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Getting married in Cambodia

#1 paustin

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 10:26 AM

Hi, I plan on going to Cambodia to marry my fiance, does anyone know what to do there for me as an American citizen to marry a Cambodian woman? Anything that I need to apply to get the marriage certificate for her spouse visa? I am kind of lost. She's not sure either about the process, and I don't want to do anything that could jepodize our chances of not being together if she cannot pass her interview.
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#2 Niels Bohr

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 10:28 AM

First thing to do is to get permission from the US Embassy. Next, follow the instructions on the US Embassy on how to marry the foreign nationals.
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#3 paustin

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 10:39 AM

First thing to do is to get permission from the US Embassy. Next, follow the instructions on the US Embassy on how to marry the foreign nationals.


Thank you Niels Bohr. Should I do it while I am in the USA now or wait until I get there to do it? What is the link to do that and how long does it take
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#4 Niels Bohr

Niels Bohr

    I am the father of Quantum!



Posted 02 August 2011 - 10:41 AM

You must, and required to do it overseas. The US Embassy in Phnom Penh will give you the instructions. If your are confused after reading the instructions, consult the Pyramid group in Cambodia or a Cambodian lawyer for further clarification. The lawyer fee is cheap.

Edited by Niels Bohr, 02 August 2011 - 10:43 AM.

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#5 paustin

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 10:47 AM

You must, and required to do it overseas. The US Embassy in Phnom Penh will give you the instructions. If your are confused after reading the instructions, consult the Pyramid group in Cambodia or a Cambodian lawyer for further clarification. The lawyer fee is cheap.


So, once I reach Cambodia, go straight to the US embassy and acquire the instruction? How long it usually takes to get everything approved before I can marry her? Oh and where can I get the instructions, is it on the website?

Edited by paustin, 02 August 2011 - 10:48 AM.

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#6 Niels Bohr

Niels Bohr

    I am the father of Quantum!



Posted 02 August 2011 - 10:59 AM

Yes. A little bit of what to expect. You will be required to go to the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Provincial Office, District Office, and the Cambodian Ministry of Justice.

Bring a whole load of money. The way Cambodia works is by bribery. The place that you don't want to bribe is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Justice.

You will get things done faster through bribery in the Provincial and District Office.

As far as the website is concerned. I'm not sure if you can get the instructions there. You need to have your permission to marry at the Embassy with a raised notary seal from the Embassy.

So, once I reach Cambodia, go straight to the US embassy and acquire the instruction? How long it usually takes to get everything approved before I can marry her? Oh and where can I get the instructions, is it on the website?


Edited by Niels Bohr, 02 August 2011 - 11:00 AM.

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#7 paustin

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 11:02 AM

Yes. A little bit of what to expect. You will be required to go to the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Provincial Office, District Office, and the Cambodian Ministry of Justice.

Bring a whole load of money. The way Cambodia works is by bribery. The place that you don't want to bribe is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Justice.

You will get things done faster through bribery in the Provincial and District Office.

As far as the website is concerned. I'm not sure if you can get the instructions there. You need to have your permission to marry at the Embassy with a raised notary seal from the Embassy.


Man, sounds really a lot of process. is it very typical to do that in Cambodia? Would the K1 be better and faster? Do I need permission also to "engage" her? and marry in the US instead? It seems less work but again I am not sure what is the difference between going with K1 vs. K3.
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#8 Niels Bohr

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 11:06 AM

K1 is a faster method. However, you still need to go through some of the same processes. It's long nonetheless. But you can all this done in one week.

k1 and k3 are similar. Except one is a marry. Be warn, k3 will not issue a SSN right way in the states.

Man, sounds really a lot of process. is it very typical to do that in Cambodia? Would the K1 be better and faster? Do I need permission also to "engage" her? and marry in the US instead? It seems less work but again I am not sure what is the difference between going with K1 vs. K3.


Edited by Niels Bohr, 02 August 2011 - 11:07 AM.

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#9 paustin

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 11:22 AM

Are you saying with K1, we still have to go through the same process? I thought that process only applies for marriage but not engagement, no?

K1 is a faster method. However, you still need to go through some of the same processes. It's long nonetheless. But you can all this done in one week.

k1 and k3 are similar. Except one is a marry. Be warn, k3 will not issue a SSN right way in the states.


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#10 Niels Bohr

Niels Bohr

    I am the father of Quantum!



Posted 02 August 2011 - 11:29 AM

You need permission from the US Embassy for either engagement or marriage.

However, you only eliminate one or two steps in the Embassy instructions. For k1,

You get the notarized document requesting the engagement. Get that document translated at the Foreign Ministry of Affairs, bring both the translated document and original document to the district office to request the engagement. They will officially announce the engagement, and document it at the district office. Then you can start the engagement ceremony. The embassy will want to see pictures as well that you did the formal engagement.

