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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm in a situation here in regards to what to do.
I'm Sam, and my girlfriend and I have been dating for about 2 and a half years online. Speak to her daily and FaceTime almost every single day. She lives in New York and we're looking to move her over here after her graduation next year, but I am struggling on what Visa would be best for the situation we're in. We want to be able to live together and for her to migrate to the UK permanently, as issues at her home aren't great and she'd rather not spend anymore time than she needs to there. I'm trying my best to look at what requirements, eligibility and such I would need for her to migrate over. Obviously we've been dating online, but i'm not sure the UK government consider that a 'genuine' relationship, as we need to have been living together for that period of time.

I'm honestly stumped at to what to do and need some advice on what options we have in order to get her over here.

(Please also be gentle. This is my first post on this forum :) )
 

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You have the options of:

She qualifies under her own right to enter the UK with a work or study visa. If granted such a visa you do have the option of marrying while on such a visa.

You get married and apply for a spouse visa. Since you have not been living together for any length of time the unmarried partner option is not open to you.

If you marry YOU will have to show that you can sponsor her and fulfill the financial requirements.

The financial requirements are below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploa...pendix_FM_Annex_1_7_Financial_Requirement.pdf
 

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Your choices are limited. To qualify for a Tier 2 work visa she has to find an employer to sponsor her. As a recent university graduate with little or no experience, she's fighting an uphill battle. If her job isn't on the shortage occupation list and employer has to do a resident labour market test to prove there in no one who doesn't need a visa who can fill the position. Again, with little or no work experience the chances are pretty slim.

She can enroll in a degree program. She'll pay international student fees and the visa does not lead to settlement. If she can't find a job after graduating, she'll have to return to the US.

She can't apply for a fiance visa to marry in the UK because you have never met.

You could go to the US, marry and then provided you can meet the financial, accommodation and relationship requirements she can apply for a spouse visa from the US and once granted she can move to the UK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the quick responses! It seems like it would carry a lot of legality questions if I marry in the US and then bring her back to the UK. Is there a 'cooling off' period I should know about? How soon after we marry can we return to the UK? Also would I need to return and she return with me or on her own? Apologies for the questions!
 

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I don't think anyone will advise you to jump on a plane and marry someone you've never met in person however, you don't need a visa to marry in the US. You can marry on a regular tourist visa.

She can't come to the UK until she applies for a receives a spouse visa and as stated you need to meet the financial, accommodation and relationship requirements. What may cause you a problem is getting married the 1st time that you meet. It could be construed as a marriage of convenience. You really should make an attempt to meet once or twice so you can better establish your relationship in the eyes of UKVI, before you apply for a visa.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Of course! She's hopefully coming over this Christmas/New Year to spend some time with us so that's not an issue.
 

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Thank you for the quick responses! It seems like it would carry a lot of legality questions if I marry in the US and then bring her back to the UK. Is there a 'cooling off' period I should know about? How soon after we marry can we return to the UK? Also would I need to return and she return with me or on her own? Apologies for the questions!
As long as you've met and can provide relationship documentation, there's no time requirement for getting married. It is actually cheaper to marry in the US and apply for the spouse visa. Otherwise, you have to pay for the 6 month fiancee visa and as soon as you're married in the UK, she would have to apply for the spouse visa as well, so you end up paying twice as much within a 6 month period. She also cannot work on a fiancee visa, but can work immediately once granted the spouse visa.

My husband and I knew each other for 3 years and he visited me in the US 3 times prior to coming over for our wedding on August 3, 2013. My visa took 10 days and I arrived in Scotland on Sept. 27, 2013. My husband had to return to work 10 days after the wedding, so I traveled over on my own.

Be sure to read through this forum and ask plenty of questions before you do any applications. It will save you a lot of time, stress and possibly money.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Me again on this same post, seen as I didn't feel the need to make a new one. We're planning on marrying next year, but would we need to wait for any length of time to apply for the visa? Just asking incase excitement takes over. I don't want to ruin things at that late stage.
 

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Me again on this same post, seen as I didn't feel the need to make a new one. We're planning on marrying next year, but would we need to wait for any length of time to apply for the visa? Just asking incase excitement takes over. I don't want to ruin things at that late stage.
Your next steps depend on whether you want to get married in the US or in the UK. If she gets to visit here and you make a trip to the US prior to getting married, it would benefit her application. Again, if you marry in the US, she only has to apply for the spouse visa as soon as she can get the official copy of the marriage certificate - there's no set timeframe. The hardest part of that is to coordinate your documentation - payslips, bank statements, etc. (My husband returned to Scotland after our wedding and I joined him here less than a month later upon getting my visa.)

If you want to get married in the UK, she would have to appy for the fiancee visa which is good for 6 months and then she would have to reapply for FLR(M) as soon as you are married. This is financially difficult due to the large fees involved within a 6 month period, in addition to wedding costs, etc.

So....you both need to decide this, then work out the time line for all the documentation and application steps necessary.
 

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Would she need to come here to visit? As I am arranging to visit her in the US
It isn't a requirement (in your previous post, you said she was visiting over the holidays). I was suggesting it since it sounds like you will otherwise only meet once before getting married. I'd never visited Scotland before we married, but my husband came to the US 3 times over a 2 year period prior to his fourth visit for our wedding. In our case, the length of our relationship and his several visits were sufficient (plus we were both over 50 ;) ).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah it's come to be apparent that she won't be able to visit here, but I'll be able to visit her. I see, not a requirement but a safety measure it seems :) still, it's an excuse to see her none the less :)
 

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Where do you live in the UK? Where does she live in New York? Love is one thing but picking up lock, stock and barrel to move to a foreign country you've never even visited is a huge risk. Some people adjust easily. Some don't. You both need to give this some thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I've already spoken to her about this. But problems at home involving her and her family, private matters, she'd rather leave and take the chances than stay. I understand it's unorthodox but she wants to do this.
 

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I've already spoken to her about this. But problems at home involving her and her family, private matters, she'd rather leave and take the chances than stay. I understand it's unorthodox but she wants to do this.
Have you looked at the financial requirements you have to fulfill?

All your plans are 'moot' if you cannot afford to sponsor her.
 

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She doesn't need to come to the UK to visit, you just need to prove that you've met and have a substantial relationship. I would highly recommend getting married in the US instead of the UK, it's FAR easier and less expensive. My husband and I married in my town of residence in Connecticut and it was almost too easy - I picked him up from the airport, we drove to the town clerk's office, had a licence in 10 minutes, went to the justice of the peace we'd made an appointment with beforehand, and we were married. It just doesn't make sense to get married in the UK unless you really have a compelling reason; the 28-70 day waiting period and visa fees made that decision easy for us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
We will be marrying in the US. I'll be meeting her around September this year and going back to marry in June time next year :)
 
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