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Is Civil Marriage in Canada a good Idea?

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Filed: Country: Canada
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Will there be any problems in my fiancee and I getting legally married in Canada, so that we can start her immigration process (which could go faster for a spouse than a fiancee) and get her on my US health Ins. before we get Religiously married in Canada? Will I have problems with visiting Canada during this time? It seems that we can't get civilly married in the US with out going through the long K-1 visa process, so getting civilly married in Canada may be better, is it?

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
Timeline

You can marry in the US or Cananda and then begin the CR1 spouse visa process. ( K3 is a dead process now ) It's entering the US as a visitor with immigrant intent that is a violation of the law.


I-864 Affidavit of Support FAQ -->> https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/immigrant-process/documents/support/i-864-frequently-asked-questions.html

FOREIGN INCOME REPORTING & TAX FILING -->> https://www.irs.gov/publications/p54/ch01.html#en_US_2015_publink100047318

CALL THIS NUMBER TO ORDER IRS TAX TRANSCRIPTS >> 800-908-9946

PLEASE READ THE GUIDES -->> Link to Visa Journey Guides

MULTI ENTRY SPOUSE VISA TO VN -->>Link to Visa Exemption for Vietnamese Residents Overseas & Their Spouses

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Filed: Country: Canada
Timeline

You can marry in the US or Cananda and then begin the CR1 spouse visa process. ( K3 is a dead process now ) It's entering the US as a visitor with immigrant intent that is a violation of the law.

Sorry, that makes no sense. Tell me how a Canadian can come to the US and get married without violating the law? And the whole IR1/CR1, K3, I130, I129F thing is all very confusing. Looking through the guides and posts it looks like all the forms get applied to regardless.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
Timeline

You can marry here (or anywhere else). Entering the US as a visitor intending to marry, and staying violates the law. Marrying and returning to one's home country is not a violation.

Edited by Anh map

I-864 Affidavit of Support FAQ -->> https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/immigrant-process/documents/support/i-864-frequently-asked-questions.html

FOREIGN INCOME REPORTING & TAX FILING -->> https://www.irs.gov/publications/p54/ch01.html#en_US_2015_publink100047318

CALL THIS NUMBER TO ORDER IRS TAX TRANSCRIPTS >> 800-908-9946

PLEASE READ THE GUIDES -->> Link to Visa Journey Guides

MULTI ENTRY SPOUSE VISA TO VN -->>Link to Visa Exemption for Vietnamese Residents Overseas & Their Spouses

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Sorry, that makes no sense. Tell me how a Canadian can come to the US and get married without violating the law? And the whole IR1/CR1, K3, I130, I129F thing is all very confusing. Looking through the guides and posts it looks like all the forms get applied to regardless.

Exactly what Anh Map said...you can marry in either country. If you marry in Canada and she is a Canadian resident and you are a US citizen and resident, you then leave Canada after you marry and you begin the CR1 visa process.

She can also come to the USA and marry you without the K1 visa - that K1 visa is for her to legally be in and stay in the country for the sole purpose of marrying you. If you go that route, she has, after approval of K1, 90 days to marry you and it's a one time entry into the USA and you'd have to obtain employment authorization and advanced parole (for travel) and then adjust status.

But you're saying you don't want to go K1 and that's fine. You can marry in the USA but she then has to leave the country.

It's not illegal to marry but it is illegal to remain in the country without applying for the visa and it's illegal to remain after marriage when you do apply for the CR1. The idea is that you can't live in each other's country and circumvent the immigration process. But nothing stops you from marrying in either country.

Another issue, of course, comes up when you cross the border and tell the border folks 'I'm going down (or up) to get married.' You better show pretty strong ties to your own country so they feel assured you will return and not remain illegal in whatever country you will marry.

The guides on here gives good information on the type of visa that makes the most sense. Get familiar with them. It can be confusing but have a good read and you'll see that they make sense.

Keep asking questions on the vj boards, like you are doing.

Good luck to you.

