to carry my old passport (with the spouse visa inside) around with me when I travel? Or will I have to obtain an entirely new visa early?
I have a maybe dumb question, but that's applying for another US Passport, yeah? Not a UK one since you can't do that until your 5 years & indefinite leave to remain is approved?
 

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I have a maybe dumb question, but that's applying for another US Passport, yeah? Not a UK one since you can't do that until your 5 years & indefinite leave to remain is approved?
Yes, the US passport.
 
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