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Sgt. McGee

Being Married by a Friend

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My fiancée and I are planning to be married in June in order to get a head start on the AOS paperwork, before having the "real" wedding in September. We're keeping the marriage sort of quiet (my parents will know, several close friends will know), because we suspect that if her parents knew that she was already married, they wouldn't make the trip from the Czech Republic for the wedding.

She's here on a long-since-expired J-1, since she came as an au pair in 1999. As near as we can tell, she's not subject to the 212(e) requirement, so we're hoping our AOS filing will be pretty straightforward, but we're also trying to make sure we don't do anything to slow things down.

Her former boss (the mother of the family she worked for) is going to be performing a wedding for some other friends in early June. As a result, she'll have a license (in Virginia) that's good for 30 days, and can actually perform our legal marriage, as well, which means that we won't have to find a JP or similar to handle things. The thing is, we were also planning to have this woman provide an affadavit supporting our bona fide marriage. I'm now wondering if maybe that would be some sort of red flag (or conflict of interest), and maybe we'd be better off hiring someone we don't know at all to do the civil ceremony. On the one hand, it would make sense that the person performing the ceremony should be able to attest to our relationship, but on the other hand, I worry that it could look like we're trying to pull a fast one. That, coupled with the fact that her parents won't know about the marriage until the wedding (that sounds funny, no?), might be asking for trouble.

We've been together for 6+ years, and should not have any trouble compiling enough evidence to support our case, but anything we can do to avoid extra hassle, we'll do. Ideally, if we file in early June (concurrent I-130/I-485), we're hoping - somewhat against hope, I suppose - that she may be able to make it home for Christmas, as she hasn't been home in almost 11 years. In order to make that timeline, we'll need everything to go smoothly.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts/advice!


06/18/10 Married

08/12/10 - Day 0 - Mailed I-130, I-485, I-765 (USPS Express Mail)

08/13/10 - Day 1 - Delivery Confirmation at USCIS Chicago Lockbox

08/20/10 - Day 8 - Electronic (E-mail/SMS) confirmation of acceptance/NOA issued for I-130, I-485, I-765

10/09/10 - Day 58 - EAD (I-765) case visible online, others still not showing up.

10/21/10 - Day 70 - Spoke to 2nd-tier support, got a "referral" opened on the biometrics appointment (as in, why isn't there one yet?)

10/29/10 - Day 78 - Biometrics appt letter received (scheduled for November 18 in Alexandria)

11/04/10 - Day 84 - Successful Walk-In Biometrics at Alexandria, VA

11/04/10 - Day 84 - Email/SMS notice of "Card Production Ordered"

11/09/10 - Day 89 - Email/SMS notice of "Card Production Ordered" (same text, same everything, just a second notice)

11/12/10 - Day 92 - Email/SMS notice of "EAD Approved"

11/12/10 - Day 92 - Received EAD card in mail (same day as notification of approval, no other snail mail notices)

12/07/10 - Day 117 - AOS Interview letter received (scheduled for January 10, 2011)

01/10/11 - Day 153 - AOS Interview complete - verbally approved, but we're not believing it until the card shows up.

01/14/11 - Day 157 - Electronic (E-mail/SMS) notification of approval of I-485

01/15/11 - Day 158 - Received notice of I-485 approval in mail

01/18/11 - Day 161 - Received Green Card in mail!

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Scotland
Timeline

On the one hand, it would make sense that the person performing the ceremony should be able to attest to our relationship, but on the other hand, I worry that it could look like we're trying to pull a fast one. That, coupled with the fact that her parents won't know about the marriage until the wedding (that sounds funny, no?), might be asking for trouble.

We've been together for 6+ years, and should not have any trouble compiling enough evidence to support our case, but anything we can do to avoid extra hassle, we'll do. Ideally, if we file in early June (concurrent I-130/I-485), we're hoping - somewhat against hope, I suppose - that she may be able to make it home for Christmas, as she hasn't been home in almost 11 years. In order to make that timeline, we'll need everything to go smoothly.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts/advice!

We had our friend get ordained online and sign the papers for us. That qualified as a minister in our state, hoorah! The state gave us a marriage license, and we used it to file and get approved for AOS. Since we are completely out of cash we plan to have our ceremony on an Australian beach in Nov 2011. Exactly how I wanted it!!

If you are doing everything by the book in regard to state law I don't think USCIS will have any problem with it. A lot of us are having to do the civil and religious/ceremonial weddings separate.