Edited by zenaxe

2007 Nov 30: Met in Las Vegas, Nevada

2009 Jul 13: Proposed/Engaged in Sedona, Arizona

2009 Dec 26: Married in Tucson, Arizona

USCIS

2009 Dec 30: Filed I-130

2010 Jan 02: I-130 delivered

2010 Jan 07: NOA1 - email - CSC

2010 Jan 11: Received NOA1 hardcopy

2010 Mar 24: NOA2 - email & text - NVC

2010 Mar 29: Received NOA2 hardcopy

I-130 was approved in 76 days from NOA1 date

NVC

2010 Mar 30: NVC received - case# assigned - emails given to NVC

2010 Mar 30: Opted in - DS3032 emailed to NVC

2010 Mar 31: Received AOS bill & DS3032 - paid AOS

2010 Apr 05: Online payment portal confirms paid AOS(Apr 2 processing date)

2010 Apr 05: Sent I-864 package

2010 Apr 15: EP confirmation email

2010 Apr 15: IV bill generated & paid

2010 Apr 15: Email confirmation - receipt of DS3032

2010 Apr 16: IV bill confirmed paid - sent DS230 package

2010 Apr 19: NVC operator confirms I864 & DS230 documents have been received

2010 Apr 21: AVR confirms all documents received Apr 19th

2010 Apr 23: Email from NVC: case complete - confirmed by NVC - sign in fail

Completed in 24 days

CONSULATE

2010 May 27: Email from NVC - consulate received file - interview Montreal Jul 27th

2010 Jun 16: Medical @ Woking Medical Centre, Vancouver, Canada - APPROVED

2010 Jul 27: Interview @ US Consulate in Montreal, Canada - APPROVED

Your interview took 201 days from your I-130 NOA1 date

2010 Aug 13:POE Washington - APPROVED

REMOVAL OF CONDITIONS

2012 May 14 - mailed I-751

2012 May 16 - delivered @ CSC

2012 Jun 18 - I 551 stamp

2012 Jun 28 - biometrics appointment NOA notice date Jun 7

2012 Dec 20 - approved

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Filed: Country: Canada
Timeline

You can marry here (or anywhere else). Entering the US as a visitor intending to marry, and staying violates the law. Marrying and returning to one's home country is not a violation.

This is what an immigration lawyer sent me that makes me hesitate about what you say:

"You don't file for a K-3 visa while she is inside the U.S. That visa is to enter the U.S. If she is already here, you do adjustment of status, but this is not really the correct way of doing it. The correct way to do this is apply for a K1 fiancee or K3 spouse visa if you are already married. The process takes 6 to 9 months or more in which she is supposed to wait outside of the U.S. Here is a link:

http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1315.html

I know that you may not want to wait, but the only other method is risky. People do it all the time, but it is basically violating the immigration law. This is because if she uses a tourist visa (or Visa Waiver) to enter the U.S. when she really has the intention of staying, she is lying to the U.S. government about her intention. If she discloses the truth when she is entering, they will turn her around and send her back. If she lies about her intent, well.....she's lying and can be deported because of it.

The regulations state this:

If a person does anything to make their status permanent in the U.S. (such as marrying a U.S. Citizen) within 30 days of entering on a non-immigrant visa such as a tourist visa, they are automatically charged with visa fraud.

If a person does anything to make their status permanent in the U.S. more than 30 days after entering on a non-immigrant visa but less than 60 days, they will be questioned extensively and if ICE or USCIS is not satisfied, then that person will be charged with visa fraud.

If a person does anything to make their status permanent in the U.S. more than 60 days after entering on a non-immigrant visa, no questions are asked because the policy determination is that it is too difficult to prove that the person did not just change their minds."

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
Timeline

This is what an immigration lawyer sent me that makes me hesitate about what you say:

"You don't file for a K-3 visa while she is inside the U.S. That visa is to enter the U.S. If she is already here, you do adjustment of status, but this is not really the correct way of doing it. The correct way to do this is apply for a K1 fiancee or K3 spouse visa if you are already married. The process takes 6 to 9 months or more in which she is supposed to wait outside of the U.S. Here is a link:

http://travel.state....types_1315.html

I know that you may not want to wait, but the only other method is risky. People do it all the time, but it is basically violating the immigration law. This is because if she uses a tourist visa (or Visa Waiver) to enter the U.S. when she really has the intention of staying, she is lying to the U.S. government about her intention. If she discloses the truth when she is entering, they will turn her around and send her back. If she lies about her intent, well.....she's lying and can be deported because of it.

The regulations state this:

If a person does anything to make their status permanent in the U.S. (such as marrying a U.S. Citizen) within 30 days of entering on a non-immigrant visa such as a tourist visa, they are automatically charged with visa fraud.

If a person does anything to make their status permanent in the U.S. more than 30 days after entering on a non-immigrant visa but less than 60 days, they will be questioned extensively and if ICE or USCIS is not satisfied, then that person will be charged with visa fraud.

