UK Family Visa question for USA fiancée

Old May 31st 2022, 2:09 pm
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Default UK Family Visa question for USA fiancée

Hi,

I've been pointed to this part of the forum to possibly clear up some confusion I have around my partner from the USA moving over to the UK to be with me while a CR1 visa is processed.

None of this may be required as I may be getting a transfer to the USA through my work but if not here's the problem we're trying to overcome (if this transfer doesn't happen).

We're planning on getting married early next year (probably Feb), we're not sure if it'll be in the UK or the USA but I'd prefer the USA as she has more family than I do, once we're married we don't really want to spend time apart as we're already doing that now, so initially this was our plan due to me misunderstanding the UK family visa

My fiancée was going to quit work around December and visit the UK on standard tourist visa then we fly out to the USA and get married, get back to the UK and apply for the family visa - however I've been informed that this isn't possible as the tourist visa isn't acceptable so she'd need to head back to the USA and wait!

With this in mind does the following sound reasonable and more to the point valid:

With my fiancée still in the USA we apply for the family visa as a fiancée with arrangements in place to get married in the UK in Feb, she then quits work and flies over when the visa is processed and we get married as planned (if processed in time), then apply to extend the visa once married?

Does this sound correct? if so are there any limitations in leaving the UK and re-entering after the wedding for a honeymoon?

Thanks for any advice

Derek
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Old May 31st 2022, 2:28 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa question for USA fiancée

So long as she holds a fiancée visa when you marry in the UK then she can apply to switch to a spouse visa from within the UK. The fiancée visa is multiple entry and has a validity period of six months so no problem going on your honeymoon first before applying for the spouse visa.
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Old May 31st 2022, 3:07 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa question for USA fiancée

Thank you for the quick reply, I think that will be the way forward then.

Unless there are any other ways to avoid being apart but from what I've read this seems the only way while I'm still working in the UK

Regards

Derek

Last edited by DerekB1972; May 31st 2022 at 3:11 pm.
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Old May 31st 2022, 4:09 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa question for USA fiancée

From your post you are intending to live in the US after marriage.
If so, then getting the UK fiance visa, getting married in the UK, and then extending to spouse visa sounds like an awfully expensive way to go just to be together while the CR1 is being processed.
1538.00 GBP for initial fiance visa + 1048.00 GBP for spouse visa + 3120.00 GBP for NHS surcharge (this last one is the kicker as you have to pay for 5 years and you are only intending to remain in UK until your CR1 comes through).

5,706.00 GBP in total.

Why not visit her in US while CR1 being processed? She also retains her job that way.



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Old May 31st 2022, 4:19 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa question for USA fiancée

Hi,

We'd rather not spend time apart after being married (we've done enough of that already), from what I understand the CR1 will take around a year (at least) so if we just do holidays together it'll only be 6ish weeks together for the first year of our marriage (and two of them would be marriage & honeymoon). I earn considerably more than she does and would be happy to support her over here while we wait and she'd also get to see more of the UK as she's only been here twice.

Not that it makes a huge difference but wouldn't the NHS surcharge be half of that as the visa is only for 30 months if done in the UK?

Regards

Derek
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Old May 31st 2022, 4:39 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa question for USA fiancée

Originally Posted by DerekB1972 View Post
Hi,



Not that it makes a huge difference but wouldn't the NHS surcharge be half of that as the visa is only for 30 months if done in the UK?

Regards

Derek
Correct..... NHS would be half what I originally quoted.
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Old May 31st 2022, 4:41 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa question for USA fiancée

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
Correct..... NHS would be half what I originally quoted.
Thanks, still a lot but I have options to think about, as you say the easiest option would be just to visit while waiting but 2 or 3 holidays would be upwards of £3k
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Old May 31st 2022, 5:28 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa question for USA fiancée

