My fiancee and I would like to settle in the UK. I am a British citizen and she is an American citizen.
She was refused entry November 2018 due to the IO not believing she was a genuine visitor. She received a visit visa May 2019 and visited for 3 weeks August 2019 before leaving.
I do not meet the financial requirements (18,600 GBP) and so I'm seeking to change jobs to meet this. In the meantime before I earn this, we're visiting each other back and forth for 2-3 weeks.
The plan was for me to travel to the USA under the VWP, get married, then return home and apply for a spousal visa some time later. However, we've explored the option of simply waiting until I meet the financial requirement, obtaining a Family Visa as a fiancee and just marrying in the UK and then extending her stay.
Can this be done? How long is the extension for?
The reason for this is because I don't want to marry her then within the space of a couple of months sponsor her for a spousal visa as it could look like a marriage of convenience. We've lots of pictures from our time living together for less than a year in China and we've kept our plane tickets both to and from each other's countries.
I really don't know if I should marry her in the States or just wait until I earn enough for us to marry in the UK, and then apply for a Family Visa. I doubt we can get married before March 2020 as I have just 4 days of annual leave left my job and it doesn't reset until then.
So, does anybody have any advice on the following:
UK citizen using VWP to travel to the USA to marry an American before returning to the UK.
Extending stay under Family Visa when entering as a fiancee.
Would getting married then quickly applying for a spousal visa raise suspicions? I mean, why would we choose to wait if I'm eligible to sponsor her?