You can either marry in USA 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.
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 you arriving in the UK (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 your fiance 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)
You will also have to pass and english language test showing you have a very basic command of spoken and listening English. You can find out approved test providers in your area by contacting the UK embassy nearest to you.
You will need to apply for fiance/spouses visa using form VAF4 which is available for download from the UKBA website You will have to include your children on the form as your dependents.
You should consider instructing a immigration solicitor to prepare an application for you (whichever way you decide to do it). You can find local solicitors to your fiancéé to help prepare your application via:-
You will have to check that there are not US immigration requirements for your fiancéé to travel and get married.
He will receive a spouses visa for two years, at the end of this period he will then have to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK, a further 12 months after that he will be eligible to be apply for naturallisation as a UK citizen. Once naturalised, he can immediately apply for a UK passport.
The UKBA aim to reach a decision on all application within 6-8 weeks of the application being submitted, but the frequently overrun I'm afraid.
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