The Visa Process

So how have we made all this happen? Believe it or not we couldn't have done it without the government bods here in the UK!

Curtis arrived in England on August 2, 2006 with a Working Holidaymaker visa. This enables him to stay in the UK for two years but he can only work for a maximum of twelve months out of those two years. No problem! Having the best wedding we could afford was important to us so we planned our wedding for June 2008.

In April 2007, we applied for a Certificate of Approval from the Home Office. This is an official document which would give Curtis permission to get married in the United Kingdom. We had to fill out the application together, giving both of our details and enclosing photographs of the pair of us. We submitted this document and within a couple of weeks we were the proud owners of a spiffy certificate!

From this moment, we had three months to give notice of our intention to marry at the Bristol Registry Office before the certificate expired. We did this on June 22, 2007 - exactly one year before our wedding day - and submitted our certificate. That's the first half of the process sorted. Now we can breathe easy for a bit!!

The next step in the visa process will take place immediately following our wedding. Curtis will automatically be granted a three month extension to his current visa but this will only carry him through to September 2008, so it will be necessary to apply for a Extension of Stay as a Spouse visa. Just like the COA we will have to fill in this application together with all our details, only this time we will have to give specific details of our relationship, engagement and subsequent wedding. All sorts of stuff like where we met, when we decided to get engaged, ad infinitum! Once this visa is granted Curtis will have leave to remain in the UK for a further two years - yay! After that Curtis will have the option of applying Indefinite Leave to Remain as a Spouse.

I know a few of you have been curious of how much all this has cost and let us tell you, it's not been cheap! The COA cost £295 (CDN $625) and the Spousal Visa will cost a further £595 (CDN $1260). It goes without saying really, but we're both agreed that it's well worth every penny!