Jump to content
guitarlifter

Getting married in Canada, but moving to US immediately afterwards?

29 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Hello all,

My fiancée and I are engaged to be married on December 19th, 2015, and we have a venue booked and everything, so it's too late to back out of the date or location (which is in British Columbia). She is Canadian, and I am a US Citizen. She is wanting to immigrate to the US, and we don't want to have to wait for her to be able to come over. The K1 Visa allows us her to immediately move to the US after getting married (before actually, which is fine), but it doesn't allow the marriage to occur outside of the US. And other Visas look like they can't even be applied for until AFTER we get married, which would leave her outside of the US for months or longer, right?

So, in essence, we want to find a way that would allow for all of the following conditions to be met:

1. Have us hold a wedding ceremony on December 19th, 2015, in Canada. (Does not have to be legally binding if it allows things to flow more smoothly)

2. Have her be able to move to the United States either before or immediately after the marriage.

So I have already done some research, and I've found a couple of ideas out there that may or may not work.

1. First hold a religious, non-legally binding marriage CEREMONY, and then cross over the border (via a K1 Visa) and get married legally. However, I have heard issues with those on K1 Visas getting denied entry even just because of a wedding ceremony that had no legal documents attached to it.

2. Move to the US (via a K1 Visa), get legally married here, then go back to Canada to have a ceremony. However, how can she leave the US if the K1 doesn't allow her to leave until the AOS or an AP is acquired? In our case, we don't want to have to have her live in the US for 2+ months before she can leave again (and we might not even have the K1 ready that early anyway to even afford two extra months to have her sit in the US to get an AP). We don't want our legal and relgiious aspects of our wedding to be so far apart anyway.

I'm guessing the 2nd option here is the more likely option to have a chance at being successful. I read the following, which MIGHT make us first getting legally married in the US and then having the wedding ceremony in Canada possible:

"Question:
I’m in the U.S. on a K-1 fiance visa, which I’ve read is good for only one entry into the United States. But to get ready for the wedding, a friend of mine wants to take me shopping in Toronto, Canada. Someone told me that that’s okay, that I can come back again based on my fiance visa. Is that true?
Answer:
For once, the rumors are true: Although the K-1 visa is single entry, its holder can take advantage of a concept called “automatic revalidation.” That means that you can take a short trip – of up to 30 days -- to either Canada or Mexico, without having to give up your I-94 when you leave.
But you’ll definitely need to take a copy of your Form I-94, as well as your passport. (For extra safety, make copies of both and leave them with a friend in the U.S.) So long as you are within the time limit on the I-94 when you ask to come back, and haven’t become inadmissible to the U.S., you should be allowed reentry for the balance of the time remaining on your I-94.
This possibility comes from the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, at 22 C.F.R. Section 41.112.
Any time you leave the U.S., however, you are taking a risk. A U.S. border official could be unfamiliar with this provision of the law, or not believe that you’re still planning to get married, or could decide that you have become inadmissible. Consult an experienced immigration attorney for a personal analysis.
Also, you didn’t mention which country you are from, but if it’s among those that the U.S. considers to be “state sponsors of terrorism,” you will be ineligible for automatic visa revalidation. As of early 2014, that list included Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan."

So would that allow my fiancée and I to get legally married in the US, have the ceremony in Canada, then return to the US within 30 days? Although the sentence, "A U.S. border official could be unfamiliar with this provision of the law, or not believe that you’re still planning to get married, or could decide that you have become inadmissible," makes it sound like this provision is only allowable before the K1 visa holder get married.

I've also considered the immigrant visa, but I would only want to consider it if she were to be able to move into the US immediately after getting married to me. I'm not sure how, but maybe there is some sort of provision or something.

What do you guys think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I go with 1.

K1 should be OK by year end, have your event which should not be a problem in Canada, enter and get married in the US.

2 would only work anyway if you had not married so what would the point be? I have heard of revalidation, but not automatic.

Edited by Boiler

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

~Moved from K1 Process to What Visa Do I Need Forum~

~Inquiry about family visas~


Completed: K1/K2 (271 days) - AOS/EAD/AP (134 days) - ROC (279 days)

> Almost 2 years of our lives involved with the USCIS/DOS "shuffle" & worth every second of it ! <

"Si vis amari, ama" - Seneca

_______________________

:idea: Read more, post less.... Google can be your friend ! :idea:

Prior apologies if I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

Keep your timeline current: http://www.visajourney.com/timeline/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You want to be double extra sure your marriage is non-legal. Often if you marry in a church in Canada (catholic) then it can be considered a legal marriage. Don't complicate your situation. I've seen visas denied because the consular officer has deduced the couple was married based on the 'ceremony'.

