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Hello,


My boyfriend of 5 and a half years and I recently got engaged. We are looking to get married in the U.S. And want to know what the first steps should be.


He currently lives in the UK... I live in the USA. I see a lot of posts on this topic but I am a little overwhelmed with visas, etc.


Any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks!
 

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Me and my husband just got married in the USA I'm from the UK. My advice to you before getting married is find an excellent immigration lawyer. The process is long, tedious and stressful and expensive so find out as much as you can from the lawyer. Don't skimp on a crappy lawyer it's worth it in the end. It will cost at least 6000 dollars
 

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Just a responsible alternative opinion - unless you have distinct skeletons in the closet, don't waste your money on an immigration attorney.

Your first big decision is where you want to live once you are married. That determines who needs to apply for a spouse visa, and who sponsors who. Both the US and the UK require the sponsoring spouse to have a certain level of income. The US at least allows the US spouse to enlist a co-sponsor if he or she doesn't have adequate income.

That's your starting point, in any event. Where you plan to settle after the wedding...
Cheers,
Bev
 

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For a fiancee visa
K1 Fiance Visa Process Flowchart and Timeline

US Citizen can apply for a special visa to allow a non-citizen (their fiancée) to enter the country in order to get married to a US citizen inside the US.

Once issued, the K1 visa will allow the non-citizen to enter the United States legally, for 90 days in order for the marriage ceremony to take place. Once you marry, the non-citizen can remain in the US and may apply for permanent residence. While USCIS processes the application, the non-citizen can remain in the US legally
The US citizen income must meet the require minimum to fulfill the affidavit of support
currently $19912 for a 2 person household
 

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The US citizen income must meet the require minimum to fulfill the affidavit of support
currently $19912 for a 2 person household
....Or have reasonably substantial liquid wealth.

Let's try to provide reasonably complete information to be helpful here, OK? There are many people that don't necessarily meet the income threshold who easily meet the wealth threshold and who are thus qualified financial sponsors.
 

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Me and my husband just got married in the USA I'm from the UK. My advice to you before getting married is find an excellent immigration lawyer. The process is long, tedious and stressful and expensive so find out as much as you can from the lawyer. Don't skimp on a crappy lawyer it's worth it in the end. It will cost at least 6000 dollars
As long as you can read and write English, have no skeletons in the closet and can follow directions there is no need for an attorney.
Something went wrong with your petition apparently. I am sorry to hear that.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Just a responsible alternative opinion - unless you have distinct skeletons in the closet, don't waste your money on an immigration attorney.

Your first big decision is where you want to live once you are married. That determines who needs to apply for a spouse visa, and who sponsors who. Both the US and the UK require the sponsoring spouse to have a certain level of income. The US at least allows the US spouse to enlist a co-sponsor if he or she doesn't have adequate income.

That's your starting point, in any event. Where you plan to settle after the wedding...
Cheers,
Bev
Our intention is to live in the United States and possibly get married here as well. We don't have any skeletons in our closet :) . He has a nice amount of money in the back plus an earnings every month.

Thank you for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you everyone for your help! I really appreciate it! As I mentioned above, my fiancé does have a nice salary and savings in the UK from his military pension which I think might be working in our favor from the advice given above. Ideally we would like to live in the U.S. first. I am employed and currently reside here so it just makes sense for us to live here right now.

And we spoke about getting married here in the United States. Depending on how long this process takes and expenses we thought about doing a court style marriage first then later on in life having a wedding ceremony to bring family and friends together. But this is all talk as we don't know what is the best way to go about this and if its possible to do that.


Again, thank you everyone for your advice we really appreciate it! :)
 

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Thank you everyone for your help! I really appreciate it! As I mentioned above, my fiancé does have a nice salary and savings in the UK from his military pension which I think might be working in our favor from the advice given above. Ideally we would like to live in the U.S. first. I am employed and currently reside here so it just makes sense for us to live here right now.

And we spoke about getting married here in the United States. Depending on how long this process takes and expenses we thought about doing a court style marriage first then later on in life having a wedding ceremony to bring family and friends together. But this is all talk as we don't know what is the best way to go about this and if its possible to do that.


Again, thank you everyone for your advice we really appreciate it! :)
It is six or half a dozen. CR1 or K1 whatever works better for you. CR1 - get married, he stays in the UK until his petition is through, K1 he moves to the U.S. after the initial petition is through, you get married and adjust his status. It looks like 12-18 months either way right now going by what I have heard.
 

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you can marry on an ESTA ....
and then you leave the US and you spouse files for a spousal visa

you will return to the US about the year later

the k-1 is quicker
 

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Yes but visits during that time will be fine right?
Outside the United States? Sure.

Inside the United States? Well, that's a bit "interesting." In principle yes, but the foreign spouse is in an odd position of needing binding ties outside the United States while simultaneously having an immigrant visa application on file. U.S. authorities don't recommend you travel to the U.S. with such a pending immigrant visa application -- you can get tripped up if you aren't careful answering CBP's questions -- but possible, yes.

May I also point out that marriage comes with certain rights that are important to many couples. Thus many couples decide to get married sooner rather than later, to make sure those rights are well secured. To pick one random example, legal spouses enjoy U.S. Social Security survivor's benefits.
 

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Strictly speaking when you visit you declare you have no immigrant intent ..where the computer will show that not true
many not thru but a fair number do not
 

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I was talking to my immigration attorney on another matter, but discussions about a recent issue I had covered this kind of situation. Her advice was to never, ever attempt to enter under the VWP when there was an immigration case on foot.
 
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