Author Topic: California girl marrying a UK citizen  (Read 429 times)

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Offline Tallulah

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California girl marrying a UK citizen
« on: January 27, 2017, 05:31:40 PM »
Hello,
I'm an American from California and I am new here and have so many questions and am hoping to learn from others who have been through the same situation or something similar. I have spent a lot of time doing research on what we need to do however I'm having a hard time putting all the bits and pieces together to come up with the best and hopefully fastest plan.
My British fiancé meets the criteria of being a British born citizen, he meets the financial requirements to support me, and we've been dating for 6 years, with me traveling back and forth for visits. I'm in the UK visiting him now. From what I've read, and correct me if I'm wrong, it's supposed to be easier for us to get married in the US because he doesn't need a Fiancé Visa to go there to get married, but I would need one to get married here. So we're thinking of flying there soon, getting married, applying for the Spousal Visa, waiting for approval, and then returning together. We are hoping to do this as quickly as possible and I'm wondering if there are things I should be doing now since we are planning on getting married there in 8 weeks. Should I be getting a marriage license paid for online? Should I be making an appointment for the Visa interview now? He'll be coming with me. Is it unrealistic to think we can accomplish this there in a few weeks and return together? I've heard that if I go back and apply for the Fiancé Visa instead that it can take longer? Any advice would be greatly appreciated..
Tallulah

Offline larrabee

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Re: California girl marrying a UK citizen
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2017, 05:48:35 PM »
Hi Tallulah, welcome!   :)

It is definitely easier to get married in the US because then you just apply for the spouse visa and miss out one whole application (fiancee visa) and associated fees.

There is no interview to attend, just the biometric appointment (fingerprints/photo) but you won't be able to do that until after you have applied online for the visa. Do not apply until you are 100% sure that you have all your evidence in your hands.

At the moment you can be getting your ducks in a row in terms of the evidence you are going to submit. What you need will depend on your own circumstances.

Have you seen this?

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/525708/Appendix_FM_1_7_Financial_Requirement.pdf
March 29th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).

Offline larrabee

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Re: California girl marrying a UK citizen
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2017, 05:50:59 PM »
Also, it's a little difficult to predict how long applications are going to take as this year has been like no other but you can choose to expedite your application by paying for priority service.
March 29th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).

Offline Tallulah

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Re: California girl marrying a UK citizen
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2017, 06:12:50 PM »
Thank you for replying. So can I make this biometrics appt now for when we arrive in early April or do we need to get to the states  and then apply online straightaway? We've got his proof of employment and salary all ready and his Rental Agreement. We're flying there in 8 weeks and I want to have a definite plan of what needs to happen and in what order. I'm wondering if getting an immigration solicitor involved would help or is even needed.

Offline larrabee

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Re: California girl marrying a UK citizen
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2017, 06:21:48 PM »
Thank you for replying. So can I make this biometrics appt now for when we arrive in early April or do we need to get to the states  and then apply online straightaway? We've got his proof of employment and salary all ready and his Rental Agreement. We're flying there in 8 weeks and I want to have a definite plan of what needs to happen and in what order. I'm wondering if getting an immigration solicitor involved would help or is even needed.

No the biometrics is part of the application and you can't do that until you are in the US.
Be aware that your financial evidence has to be dated within 28 days of the online application date so if you are going to be applying in 8 weeks you still have 2 more months (or at least one) of updated bank statements and payslips.

As well as the rental agreement you will need a letter from the landlord giving you permission to live there. You'll need relationship evidence too.

Why don't you post a list of what you have so far and we'll let you know if you are missing anything?

We only recommend using a lawyer in exceptional circumstances, otherwise it's not necessary.  :)
March 29th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).

Offline KFdancer

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Re: California girl marrying a UK citizen
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2017, 07:22:54 PM »
You can't apply or schedule the biometrics until AFTER you are married!  Very important detail.

Probably will take a couple of months for the application to be processed if you apply in April (based on last year's processing times).

Offline Finch

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Re: California girl marrying a UK citizen
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2017, 07:17:24 PM »
Congrats on getting married!  ;D

I will say my husband and I are currently applying for his spousal visa here in the USA and the wait times are much longer than normal due to the election. When he applied for his student visa in 2012 it took 3 months for everything to go through. We applied for the spousal visa in November and he just got his biometric appointment this week almost 3 moths after application. The whole thing will most likely take 6 months instead of the usual 3.

just something to keep in mind!

Offline ksand24

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Re: California girl marrying a UK citizen
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2017, 07:28:34 PM »
I will say my husband and I are currently applying for his spousal visa here in the USA and the wait times are much longer than normal due to the election. When he applied for his student visa in 2012 it took 3 months for everything to go through. We applied for the spousal visa in November and he just got his biometric appointment this week almost 3 moths after application. The whole thing will most likely take 6 months instead of the usual 3.

Actually, US student visas and spousal visa are completely different and have very different processing times.

- A US student visa is a non-immigrant visa and usually only takes 2-4 months for processing. You cannot apply for one more than 4 months (120 days) before you wish to enter the US (I've applied for 2 US student visas myself).

- A US spousal visa is an immigrant visa and usually takes a MINIMUM of 6 months, with an average of 8 months, for processing. The US Embassy advises applying for it about 10 months before you wish to move to the US.

US spousal visas actually seem to be taking much less time at the moment than they used to - some people have had their visas granted within about 4 months, whereas a couple of years ago it was more like 8-10 months.

Offline Finch

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Re: California girl marrying a UK citizen
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2017, 07:33:40 PM »
Good to know! I will say our immigration attorney said all visas his firm is working on (including other countries) are currently taking longer than they did in 2015 to process, that was mostly where I was going with that, just be prepared for it to take longer than expected.

Offline ksand24

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Re: California girl marrying a UK citizen
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2017, 08:12:39 PM »
Good to know! I will say our immigration attorney said all visas his firm is working on (including other countries) are currently taking longer than they did in 2015 to process, that was mostly where I was going with that, just be prepared for it to take longer than expected.

That might be the case. I was really talking about the processing times over the last 10 years (since I joined the forum). I know people who have applied in the last 2-3 years got their visas more quickly than people who applied 8-9 years ago, but I don't know the difference in processing times between 2015 and Jan 2017.

I was just clarifying that it has always taken longer than 3 months for a spousal visa to be processed, since first you have to file the I-130 petition, which generally takes about 2-4 months to be processed. After that, he has to attend a medical exam and an interview at the US Embassy, which can take several weeks/couple of months to sort out, and then he has to wait for the visa to be issued after the interview.