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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I've just joined this site because after 5 minutes of looking through it, I found information quicker and more clearly stated than weeks on the government websites. I feel like I've found some of the answers to my situation, but I wanted to explain my specific situation and be sure that the same information applies, so I apologize if I'm simply repeating another thread.

I'm a US citizen currently living in America, my fiancee is a Brit living in England. We met in Japan and have been dating for years, although we have never officially lived together or shared an address. We're going to get married and live in the UK.

Would it be simpler/cheaper for us to marry in American or England?

1) From what I understand, if we marry in the UK, we'd eventually have to fill out and pay for two visa applications?
2) While I would be able to live with her in England on my initial visa, I wouldn't be able to work until I get that second visa?
3) How much time passes before I can apply for that second visa? Again, during this time I wouldn't be able to work?

4) If we get married in the US, she'd be able to come here on a basic tourist visa, during which time we could get married?
5) The day after we get married, I'd be able to begin the application for that second, more permanent visa to live in England?
6) Once I get that visa, I'd be able to go to England and begin looking for a job?
7) While waiting for my spouse visa, would I have to remain in the US, or would I be able to join her in England, not working until that spouse visa comes through?

Thanks a lot for any help/clarification you can give, I appreciate it!
 

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Get married in the US (simpler), then she leaves back to the UK and you apply for the spouse visa (she has to sponsor you)

As soon as you arrive in the UK with the visa you can work. You obtain an inital 2.5 year visa, then you apply for another 2.5 year visa after which you obtain ILR (Indefinite leave to remain)

During the visa processing time (which is usually about 2 to three months) you can visit the UK but can't work.

Read the following to make sure she can sponsor you:

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

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Someone posted this yesterday, I answered there myself. Suffice it to say, I'd recommend getting married in the US if it's at all a possibility :)

http://www.expatforum.com/expats/br...k-marriage-what-fastest-cheapest-easiest.html

Whilst awaiting the results of your visa, you will have sent your original passport in to Sheffield with your supporting documents, so you won't be able to travel abroad in any case. But yes, you can apply for a spouse visa as soon as you have a marriage certificate, and a spouse visa gives you permission to work as soon as the validity date printed on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When talking about sponsoring, I'm assuming you mean all the financial requirements?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I've been looking more at the gov.uk site, and I'm a bit confused. It looks like whether we get married in the US or the UK, I will need to "apply to join family living permanently in the UK", because I can only "apply to remain in the UK with family" if I'm already in the UK, which I'm not.

I'm under the impression that regardless of where we get married, I'll need to apply for the first visa to join her in the UK, and then later I'd have to apply to remain in the UK with family, and much further down the road I could apply for ILR.

As far as I can tell, the only difference is that if I arrive in the UK and we're only engaged, I can't work during the engagement. If I arrive in the UK and we're married, I'd be able to start working immediately.

In terms of sponsorship, I'm fairly confident that we meet the financial requirements, and I'm positive that we meet the residential requirements, as we have a place to live.

First question is, how long after applying to join family in the UK could I apply to remain in the UK with family?
Second question is, is there anything I'm missing or have gotten wrong?
 

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You apply to join family living permanently in the UK.

If you arrive on a spouse visa, you can work immediately.

Your initial visa will be for 2.5 years, then you apply for Further leave to remain for another 2.5 years. At the end of this you will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain and then citizenship.
 

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As far as I can tell, the only difference is that if I arrive in the UK and we're only engaged, I can't work during the engagement
Also, on a fiance visa, you'll have to switch to a spouse visa immediately following your marriage. A fiance visa is temporary. Do take a look into the differences in costs and requirements between marrying in the UK versus the US.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So within the "apply to join family in the UK", there are different classifications of visa? That's what confused me, the way I read the website it looked like you get one visa to join family, and eventually the next visa to remain with family, but you're saying that first I'd apply to join family as a fiance, then later I'd switch to spouse visa, then eventually apply to remain with family?
 

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Did you read through the Apply to Join Family link?

Under Eligibility it indicates:

Joining your partner

You must prove that you and your partner are 18 or over and in a genuine relationship.

You must be one of the following:

married or civil partners
living together in a relationship for 2 years
engaged to be married or to become civil partners
If you apply for a fiance visa you are applying to join family and after marriage your next visa will be FLR (M) which is applying to remain with family. That's good for 2.5 years after which you apply again to remain with family with FLR (M).
 
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