You are here:

Immigration Issues/US citizen wants to marry UK citizen in UK


Mr Hay,

  I am a US citizen, retired military officer, who is currently in UK on a normal visitor visa. I have had a relationship for over two years with a UK citizen. We both have visited each other (her: 2 times to US, me 3times to UK. I would like to marry her and bring her to US to live and file for her to enter US and be able to work. I know about the filing procedures (fiance or spouse) and selected spouse because it seem easier and quicker for her to be able to work in US. However, I am now told I cannot marry her here because I did not enter UK with the right visa(intent to marry) Can you advise what I must do to be to marry her?

I think someone is giving you bad information, or at least information that is confusing.  You may not be able to convert to a British resident through marriage to her without first coming back to the US and getting the visa through the British Consulate in the USA (I really don't know about this since I am not familiar with UK immigration laws), but you can marry her there (you just don't get the immigration benefits until you come to the US and process it here???).  Then you apply for her visa through the US consulate in Britain.  This is the fastest way to do it, but it does take time.  I don't know how long. I would ask the consulate.  If you are in the UK and happy to stay for awhile that should be fine.

If you want to come back to the USA do not get married in the UK, just have her come with you and enter on the waiver (at the airport DO NOT SAY YOU ARE COMING IN TO GET MARRIED!!!!!!!).  Then marry her here, and file the documents in the USA. It takes a lot longer to process the visa here, but while you are waiting she can get a temporary work visa while waiting.

Good luck.

Immigration Issues

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Alexander J. Hay


I am a U.S. lawyer with offices in Houston, Texas and in Belize. I can answer questions on U.S. Immigration, U.S. corporate law, and Offshore Tax and Asset Planning.
If you are on an H or L visa I am NOT GOING TO ANSWER your questions since they are usually highly fact oriented, and also you have a company attorney handling the whole thing. Call your own attorney please! If you disregard this request, don't be surprised if I answer with "homework question".


I am a U.S. attorney with offices in the United States and Belize. I have experience helping to protect assets, reduce taxes, and improve investment performance by utilizing global investment techniques.

Harvard University, A.B. degree; University of Houston Law Center, J.D. Degree; Fulbright Scholar

©2016 All rights reserved.