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Certificate of Approval, then CR-1

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Filed: Other Country: United Kingdom


I recently took a month's vacation to see my fiancée in the UK with the intent to marry and discovered the unfortunate mandate of a "certificate of approval" as part of the marriage process. Apparently this document gives me the UK government's permission to marry with either the intent to leave or remain (the details are whatever I make of them, so I would choose to leave). I assumed this was the UK's version of the K-1 visa and yet I'm not sure how to apply for it, or even if I can while abroad. My vacation time ran out before I had a chance to put anything in motion and I'm scrambling for information about how to get through this process.

My intention would be to marry in the UK and leave, then apply for a CR-1 visa in the US to bring my wife here with me and yet I'm not able to determine if and how I can obtain a certificate of approval while in the US. It'd be really difficult to negotiate going back to the UK to undergo an open-ended waiting process on this certificate if it somehow got tied up - What am I supposed to do?

It was devastating to be told that I'd missed a detail about marrying in the UK and then having to cancel our wedding plans... I'd just like to have all my ducks in a row to not have to suffer that again, but there's a severe lack of information about how to go about this and I'm still waiting on replies from the UK officials on what I should do next.

Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated...

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