You don't need any special visa to get married in the US - it's all so much easier.
With the extended times for all visas to be processed in the UK I would have thought it could be quite stressful to plan a wedding in the UK and 'guessing' when the fiance visa will be issued (you need to show that you are preparing to get married in order to get the fiance visa ( i.e contacting church/registry office, dates, showing contact with suppliers etc). You would not have to worry about this if marrying in the US.
Waiting for the CR1 is just a small drop in the ocean compared with a lifetime together.
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Old May 31st 2022, 6:22 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa question for USA fiancée

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
You don't need any special visa to get married in the US - it's all so much easier.
With the extended times for all visas to be processed in the UK I would have thought it could be quite stressful to plan a wedding in the UK and 'guessing' when the fiance visa will be issued (you need to show that you are preparing to get married in order to get the fiance visa ( i.e contacting church/registry office, dates, showing contact with suppliers etc). You would not have to worry about this if marrying in the US.
Waiting for the CR1 is just a small drop in the ocean compared with a lifetime together.
Thanks, very valid points, we were initially thinking of getting married in the USA as it will be much easier for her family to be there, it's certainly an option and maybe we just use the 6 month tourist visa and holidays to the USA while waiting.

Thanks again

Derek
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Old May 31st 2022, 10:07 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa question for USA fiancée

Originally Posted by DerekB1972 View Post
.... just use the 6 month tourist visa and holidays to the USA while waiting. ....
If you are eligible for the VWP/ ESTA then it is rather unlikely that you will be given a B-2 tourist visa. Do you already have a B-2 visa?
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Old May 31st 2022, 10:28 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa question for USA fiancée

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
If you are eligible for the VWP/ ESTA then it is rather unlikely that you will be given a B-2 tourist visa. Do you already have a B-2 visa?
Sorry poor terminology on my part, i meant she just spends time in the uk as a tourist and then I visit her as a tourist while waiting for CR1
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Old Jun 6th 2022, 4:30 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa question for USA fiancée

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
You don't need any special visa to get married in the US - it's all so much easier.
With the extended times for all visas to be processed in the UK I would have thought it could be quite stressful to plan a wedding in the UK and 'guessing' when the fiance visa will be issued (you need to show that you are preparing to get married in order to get the fiance visa ( i.e contacting church/registry office, dates, showing contact with suppliers etc). You would not have to worry about this if marrying in the US.
Waiting for the CR1 is just a small drop in the ocean compared with a lifetime together.
This is what my daughter and now husband did, rather than the fiancé route and getting married in the UK - married in Chicago on 31 January 2020, submitted visa application there - he got visa through and moved to UK in mid March 2020 - just as flights were being cancelled.
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Old Jul 7th 2022, 10:22 am
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Default Re: UK Family Visa question for USA fiancée

Slight update, I didn't get the internal transfer role to the USA so we will be looking at getting married and going that route, still undecided on the best way forward but maybe a compromise of both options, get married in the USA, then submit the family visa application to live in the UK while the CR1 is being processed, it would save the initial £1538 fee for the UK fiancé visa and we'd already be in the USA for our honeymoon.

Thanks

Derek
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Old Jul 11th 2022, 1:28 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa question for USA fiancée

After looking at the visa process it seems straight forward, is it the process as clear as it looks? we'll be doing it online, are all the steps pretty straight forward or are there some that aren't clear? I was just wondering if it's best to get a immigration specialist involved or whether it's easy enough to do ourselves?

Thanks for any advice

Derek
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Old Jul 11th 2022, 1:40 pm
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Default Re: UK Family Visa question for USA fiancée

Originally Posted by DerekB1972 View Post
After looking at the visa process it seems straight forward, is it the process as clear as it looks? we'll be doing it online, are all the steps pretty straight forward or are there some that aren't clear? I was just wondering if it's best to get a immigration specialist involved or whether it's easy enough to do ourselves?

Thanks for any advice

Derek
The usual advice on this forum is to do it yourself unless you have some particular unusual problem. You will still have to gather all the info for a specialist and that’s most of the work. If something is unclear, ask about it - we have been guilty in the past, as have many others, of overthinking what’s required and almost looking for problems. My daughter and husband did it all two years ago with no help from anyone else so it can be done!
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