File for the K1. You'll interview in Vancouver which will be nice and then legally marry in the US

good luck


USCIS
August 12, 2008 - petition sent
August 16, 2008 - NOA-1
February 10, 2009 - NOA-2
178 DAYS FROM NOA-1


NVC
February 13, 2009 - NVC case number assigned
March 12, 2009 - Case Complete
25 DAY TRIP THROUGH NVC


Medical
May 4, 2009


Interview
May, 26, 2009


POE - June 20, 2009 Toronto - Atlanta, GA

Removal of Conditions
Filed - April 14, 2011
Biometrics - June 2, 2011 (early)
Approval - November 9, 2011
209 DAY TRIP TO REMOVE CONDITIONS

Citizenship

April 29, 2013 - NOA1 for petition received

September 10, 2013 Interview - decision could not be made.

April 15, 2014 APPROVED. Wait for oath ceremony

Waited...

September 29, 2015 - sent letter to senator.

October 16, 2015 - US Citizen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Canadian Wife mentioned a very important point. In Canada if someone is legally allowed to perform a marriage and marries someone papers signed or not that couple then is legally married. Do not do anything that is a wedding thinking if your didn't get the marriage license it won't count, because it will.


Spoiler

Met Playing Everquest in 2005
Engaged 9-15-2006
K-1 & 4 K-2'S
Filed 05-09-07
Interview 03-12-08
Visa received 04-21-08
Entry 05-06-08
Married 06-21-08
AOS X5
Filed 07-08-08
Cards Received01-22-09
Roc X5
Filed 10-17-10
Cards Received02-22-11
Citizenship
Filed 10-17-11
Interview 01-12-12
Oath 06-29-12

Citizenship for older 2 boys

Filed 03/08/2014

NOA/fee waiver 03/19/2014

Biometrics 04/15/14

Interview 05/29/14

In line for Oath 06/20/14

Oath 09/19/2014 We are all done! All USC no more USCIS

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm ... all of this information is interesting and potentially conflicting. I'll give some more details. My father, a Lutheran (obviously non-Catholic) pastor from the United States, is going to be officiating the wedding. Would he have the license to legally do a wedding in Canada if his license came from the US? Also, will it not be a legal marriage since my father is not a Catholic pastor and if he doesn't sign any sort of marriage papers?

Otherwise, how else could I either: (a) be able to get an exemption after marriage in the US to be allowed to go back to Canada to have the ceremony after getting married in the US legally, or (b) make sure that the wedding ceremony is very clearly not a legal marriage before entering into the US?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a) you won't. The beneficiary must have permission to travel after entering the US (assuming we're talking about the K-1 visa again). Otherwise her adjustment of status will be voided.



b) contact the registry for your province and see what they say. https://www.vs.gov.bc.ca/marriage/



It sounds like to me you are trying to make this process even more complicated than it is. You set a wedding date without thought of US immigration and now you want to move together immediately. Sadly, this process does not take into account what WE want. I wanted 10 months without my husband. It was tough but we got through it. You can too.



good luck



USCIS
August 12, 2008 - petition sent
August 16, 2008 - NOA-1
February 10, 2009 - NOA-2
178 DAYS FROM NOA-1


NVC
February 13, 2009 - NVC case number assigned
March 12, 2009 - Case Complete
25 DAY TRIP THROUGH NVC


Medical
May 4, 2009


Interview
May, 26, 2009


POE - June 20, 2009 Toronto - Atlanta, GA

Removal of Conditions
Filed - April 14, 2011
Biometrics - June 2, 2011 (early)
Approval - November 9, 2011
209 DAY TRIP TO REMOVE CONDITIONS

Citizenship

April 29, 2013 - NOA1 for petition received

September 10, 2013 Interview - decision could not be made.

April 15, 2014 APPROVED. Wait for oath ceremony

Waited...

September 29, 2015 - sent letter to senator.

October 16, 2015 - US Citizen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm ... all of this information is interesting and potentially conflicting. I'll give some more details. My father, a Lutheran (obviously non-Catholic) pastor from the United States, is going to be officiating the wedding. Would he have the license to legally do a wedding in Canada if his license came from the US? Also, will it not be a legal marriage since my father is not a Catholic pastor and if he doesn't sign any sort of marriage papers?