If a person does anything to make their status permanent in the U.S. more than 60 days after entering on a non-immigrant visa, no questions are asked because the policy determination is that it is too difficult to prove that the person did not just change their minds."

You stated that you two wanted to marry in Canada (or the US) and then go through the spouse visa process. As your attorney stated it is the entering the US as a visitor and STAYING that is the problem. Entering, marrying, and returning is not a problem and is done routinely. Do some reading in the Canada regional forum to get first hand stories.

As the PP stated, if questioned at the border your fiancee would have to show ties to home so that the CBP officer doesn't believe that she is intending to marry and stay. From what I've read from Canadian VJ members this can be a simple or complicated at the border.


I-864 Affidavit of Support FAQ -->> https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/immigrant-process/documents/support/i-864-frequently-asked-questions.html

FOREIGN INCOME REPORTING & TAX FILING -->> https://www.irs.gov/publications/p54/ch01.html#en_US_2015_publink100047318

CALL THIS NUMBER TO ORDER IRS TAX TRANSCRIPTS >> 800-908-9946

PLEASE READ THE GUIDES -->> Link to Visa Journey Guides

MULTI ENTRY SPOUSE VISA TO VN -->>Link to Visa Exemption for Vietnamese Residents Overseas & Their Spouses

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This is what an immigration lawyer sent me that makes me hesitate about what you say:

"You don't file for a K-3 visa while she is inside the U.S. That visa is to enter the U.S. If she is already here, you do adjustment of status, but this is not really the correct way of doing it. The correct way to do this is apply for a K1 fiancee or K3 spouse visa if you are already married. The process takes 6 to 9 months or more in which she is supposed to wait outside of the U.S. Here is a link:

http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1315.html

I know that you may not want to wait, but the only other method is risky. People do it all the time, but it is basically violating the immigration law. This is because if she uses a tourist visa (or Visa Waiver) to enter the U.S. when she really has the intention of staying, she is lying to the U.S. government about her intention. If she discloses the truth when she is entering, they will turn her around and send her back. If she lies about her intent, well.....she's lying and can be deported because of it.

The regulations state this:

If a person does anything to make their status permanent in the U.S. (such as marrying a U.S. Citizen) within 30 days of entering on a non-immigrant visa such as a tourist visa, they are automatically charged with visa fraud.

If a person does anything to make their status permanent in the U.S. more than 30 days after entering on a non-immigrant visa but less than 60 days, they will be questioned extensively and if ICE or USCIS is not satisfied, then that person will be charged with visa fraud.

If a person does anything to make their status permanent in the U.S. more than 60 days after entering on a non-immigrant visa, no questions are asked because the policy determination is that it is too difficult to prove that the person did not just change their minds."

I know things can get confusing.

Canadians can enter the United States without a visa, that is still the case. Your lawyer's links advise not to do anything to make her status permanent.

It really comes down to not remaining in the country after marriage. People can fly to Las Vegas, elope, then head out. There's nothing illegal about marrying; the illegality is with remaining in the country.

The K3 visa (getting to be obsolete) would allow, after it being granted, your new wife (it's not a fiance visa like K1 but spousal visa) the ability to remain in the country after marriage but you would have to apply for employment authorization and advanced parol (travel in and out of the USA) and you would have to file for adjustment of status, which means another $1000 and more - that adjustment of status then puts you on track for a green card.

The K1 and K3 visas are considered non immigrant visas and the adjustment of status puts you on the path for the immigrant visa ie CR1. The problem with K3s is that they took as long as CR1s and are becoming phased out and not really recommended. Also with K3, it's likely designed for people that didn't intend to get married, were visiting each other then said 'let do it' without any real planning (ya sure) then the 'intent' when crossing was not to marry but gee now you are and so adjust status.

Others have crossed without problems and got married while in the USA or in Canada.

If you read the Dept of State link you posted it deals with bringing your fiance in and marrying and LIVING in the USA. If the intent is to marry and live there without the proper authority, it's fraud.

Seek futher legal advise. Likely the best route to go is the CR1 visa. You marry and she or you leave which ever country and then you file. Both of you can visit each other by bringing evidence of strong ties to your respective countries to show border officials that you intend to return to your own country. Strong ties and evidence includes a letter from an employer advising of a stated return to work date, a mortgage/title, or lease agreement, utility bills, home insurance,bank acounts, vehicles etc etc.

