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Is our foreign marriage considered "legal" and "official" here in the USA?

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I'm asking because I am filling out a form W-4 for a new job that I just got. Someone told me that I should file as "Single" because there is no official document stating that my marriage is "official" in the USA.

For my 2011 Income Tax Return, I filed "Married filing separately"


2003 - met online

12-09-2010 - met for the first time

12-11-2010 - engaged

06-07-2011 - married

09-27-2011 - I-130 sent

09-29-2011 - NOA1

04-04-2012 - I-130 approved

05-14-2012 - NVC Case number received

06-26-2012 - Case completed

08-02-2012 - VISA APPROVED :)

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I'm asking because I am filling out a form W-4 for a new job that I just got. Someone told me that I should file as "Single" because there is no official document stating that my marriage is "official" in the USA.

For my 2011 Income Tax Return, I filed "Married filing separately"

you got wrong information, you are married.

If you were not married or your marriage was not considered legal how would you be filing CR1?

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I'm asking because I am filling out a form W-4 for a new job that I just got. Someone told me that I should file as "Single" because there is no official document stating that my marriage is "official" in the USA.

For my 2011 Income Tax Return, I filed "Married filing separately"

Consider that at some point during the CR-1 process you will need to sign an Affidavit of Support. There are instances in which the affidavit should be accompanied by your pay stubs and/or by your last three tax returns. It would behoove you to change your status to 'married' and get that straightened out from the onset.


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I have never heard of anyone getting in trouble for incorrectly filling out their W-4 as long as you insure that enough income tax is withheld by the end of the year.

But you should likely mark it as Married but you may what to also check the withhold tax at the single higher rate.

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For my 2011 Income Tax Return, I filed "Married filing separately"

I would have thought that the better tax savings would have been to file jointly.

What brought you to the decision to file separately?

Did you fill out the tax forms both ways (married joint and married separate) to see the tax differences?

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The answer to your topic title is one big YES.

Someone told me that I should file as "Single" because there is no official document stating that my marriage is "official" in the USA.

Whoever this someone is gave you incorrect information. A valid marriage overseas is valid in the US as long as it is in accordance with applicable law (i.e. no multiple spouses).


Our journey:

Spoiler

September 2007: Met online via social networking site (MySpace); began exchanging messages.
March 26, 2009: We become a couple!
September 10, 2009: Arrived for first meeting in-person!
June 17, 2010: Arrived for second in-person meeting and start of travel together to other areas of China!
June 21, 2010: Engaged!!!
September 1, 2010: Switched course from K1 to CR-1
December 8, 2010: Wedding date set; it will be on February 18, 2011!
February 9, 2011: Depart for China
February 11, 2011: Registered for marriage in Wuhan, officially married!!!
February 18, 2011: Wedding ceremony in Shiyan!!!
April 22, 2011: Mailed I-130 to Chicago
April 28, 2011: Received NOA1 via text/email, file routed to CSC (priority date April 25th)
April 29, 2011: Updated
May 3, 2011: Received NOA1 hardcopy in mail
July 26, 2011: Received NOA2 via text/email!!!
July 30, 2011: Received NOA2 hardcopy in mail
August 8, 2011: NVC received file
September 1, 2011: NVC case number assigned
September 2, 2011: AOS invoice received, OPTIN email for EP sent
September 7, 2011: Paid AOS bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 9, 2011)
September 8, 2011: OPTIN email accepted, GZO number assigned
September 10, 2011: Emailed AOS package
September 12, 2011: IV bill invoiced
September 13, 2011: Paid IV bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 14, 2011)
September 14, 2011: Emailed IV package
October 3, 2011: Emailed checklist response (checklist generated due to typo on Form DS-230)
October 6, 2011: Case complete at NVC
November 10, 2011: Interview - APPROVED!!!
December 7, 2011: POE - Sea-Tac Airport

September 17, 2013: Mailed I-751 to CSC

September 23, 2013: Received NOA1 in mail (receipt date September 19th)

October 16, 2013: Biometrics Appointment

January 28, 2014: Production of new Green Card ordered

February 3, 2014: New Green Card received; done with USCIS until fall of 2023*

 

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I would have thought that the better tax savings would have been to file jointly.

What brought you to the decision to file separately?

Did you fill out the tax forms both ways (married joint and married separate) to see the tax differences?

I made the decision based on what other VJers have posted here and a couple of articles. sorry i don't have the sources handy.

I agree with you all and thank you all for your replies :)


2003 - met online

12-09-2010 - met for the first time

12-11-2010 - engaged

06-07-2011 - married

09-27-2011 - I-130 sent

09-29-2011 - NOA1

04-04-2012 - I-130 approved

05-14-2012 - NVC Case number received

06-26-2012 - Case completed

08-02-2012 - VISA APPROVED :)

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I just want to comment on the W4 in general..

You can fill it out however you want. It's what you actually claim on tax return at the end of the year that matters. The W4 is just to figure out witholdings from your wages, but it's ultimately up to you to decide how much you want employer to withold.

