Thanks for your question
You will have to contact the British Embassy in China for guidance over the requirements for UK nationals to marry chinese nationals.
She can either marry in China and then apply directly for a spouses visa. Once application, one application fee.
Alternatively, she can apply for a fiance visa so that she can come here specifically for the purpose of marrying you. Once married she 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 (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)
The application will have to be supported by evidence proving the above eligibility criteria. I have suggested basic documents above, but the list is not exhaustive. They key to a successful application is producing well-collated documentary evidence for the above criteria.
She will also have to pass and english language test showing she has a basic command of spoken and listening English. She can find out approved test providers in her area by contacting the UK embassy nearest to her.
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 based here in the UK to prepare an application for her (whichever way you decide to do it). You can find local solicitors via:-
It should cost around £1000-1500+ VAT.
The spouses visa will be granted for a period of 27 months. You husband can apply for indefinite leave to remain once he has been here for 24 months. 12 months later he can apply to be naturalised as a UK citizen provided he has not spent a lot of time outside the UK during the 36 months total.
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I will answer your follow up questions you may have.