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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I am an american who lives in the us, I have a boyfriend who

Customer Question

I am an american who lives in the us, I have a boyfriend who lives in the UK, we want to get married and I want me and my kids to move to the UK. How would I go about doing this, would it be easier for him to come to the US and marry me or what
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.

Hi. ,

Thanks for your question.



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.


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.

Kind regards,


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Ok, thank you ! Wouldn't it be easier if he was to come to America and we get married in a couple of weeks of him coming here , then we apply for a marriage visa for us to go back to the UK ?? How long would all this take ??
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.



It would be easier in the sense that you would only have to make one application (ie. for a spouses visa) to enable you to come here to settle with your husband. The drawback is that if you do not meet the eligibility criteria as above and they reject your application initially and then on appeal then you are stuck being married to each other without being able to live together in the UK. For these reason I would strongly advise that you see an immigration solicitor to prepare your application and advise you of your likely prospects of being successful based on the above criteria.


The UKBA aims to reach a decision within 6-8 weeks of the application being submitted but I'm afraid that they frequently overrun. If the reject it and you have to appeal then it can take a further 2-3 months.


I hope this clarifies, if so please click accept.


I will continue to answer your follow up questions free of charge.


Kind regards,