Otherwise, how else could I either: (a) be able to get an exemption after marriage in the US to be allowed to go back to Canada to have the ceremony after getting married in the US legally, or (b) make sure that the wedding ceremony is very clearly not a legal marriage before entering into the US?

You used the word wedding, it can not be a wedding, if you want to do it this way it is a party/celebration whatever.

I doubt if Canada is any different to the UK and US, only authorised people are able to marry people.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a) you won't. The beneficiary must have permission to travel after entering the US (assuming we're talking about the K-1 visa again). Otherwise her adjustment of status will be voided.

b) contact the registry for your province and see what they say. https://www.vs.gov.bc.ca/marriage/

It sounds like to me you are trying to make this process even more complicated than it is. You set a wedding date without thought of US immigration and now you want to move together immediately. Sadly, this process does not take into account what WE want. I wanted 10 months without my husband. It was tough but we got through it. You can too.

good luck

Well things are set regardless, so I am just working with what I was given by her (she's been doing the planning). Would it be possible to pull her over via another way like a work visa or school visa, and go from there for an adjustment of status?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well things are set regardless, so I am just working with what I was given by her (she's been doing the planning). Would it be possible to pull her over via another way like a work visa or school visa, and go from there for an adjustment of status?

a different visa - maybe, but not likely.... all of them say right off the bat that if you enter with the intention of immigrating, you're ineligible. I looked into the Student visa as well and you have to show proof you intend to leave at the end of the schooling and that I could support myself while a student..... Yes people get married on student visa's all the time, but if you're caught with the intent to adjust - that is fraud....

From what you have talked about already, yes the K1 *may* be an option if you get hopping right away (and if she is okay with not being able to cross back to Canada for a while until the AP is available....

Otherwise you may just want to go the CR1 route. Yes you cannot actually live together for 10-12 months, but at the end of it all she is a permanent resident with the ability to hop back and forth across the border and to work right away.....

Either way, all of us going through the process have searched frantically for shortcuts and loop-holes and here we sit in the various stages of processing.....

Above all best wishes and good luck!


Met in the SCA - DRACO INVICTUS!

08-14-2014 Married in Ann Arbor, MI

 

USCIS.... DONE  in 150 day from NOA1 to NOA2 (TSC)

NVC... DONE  in 116 days from NOA2 to final CC

Final Steps... DONE in 350 days from NOA1 to POE
08-11-2015 POE in Detroit, MI 

 

Removal of Conditions

07-11-2017 NOA1 date (rec'd on 14th)

08-03-2017 Daughter and I completed biometrics

May 2018 - I had to redo my biometrics (reason unknown)

WAC17283XXXXX....and we wait

07-13-2018 I-551 extension stamp (12 mths) obtained at USCIS office in Detroit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best bet for a work visa is a L1, dual intent. basically a transfer by her current employer to the US offices, quick and Employer pays. What is not to like.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well things are set regardless, so I am just working with what I was given by her (she's been doing the planning). Would it be possible to pull her over via another way like a work visa or school visa, and go from there for an adjustment of status?

No one is asking you to change your set wedding date. We are trying to help you in spite of that. Normally I would suggest that you get married in Vancouver and file for the C-1 visa, it is a cheaper, superior visa to the K-1 fiancé visa. However, you insist that you want to live together right after marriage - that complicates things.

you suggest 'marrying' without a legal ceremony leaving it up to the consular officer to judge whether you are in fact married or not - this complicates things, especially if he/she decides it constitutes a legal marriage.

You also want to get a non-immigrant visa and adjust her status. No one is going to promote visa fraud. Obtaining a student visa, as I have done, one must show intent to return to one's home country prior to the visa issuance. Since this is not your intention, she does not qualify.

Boiler suggested an L visa, great choice, does she currently work for a company that has US offices that she can be transferred to?

Otherwise, you are looking at rolling the dice with a 'ceremony' and hoping that the officer recognizes the non-legality of it. By the way, have you contacted the registrar from the link I posted? What advice were you given?

Good luck


USCIS
August 12, 2008 - petition sent
August 16, 2008 - NOA-1
February 10, 2009 - NOA-2
178 DAYS FROM NOA-1


NVC
February 13, 2009 - NVC case number assigned
March 12, 2009 - Case Complete
25 DAY TRIP THROUGH NVC


Medical
May 4, 2009


Interview
May, 26, 2009


POE - June 20, 2009 Toronto - Atlanta, GA

Removal of Conditions
Filed - April 14, 2011
Biometrics - June 2, 2011 (early)
Approval - November 9, 2011
209 DAY TRIP TO REMOVE CONDITIONS

Citizenship

April 29, 2013 - NOA1 for petition received

September 10, 2013 Interview - decision could not be made.