At risk of sounding like a broken record and also echoing other posts, the real issue is remaining in the country after marriage, not getting married.

Good luck.

Edited by zenaxe

2007 Nov 30: Met in Las Vegas, Nevada

2009 Jul 13: Proposed/Engaged in Sedona, Arizona

2009 Dec 26: Married in Tucson, Arizona

USCIS

2009 Dec 30: Filed I-130

2010 Jan 02: I-130 delivered

2010 Jan 07: NOA1 - email - CSC

2010 Jan 11: Received NOA1 hardcopy

2010 Mar 24: NOA2 - email & text - NVC

2010 Mar 29: Received NOA2 hardcopy

I-130 was approved in 76 days from NOA1 date

NVC

2010 Mar 30: NVC received - case# assigned - emails given to NVC

2010 Mar 30: Opted in - DS3032 emailed to NVC

2010 Mar 31: Received AOS bill & DS3032 - paid AOS

2010 Apr 05: Online payment portal confirms paid AOS(Apr 2 processing date)

2010 Apr 05: Sent I-864 package

2010 Apr 15: EP confirmation email

2010 Apr 15: IV bill generated & paid

2010 Apr 15: Email confirmation - receipt of DS3032

2010 Apr 16: IV bill confirmed paid - sent DS230 package

2010 Apr 19: NVC operator confirms I864 & DS230 documents have been received

2010 Apr 21: AVR confirms all documents received Apr 19th

2010 Apr 23: Email from NVC: case complete - confirmed by NVC - sign in fail

Completed in 24 days

CONSULATE

2010 May 27: Email from NVC - consulate received file - interview Montreal Jul 27th

2010 Jun 16: Medical @ Woking Medical Centre, Vancouver, Canada - APPROVED

2010 Jul 27: Interview @ US Consulate in Montreal, Canada - APPROVED

Your interview took 201 days from your I-130 NOA1 date

2010 Aug 13:POE Washington - APPROVED

REMOVAL OF CONDITIONS

2012 May 14 - mailed I-751

2012 May 16 - delivered @ CSC

2012 Jun 18 - I 551 stamp

2012 Jun 28 - biometrics appointment NOA notice date Jun 7

2012 Dec 20 - approved

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline

I just want to clarify one thing.

As many have mentioned, nothing wrong with getting married in the U.S. or Canada - but

There is also nothing wrong with staying in the U.S., for a while afterwards. When people say - "you cannot marry in the U.S. then stay" - they mean you can't marry there and then just reside there - they don't mean you have to fly out the same day :lol:

When you enter the U.S. you may be given an I-94 document - if so, it will state when you have to leave, normally. If no date is indicated, as a Canadian you can stay for up to 180 days that visit. If no I-94 is given, you can also stay for up to 180 days.

Anyway, just wanted to clarify so that you know you don't have to flee immediately after the ceremony :)

You can even send your paperwork to the USCIS from within the U.S., if you decide to stay for a few weeks after your marriage or whatever.

Edited by trailmix

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

I just want to clarify one thing.

As many have mentioned, nothing wrong with getting married in the U.S. or Canada - but

There is also nothing wrong with staying in the U.S., for a while afterwards. When people say - "you cannot marry in the U.S. then stay" - they mean you can't marry there and then just reside there - they don't mean you have to fly out the same day :lol:

When you enter the U.S. you may be given an I-94 document - if so, it will state when you have to leave, normally. If no date is indicated, as a Canadian you can stay for up to 180 days that visit. If no I-94 is given, you can also stay for up to 180 days.

Anyway, just wanted to clarify so that you know you don't have to flee immediately after the ceremony :)

You can even send your paperwork to the USCIS from within the U.S., if you decide to stay for a few weeks after your marriage or whatever.

Thank goodness or we wouldn't have had much of a honeymoon.

Great explanation (as usual) trailmix. This is exactly the procedure we followed. With one post you have clarified the situation. :)

Edited by OBX

USCIS

NOA1 08/19/08

NOA2 01/20/09

NVC

Received 01/26/09

Completed 02/13/09 (19 Days)

Interview Assigned 03/27/09 (6 weeks after NVC completion)

Medical

04/14/09 (Toronto)

Interview

Montreal 05/12/09 (88 days after NVC completion) **APPROVED**

POE

06/16/09 Buffalo

07/02/09 Welcome Letter Received

07/07/09 Applied for SSN

07/10/09 "Card production ordered" email received

07/13/09 SSN received

07/14/09 "Approval notice sent" email received

07/17/09 GREEN CARD received

Removal of Conditions

03/21/11 I-751 mailed to VSC

03/23/11 I-751 received at VSC

03/29/11 Cheque Cashed

03/30/11 NOA1 received (3/24/11)

04/11/11 Biometrics appointment notice received

05/05/11 Biometric appointment

12/13/11 **Approval date** (5 days short of 9 months!)

