There are two ways of doing it - 1) a spouse visa or 2) a fiancé visa
You can either marry outside the UK and then apply directly for a spouses visa. Once application, one application fee.
Alternatively, you can apply for a fiance visa so that you can come here specifically for the purpose of marrying your fiancé and then settling thereafter. Once married you 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 her arriving here
- You plan to live permanently together here
- You have met each other before
- You can support each other without the need for public funds
- 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
- That neither of you are younger than 21 years of age.
A basic list of the documents required to be submitted with the application is here:-
The above list is for a spouse visa but you will also have to submit evidence of your intention to marry (eg. Booking of venue, invitations etc) if you are to apply for fiancé visa).
You will need to apply for fiance/spouses visa using form VAF4 which is available for download from the UKBA website
The best thing you can do is to instruct a UK qualified immigration solicitor to act on your behalf to prepare your application. You can find local solicitors nearest to your boyfriend here via:-
100% of all applications are determined within 90 days if submitted in the USA. 69% within 5 days and 87 within 10 days. These figures are slightly unreliable because most of these will be rejections, hence the importance to instruct a solicitor. They will be able to prepare an application that is accepted quickly. They should charge around £1000+Vat to act in this regard.
If this has been useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.