For both k1 and k3, it takes about 6 months to get the visa. Sometimes it's faster. But with k1, you need to get married within 30 or 90 days on arrival to the US. Saves you money if you opt for k3 since it's cheaper to marry in cambodia.

Are you saying with K1, we still have to go through the same process? I thought that process only applies for marriage but not engagement, no?


Edited by Niels Bohr, 02 August 2011 - 11:30 AM.

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#11 paustin

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 01:25 PM

Thanks again for your reply - how long does K1 take and how long does K3 take in average for Cambodian finance? WOuld K3 give her more credibility to present the case to the consular officer since she will be my wife and I won't let her stay there forever...
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#12 Bob 4 Anna

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 02:26 PM

Why bother with K-3 if you marry her in Cambodia? The CR-1 is superior and only takes about 1 month longer to Visa issuance than K-1.

Advantages of CR-1 over K-1/3:

CR-1 is issued Greencard upon activation at POE, she will be an LPR authorized to work and therefore able to get all of her documents and start her official life in the US very quickly.

CR-1 doesn't need to Adjust Status (cost $1,070 and takes 6 months). Saves time & money.

CR-1 can travel overseas immediately as stamped Visa serves as temp greencard until the actual greencard arrives in 4 - 6 weeks.
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#13 paustin

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 02:50 PM

Why bother with K-3 if you marry her in Cambodia? The CR-1 is superior and only takes about 1 month longer to Visa issuance than K-1.

Advantages of CR-1 over K-1/3:

CR-1 is issued Greencard upon activation at POE, she will be an LPR authorized to work and therefore able to get all of her documents and start her official life in the US very quickly.

CR-1 doesn't need to Adjust Status (cost $1,070 and takes 6 months). Saves time & money.

CR-1 can travel overseas immediately as stamped Visa serves as temp greencard until the actual greencard arrives in 4 - 6 weeks.


So are you saying that K3 takes as long as CR-1? Does Cambodian consular office processes CR-1 cases though? I don't seem to find anything on their website - http://cambodia.usembassy.gov/
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#14 Niels Bohr

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 03:40 PM

Nowadays, it's all fast.

K3 and K1 are about the same time. CR-1 is much better process like he had said. You do have to adjust status for K1 and K3 which costs another 1000 dollars. Not only that, you have to re-gather all your paperwork in order when you get to the US.

With the CR-1, you don't need to do any of that. If it is one more longer, just do that one.

On another note, when it's election year, Cambodians are not allowed to leave the country. So, you will not be able to get your wife here next year.

The way it works is that when you get to Cambodia, you are only getting the necessary paperwork so you can get the marriage certificate. Once you get the marriage certificate, you will need to travel back to the US, alone, to file the petition. You would then wait several months for the Dept. of State to process your application. Afterwards, they will send that application to the US Embassy with a case number. You will also receive Packet 3 which will ask you for further information to send to the Embassy. A few weeks after they receive packet 3, you will get packet 4 containing the interview day.

So are you saying that K3 takes as long as CR-1? Does Cambodian consular office processes CR-1 cases though? I don't seem to find anything on their website - http://cambodia.usembassy.gov/


Edited by Niels Bohr, 02 August 2011 - 03:44 PM.

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#15 paustin

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 03:50 PM

Wow, that's very nice information you give there. I didn't expect that Cambodians cannot leave the country during 2012. Sounds like the CR1 is the route then - But Niels, you still have not replied to me how long would it take for me to get permission to get marry her as far as the government concerns from the date that I visit the embassy to get instruction to a point that I can "officially" marry her and come back to the US?

Is there a 3rd party in Cambodia that can help me speed up the "permission" process?

Nowadays, it's all fast.

K3 and K1 are about the same time. CR-1 is much better process like he had said. You do have to adjust status for K1 and K3 which costs another 1000 dollars. Not only that, you have to re-gather all your paperwork in order when you get to the US.

With the CR-1, you don't need to do any of that. If it is one more longer, just do that one.

On another note, when it's election year, Cambodians are not allowed to leave the country. So, you will not be able to get your wife here next year.

The way it works is that when you get to Cambodia, you are only getting the necessary paperwork so you can get the marriage certificate. Once you get the marriage certificate, you will need to travel back to the US, alone, to file the petition. You would then wait several months for the Dept. of State to process your application. Afterwards, they will send that application to the US Embassy with a case number. You will also receive Packet 3 which will ask you for further information to send to the Embassy. A few weeks after they receive packet 3, you will get packet 4 containing the interview day.


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