USA Fiance qucikest way to migrate to uk


My fiancé is from the USA, we plan to get married and will do so in which ever country, our goal is to live together in the uk for around two years before moving back to the USA.

Does anyone have any ideas on what is the quickest method / visa to apply for in this process?  Can she just come to the UK and we get married and extend her visa, should we get married in the USA or another country?  Also ideally we would like her to be available to work sooner rather than later but this isn't a stringent requirement.


[sorry for cross posting not sure where best this should go]

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

Seems the easiest option is to bring her over on a Marriage visitor visa; she can stay for 6 months on that, then she will have to leave (go back to the US) and then apply for a family visa.  While in the UK for the Marriage Visitor visa, she will not be allowed to work; she will be able to work on a family visa.

The details are on the UK Gov website:

Marriage Visitor Visa
Family Visa

Hope this helps.

Expat Team


What if we were to get married in the USA, as we can do that the same day, could she then simply apply for a family visa from the usa?


So that's what I am asking, which way is the "quickest," any ideas?

Is being married in USA quicker or will it take longer?

Any estimates on time lines?

I've heard stories of people getting married in Vegas on the spur of the moment; the important thing is to make sure you get all the documentation so your marriage is officially recognised; I've read articles on the Internet that describes what you have to do; Google will give you lots of hits (I just tried it).

Thanks, yes I have googled but thought this forum was filled more with people who have experience and thus giving advice

Hi again,

Well, assuming you can find a place in the UK who can marry you in the time frame, you have to give 28 days notice of your intention to marry and both have been resident in the UK for a minimum of 7 days before the date of marriage (hence the UK marriage visa); there are no shortcuts to a legal marriage.

For the US, perhaps get your girlfriend to phone the City Clerks office where she lives and ask them; it seems to vary from State to State, but certainly, you can get married in Vegas on the spur of the moment, you just need to get your licence first from the City Clerks office, then go back afterwards to pick up your certificate.  An ex-colleague of mine was married in Vegas and she had no problems with her wedding being recognised back here in the UK.

As for the people with experience; the forum tends to be populated with people who have immediate Immigration related issues who don't hang around once they get an answer; must admit I've never been asked a question like yours before.

Hope this helps.

Expat Team

Could she then stay in the UK whilst the family visa is being processed

A marriage visa is valid for 6 months; one of the requirements of the visa is the holder cannot "extend your visa or switch to another visa", so she would have to leave the country and apply for a family visa.  Yes, it sounds daft but is one of the consequences of people taking advantage of the system with weddings of convenience.

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