Thanks for your question.
You can either marry in Croatia and then apply directly for a spouses visa. Once application, one application fee.
Alternatively, you can apply for a fiance visa so that he can come here specifically for the purpose of marrying you. Once married he would then have to apply for a spouses visa (settlement). Two applications, two application fees but with added security that if you are granted a fiancé visa you would almost certainly not be denied a spouses visa thereafter.
The eligibility criteria is largely similar for both applications.The advantage is that if your fiance visa is refused then you are not married. If you marry and you spouses visa application is refused initially and then on appeal then you are stuck being married but in different countries.
Here is the criteria you would need to fulfill for a fiance visa, as I say the criteria is largely the same for a spouses visa. If you meet this you will almost certainly not be refused a spouses visa:-
- You plan to marry within 6 months of her arriving here (egg. statements from you and others, possibly a booking of a church/venue)
- You plan to live permanently together here (statements, correspondence)
- You have met each other before (eg. statements from you both and others, correspondence)
- You can support each other without the need for public funds (bank statements, evidence of income, evidence of jobs available that your husband could do)
- You have suitable accommodation which is owned or lived in only by you or your household and where you and your dependents can live without any help from public funds (tenancy agreement, land registry docs if you your own home)
- That neither of you are younger than 21 years of age. (birth certificates, passports)
He will also have to pass and english language test showing he has a basic command of spoken and listening English. He can find out approved test providers in his area by contacting the UK embassy nearest to him.
You will need to apply for fiance/spouses visa using form VAF4 which is available for download from the UKBA website
You should consider instructing a immigration solicitor to prepare an application for you (whichever way you decide to do it) to give you the best possible chance of a successful decision with the need to incur the expensive and additional costs of appealing. You can find local solicitors via:-
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