If you are getting married in the UK, it is best to apply for a bridal visa and register your marriage in the country of residence. Other types of visas increase the likelihood of refusal significantly. A fiancée visa is valid for 6 months, during which time you will need to enter the country and get married. Once you have done this, you can apply for a spousal visa, which is valid for 2 years, and at the end of that period you can apply for permanent residency status.
The bridal visa for the UK is a sponsorship visa. This means that your fiancé must show that he has the means to support you and dependent family members who have immigrated with you, both before and after the marriage. In addition, the following requirements are imposed:
your fiancé must be a citizen or permanent resident of the UK;
you and your fiancé must be at least 21 years old;
you and your fiancé should have had at least one face-to-face meeting;
you must have suitable accommodation in the UK (own or rented accommodation).
Application for a fiancée visa is made at the UK visa centre in your country of residence. Application dates are set in advance, but can be rescheduled if there are difficulties. The key to success is a complete and correct set of documents. The following is a sample list of the documents you will need. As requirements may change, you should definitely check with the visa application centre for details.
completed visa application form (can be filled in and printed out at http://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk);
a valid passport;
a birth certificate of you and your fiancé;
letter of intent from you and your fiancé;
two 45*35 mm colour photos of you and your fiancé;
Copies of divorce or death certificates for both you and your fiancé, if either of you were married before
a passport or certificate of registration from your fiancé
documents confirming your fiancé’s ability to sponsor you (bank statements, a letter from your employer, etc.)
Documents for the place where you intend to live (contract of purchase on credit, lease, certificate of ownership, etc.);
evidence of your relationship.
If possible, all documents should be submitted in the original; the staff will take photocopies themselves.
The collection of evidence of a relationship should be handled with particular care, as insufficient evidence is one of the main reasons for the refusal of a fiancée visa. Evidence includes photos of you together, printouts of letters, phone bills, visas in passports showing that you went on holiday or visited each other, etc. The more proof you provide, the better.
You will also need to have biometrics when you submit your documents. It takes an average of 2-8 weeks to process your application. If the visa application centre staff deem it impossible to make a decision on the basis of the documents submitted, you will be given an appointment for an interview. At the interview, you will have to confirm that you are serious about getting married and starting a family. Preferably, you should be able to tell as much as possible about your fiancé: his work, family, hobbies, etc. If you are successful at your interview, you can collect your passport and visa and your documents after a short time.
If you have under-age children (under 18 years), they may come to the UK with you. You will also need to complete a form and provide the appropriate documents for your child, including notarised permission from the child’s father to travel. You may also be able to collect your minor child once you are married to a UK citizen.