I always claim Single-0 having the Max. witheld (but I am married with 3 dependents in reality). I don't like to owe the IRS..or NY for that matter.


Married Sept.3,2010

02/11/2011: I130 Sent

02/21/2011: NOA1

06/22/2011: NOA2

06/30/2011: NVC

07/05/2011: DS-3032 email received

07/05/2011: DS-3032 emailed

07/06/2011: AOS Bill received

07/06/2011: AOS Fee Paid

07/09/2011: I864 Sent

07/11/2011: IV Fee Bill received

08/30/2011: IV Fee Paid

09/30/2011: IV Pkg Sent

10/24/2011: RFE (we dragged our feet from here on)

(forget all this for now, let's go on holiday!)

03/13/2012: NVC CASE COMPLETE!!

04/05/2012: Received interview appt email

06/22/2012: Medical @ Knightsbridge

06/29/2012: Interview 8am-Result: Pending

??/??/????: I601 Filed at Lock-Box

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I just want to comment on the W4 in general..

You can fill it out however you want. It's what you actually claim on tax return at the end of the year that matters. The W4 is just to figure out witholdings from your wages, but it's ultimately up to you to decide how much you want employer to withold.

I always claim Single-0 having the Max. witheld (but I am married with 3 dependents in reality). I don't like to owe the IRS..or NY for that matter.

I claimed "Single" and for the very same reasons you just gave. Thanks :)


2003 - met online

12-09-2010 - met for the first time

12-11-2010 - engaged

06-07-2011 - married

09-27-2011 - I-130 sent

09-29-2011 - NOA1

04-04-2012 - I-130 approved

05-14-2012 - NVC Case number received

06-26-2012 - Case completed

08-02-2012 - VISA APPROVED :)

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I'm asking because I am filling out a form W-4 for a new job that I just got. Someone told me that I should file as "Single" because there is no official document stating that my marriage is "official" in the USA.

For my 2011 Income Tax Return, I filed "Married filing separately"

For IRS purposes all they care is that you provide a SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER for your wife which you obviously don't have yet. Your foreign marriage is valid in the US of course but for US Tax purposes filing as "Married but separately" is correct.

And for everyone else advising about taxes get your facts straight before you start posting non-sense that you don't even have a clue about. i.e. You can start by reading the Internal Revenue Code


Citizenship

6/24/2016: Mailed N-400 package via USPS from Naval Base Yokosuka, Japan

7/11/2016: Received NOA1 dated 7/5/2016

11/3/2016: Received email from USCIS-Seoul Office with Naturalization appt set for 11/30/2016

11/30/2016: Naturalization Interview on Naval Base Yokosuka, Japan. N-400 Approved

12/1/2016: Naturalization Ceremony

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For IRS purposes all they care is that you provide a SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER for your wife which you obviously don't have yet. Your foreign marriage is valid in the US of course but for US Tax purposes filing as "Married but separately" is correct.And for everyone else advising about taxes get your facts straight before you start posting non-sense that you don't even have a clue about. i.e. You can start by reading the Internal Revenue Code

Hmm, we did married filing jointly.. Was this a mistake? I'm the beneficiary and we're still waiting on NOA2.

I'm not in the US now, but I do have a SSN though and I worked in the US last year (Had EAD card).

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I wonder cos I have been filing as head of household cos my husband does not have a social security card and has never been here. I was told that i can't file him as a dependent of mine cos he did not live with me during the year. You lost a lot of money by filing "married filing separate. I hope this will not be a problem when he goes for his interview, cos all my w-2 forms have my maiden name.

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it may be legal but the US gov certainly gives your foriegn spouse very little right here in the US. IN FACT, your spouse is less likely to make it through customs!

some day I bet someone will snap and it will be all over the news..... not me though! I can wait.

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I wonder cos I have been filing as head of household cos my husband does not have a social security card and has never been here. I was told that i can't file him as a dependent of mine cos he did not live with me during the year. You lost a lot of money by filing "married filing separate. I hope this will not be a problem when he goes for his interview, cos all my w-2 forms have my maiden name.

I believe I heard once that one can't claim their spouse as a dependent.

It's two completely different things or something. I could be wrong.


I-130

2011-08-20 Posted

2011-08-31 NOA1

2011-09-03 Touch

2011-11-18 Sent Expedite Request to USCIS

2011-12-09 Response Received for Exepedite Request

"Wait your turn" in a nutshell

2011-12-02 Sent Expedite Request to US Representative Ed Royce

2012-01-27 Sent Expedite Request to Immigration Ombudsman

2012-02-02 Sent Expedite Request to Senator Barbara Boxer

2012-02-02 Sent Expedite Request to Senator Dianne Feinstein

2012-03-08 Case transferred to field office for additional processing

2012-03-23 Now being processed at a USCIS office

2012-05-10 Transferred to another office for processing

2012-05-14 Now being processed at a USCIS office

2012-06-05 Approved NOA2

2012-07-17 NVC Case/Invoice # Received

Petitioner: US Born Citizen (Wife)

Beneficiary: British Born Citizen (Husband)

Your I-130 was approved in 279 days from your NOA1 date

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