April 15, 2014 APPROVED. Wait for oath ceremony

Waited...

September 29, 2015 - sent letter to senator.

October 16, 2015 - US Citizen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also just to note, the CBP have turned people away because THEY think the beneficiary is already married when entering with a K1 visa. It's not just the consulate you have to be wary of because you want to have this ceremony.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Immigration doesn't work around what we want, we have to work around immigration.

I didn't immigrate to the USA until after my first wedding anniversary, even though my visa journey only took 8 months. It's easier to move to Canada than it is to move to the USA (the spouse can just move because applying for permanent residency can be done from within.)

But we chose the CR1 route on purpose. There was no way in H-E-double hockey sticks, that I was not being able to travel for any period of time, and I wanted to be able to work. People concentrate on the wedding, on living together, on the speed which they can get a visa, and forget about life after moving.

As for your father conducting a legal wedding, I'm not sure. Each province has different requirements, and religious ones can have their own as well. My mother is a minister and can do legal weddings in BC, but she cannot do them in other provinces. If she conducts a wedding outside of BC, she must have a minister from that province attend the wedding to sign the paperwork. Also each province has different legal requirements as to what must be said to make a marriage legal. BC has a very specific sentence that must be said at the wedding by both parties.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part of the wedding being official is whether a marriage license is obtained first. That is the case in Ontario anyway from what I recall. The officiant from a church still needs to submit paperwork to the province (signed certificate) stating that the marriage took place. I don't know the details for B.C.

If you were to do a civil ceremony NOW then you could start an petition for a CR-1 right away. You may or may not have what you need in place by the time you have a religious ceremony and party in December but it would at least get you a lot closer to your goal of being in the same place sooner rather than later.


USCIS - 40 DAYS
2012-10-30: FedEx delivered I-130 to Chicago Lockbox Mail Room
2012-11-01: NOA1 by email - MSC
2012-11-02: $420 (x3) debited from our account
2012-11-05: NOA1 hard copies received, Priority Date 2012-10-30
2012-12-11: NOA2


NVC - 26 DAYS
2013-01-02: Rec'd case#, IIN, BIN & OPTIN emails for EP sent
2013-01-03: Submitted DS-261 (x3)
2013-01-07: AOS bills invoiced and paid & OPTIN for EP accepted for each of us
2013-01-08: AOS bills appear as paid & AOS packages sent by email
2013-01-08: IV bill invoiced & paid (kids' only)
2013-01-09: IV bill appears as paid (kids' only)
2013-01-09: IV Package emailed & DS-260 submitted online (kids only)
2013-01-11: AOS received -notified by email
2013-01-11: IV bill invoiced & paid (for me)
2013-01-14: IV bill appears as paid (for me)
2013-01-14: IV Supporting Docs received for kids - notified by email
2013-01-14: IV Package emailed & DS-260 submitted online (me only)
2013-01-18: IV Supporting Docs received for me - notified by email
2013-01-18: Son#1 CASE COMPLETE - Son#2 checklist - saying $ on I-864 don't match tax return (but they do)-resubmitted
2013-01-23: AOS 2nd submission for Son #2 received - notified by email
2013-01-25: My CASE COMPLETE
2013-01-28: ALL 3 OF OUR CASES ARE NOW COMPLETE
2013-02-06: Packet 4 Received by email

MEDICAL ~ CONSULATE ~ POE REMOVAL OF CONDITIONS - 160 DAYS NATURALIZATION
2013-02-13: Medicals 2014-12-17: Delivered to California Lockbox 2015-12-15: Delivered to Phoenix Lockbox
2013-03-06: Interview 2014-12-19: 1 I-751 + 3 Biometrics Fees debited from our account 2015-12-16: Fees charged to Credit Card
2013-03-08: Visas in-hand 2014-12-22: Received NOA1 by mail. Receipt Date: 2014-12-17 2015-12-17: NOA
2013-03-12: Paid USCIS Immigrant Fee 2014-12-24: Received Biometrics Appointment Letter 2016-01-02: Biometrics Letter 2016-01-11: Biometrics
2013-03-14: POE 2015-01-06: Biometrics 2016-02-15: In Line for Interview 2016-02-19: Letter
2013-03-25: SSNs arrived 2015-05-27: Approved 2016-03-22: Interview
2013-04-01: Green Cards arrived 2015-06-03: New Green Cards arrived 2016-04-15: Oath Ceremony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×