Our VisaJourney started July 2009 when I mailed the 129-F

Fiance here February 2010, married 10 days later

GC received in the mail 10-Jun-2010

Able to apply to remove conditions 12-Feb-2012

BABY GIRL BORN JULY 2011!!!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Kenya
Timeline

I doubt it would raise eyebrows. I think all they want to see is that you are legally married. I know she didn't come on a K-1, but lots of people who did have a small private civil ceremony and then a bigger wedding later on & haven't had any problem with AOS :)


K-1
09/09/09 - NOA1 :: 10/20/09 - NOA2 :: 01/11/10 - Interview :: 02/24/10 - POE :: 04/10/10 - Wedding

AOS
05/17/10 - NOA :: 06/08/10 - Transferred to CSC :: 07/02/10 - Biometrics :: 07/16/10 - EAD/AP Approved :: 10/26/10 - AOS Approved

ROC
08/16/12 - NOA :: 09/13/12 - Biometrics :: 04/12/13 - Approved :: 04/19/13 - GC received


Naturalization
08/22/13 - NOA :: 09/20/13 - Biometrics :: 01/30/14 - Interview - Approved :: 02/27/14 - Oath

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I doubt it would raise eyebrows. I think all they want to see is that you are legally married. I know she didn't come on a K-1, but lots of people who did have a small private civil ceremony and then a bigger wedding later on & haven't had any problem with AOS :)

I guess I was less concerned with the split marriage/wedding thing than with the notion that if we have a close friend perform the marriage, and also submit an affadavit for evidence of the bona fide marriage, that it would look suspicious somehow. Sounds like that won't be an issue, which is good news, because now we don't have to hire anyone!


06/18/10 Married

08/12/10 - Day 0 - Mailed I-130, I-485, I-765 (USPS Express Mail)

08/13/10 - Day 1 - Delivery Confirmation at USCIS Chicago Lockbox

08/20/10 - Day 8 - Electronic (E-mail/SMS) confirmation of acceptance/NOA issued for I-130, I-485, I-765

10/09/10 - Day 58 - EAD (I-765) case visible online, others still not showing up.

10/21/10 - Day 70 - Spoke to 2nd-tier support, got a "referral" opened on the biometrics appointment (as in, why isn't there one yet?)

10/29/10 - Day 78 - Biometrics appt letter received (scheduled for November 18 in Alexandria)

11/04/10 - Day 84 - Successful Walk-In Biometrics at Alexandria, VA

11/04/10 - Day 84 - Email/SMS notice of "Card Production Ordered"

11/09/10 - Day 89 - Email/SMS notice of "Card Production Ordered" (same text, same everything, just a second notice)

11/12/10 - Day 92 - Email/SMS notice of "EAD Approved"

11/12/10 - Day 92 - Received EAD card in mail (same day as notification of approval, no other snail mail notices)

12/07/10 - Day 117 - AOS Interview letter received (scheduled for January 10, 2011)

01/10/11 - Day 153 - AOS Interview complete - verbally approved, but we're not believing it until the card shows up.

01/14/11 - Day 157 - Electronic (E-mail/SMS) notification of approval of I-485

01/15/11 - Day 158 - Received notice of I-485 approval in mail

01/18/11 - Day 161 - Received Green Card in mail!

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Scotland
Timeline

I guess I was less concerned with the split marriage/wedding thing than with the notion that if we have a close friend perform the marriage, and also submit an affadavit for evidence of the bona fide marriage, that it would look suspicious somehow. Sounds like that won't be an issue, which is good news, because now we don't have to hire anyone!

You don't need to submit any affadavits. It might not even help you to send in any proof of relationship with the AOS. If you want the friend to complete an affadivit then get it, but take it with you to the interview.


Our VisaJourney started July 2009 when I mailed the 129-F

Fiance here February 2010, married 10 days later

GC received in the mail 10-Jun-2010

Able to apply to remove conditions 12-Feb-2012

BABY GIRL BORN JULY 2011!!!

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You don't need to submit any affadavits. It might not even help you to send in any proof of relationship with the AOS. If you want the friend to complete an affadivit then get it, but take it with you to the interview.

So "front-loading" the I-130 isn't a good plan? We want to get this thing knocked out as quickly as possible, so I thought maybe we should send as much as possible. It seems a lot of people on this forum are front-loading advocates (it even suggests including those affadavits in the guide here). Will we hurt anything by sending them over?


06/18/10 Married

08/12/10 - Day 0 - Mailed I-130, I-485, I-765 (USPS Express Mail)

08/13/10 - Day 1 - Delivery Confirmation at USCIS Chicago Lockbox

08/20/10 - Day 8 - Electronic (E-mail/SMS) confirmation of acceptance/NOA issued for I-130, I-485, I-765

10/09/10 - Day 58 - EAD (I-765) case visible online, others still not showing up.

10/21/10 - Day 70 - Spoke to 2nd-tier support, got a "referral" opened on the biometrics appointment (as in, why isn't there one yet?)

10/29/10 - Day 78 - Biometrics appt letter received (scheduled for November 18 in Alexandria)

11/04/10 - Day 84 - Successful Walk-In Biometrics at Alexandria, VA

11/04/10 - Day 84 - Email/SMS notice of "Card Production Ordered"

11/09/10 - Day 89 - Email/SMS notice of "Card Production Ordered" (same text, same everything, just a second notice)

11/12/10 - Day 92 - Email/SMS notice of "EAD Approved"

11/12/10 - Day 92 - Received EAD card in mail (same day as notification of approval, no other snail mail notices)

12/07/10 - Day 117 - AOS Interview letter received (scheduled for January 10, 2011)

01/10/11 - Day 153 - AOS Interview complete - verbally approved, but we're not believing it until the card shows up.

01/14/11 - Day 157 - Electronic (E-mail/SMS) notification of approval of I-485

01/15/11 - Day 158 - Received notice of I-485 approval in mail

01/18/11 - Day 161 - Received Green Card in mail!

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