12/19/11 Approval letter and green card received

Naturalization

05/16/2019 Filed online (estimated completion February 2020)

05/18/2019 Biometrics scheduled

05/21/2019 Receipt notice and biometrics notices posted to online account.05/23/2019 Hard copy of NOA1 received

05/24/2019 Hard copy of biometrics appointment received

06/07/2019 Biometrics appointment (estimated completion January 2020)

12/31/2019 Email received "Interview scheduled"

01/01/2020 Interview date notice posted to online account (02/19/2020)

01/05/2019 Hard copy of interview appointment received

02/19/2020 Interview (**Approved**) and same day Oath Ceremony. 

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I just want to clarify one thing.

As many have mentioned, nothing wrong with getting married in the U.S. or Canada - but

There is also nothing wrong with staying in the U.S., for a while afterwards. When people say - "you cannot marry in the U.S. then stay" - they mean you can't marry there and then just reside there - they don't mean you have to fly out the same day :lol:

When you enter the U.S. you may be given an I-94 document - if so, it will state when you have to leave, normally. If no date is indicated, as a Canadian you can stay for up to 180 days that visit. If no I-94 is given, you can also stay for up to 180 days.

Anyway, just wanted to clarify so that you know you don't have to flee immediately after the ceremony :)

You can even send your paperwork to the USCIS from within the U.S., if you decide to stay for a few weeks after your marriage or whatever.

Really good point that was overlooked Trailmix.

We got married in late Dec last year, I stayed about a week after we were married and sent the I 130 petition while I was still in the USA.

We also went on a honeymoon but in our case it was in mid Feb.

But given the advice given, including what I posted, it's great to clarify that you don't have the leave immediately...you just don't want to be there long term etc. I don't think there is anything or any timeframe defined in terms of how long one can stay - it may come down to what is a 'reasonable' length of time before it looks like something other than a visit.

Thanks for pointing that out.


2007 Nov 30: Met in Las Vegas, Nevada

2009 Jul 13: Proposed/Engaged in Sedona, Arizona

2009 Dec 26: Married in Tucson, Arizona

USCIS

2009 Dec 30: Filed I-130

2010 Jan 02: I-130 delivered

2010 Jan 07: NOA1 - email - CSC

2010 Jan 11: Received NOA1 hardcopy

2010 Mar 24: NOA2 - email & text - NVC

2010 Mar 29: Received NOA2 hardcopy

I-130 was approved in 76 days from NOA1 date

NVC

2010 Mar 30: NVC received - case# assigned - emails given to NVC

2010 Mar 30: Opted in - DS3032 emailed to NVC

2010 Mar 31: Received AOS bill & DS3032 - paid AOS

2010 Apr 05: Online payment portal confirms paid AOS(Apr 2 processing date)

2010 Apr 05: Sent I-864 package

2010 Apr 15: EP confirmation email

2010 Apr 15: IV bill generated & paid

2010 Apr 15: Email confirmation - receipt of DS3032

2010 Apr 16: IV bill confirmed paid - sent DS230 package

2010 Apr 19: NVC operator confirms I864 & DS230 documents have been received

2010 Apr 21: AVR confirms all documents received Apr 19th

2010 Apr 23: Email from NVC: case complete - confirmed by NVC - sign in fail

Completed in 24 days

CONSULATE

2010 May 27: Email from NVC - consulate received file - interview Montreal Jul 27th

2010 Jun 16: Medical @ Woking Medical Centre, Vancouver, Canada - APPROVED

2010 Jul 27: Interview @ US Consulate in Montreal, Canada - APPROVED

Your interview took 201 days from your I-130 NOA1 date

2010 Aug 13:POE Washington - APPROVED

REMOVAL OF CONDITIONS

2012 May 14 - mailed I-751

2012 May 16 - delivered @ CSC

2012 Jun 18 - I 551 stamp

2012 Jun 28 - biometrics appointment NOA notice date Jun 7

2012 Dec 20 - approved

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