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Hi all,

I'm new to the site and have been sifting through threads to try and find answers/advice to my specific questions, but I'm not sure I completely understand my options...

I am a student on a UK Tier 4 visa (USA citizen) which expires in November 2014. I don't think I'll be able to get a job after graduation that pays enough to switch onto a Tier 2 work visa, and so my boyfriend and I are considering getting married so we can be together.

Right now, I make about £430 a month doing part-time work whilst studying. My boyfriend works a part-time salaried position and makes about £1200 per month. He earns a little extra money in self-employed teaching. We've only been working since September 2013, so my question is mostly about timing.

Assuming we will average the above income, we will just reach the 'new' financial requirement for spouse visa applicants. So when would be the best time to a) get married in a UK registrar office? and b) to apply for the spouse visa?

My other questions are a) Can I get married in the UK if I'm on a Tier 4 visa? b) Does it matter how long we've been married before we apply? and most importantly c) Do I need to apply from my home country if I'm on a Tier 4 visa? Can I just apply to 'switch'?

Thanks for any information you have!
 

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First, for self-employment income to count, you need a year's account, tax statement etc, so you cannot apply until at least Sept 2014. If you can get more pay or more hours with employed jobs, that will be easier.
You can switch from Tier 4 to leave to remain as partner at any time before Tier 4 expiry. You can marry while you are on Tier 4, and you don't have to switch immediately after your marriage, though the sooner you do, the earlier you can be settled (5 years under partner leave).
 
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