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thedude6752000

Getting Ready for Marriage in India

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OK, so here is our story:



I met my fiancee and soon to be wife Samar when I was in Lucknow, India studying Urdu with a US Dept. of State program. We fell in love, and we began planning on how we can be together. After getting engaged and then deciding the K1 route was not the best to go, we are now going with the CR1. We will be wed in August and I will return and hopefully file for the CR1 in September, October at the latest. With only a little more than 2 months to go until I depart for India, I am now starting to gather all of the documents I will need for the application. Here is a list of what I will be including in the I-130 packet:



I-130 Petition for Alien Relative


Cover letter stating all documents of package


(2) G-325A's, Biographic Information, one for me and one for her


2 passport sized photos, 1 of me one of her


Copy of my birth certificate


Question: Do I include the I-864 Affidavit of Support or not?



Additional documents:


Hundreds of pages of chat logs


Hundreds of pages of emails


All the skype conversations I can get my hands on


Letters from her to me


Letters from me to her


Reciepts of for her dresses, gold, rings, and my dresses and rings


Plane tickets


Hotel tickets from our honeymoon


Hopefully thousands of pictures from our engagement, wedding, and honeymoon


Signed Affidavits by guests from the wedding to the affect that we are a bona fide couple


Bank statement from our shared bank account



I will of course be sure to make 1 complete copy of all this and also to save it as digital PDF's stored on Google Plus.




Is there anything I am missing? And is there anything that I should bring back with her from India, so as not to have to spend more money on international mail latter? Should I bring back copies of her birth certificate and police report? What other preparations should I make? Please advise that she is a Muslim and I am a white Christian guy, our story is complicated and our case needs to be airtight. Are there any other documents I should get from Samar while I am in India?


I-130 Sent: 11 November 2013

I-130 1st i-797(NOA-1): 12 November 2013, Vermont (Dis-)Service Center (1 day in transit)

I-130 2nd i-797(NOA-2): 30 May 2014, Vermont (Total Dis-)Service Center (199 days in USCIS hell)

I-30 Received at NVC: 11 June 2014 (11 days in transit)

NVC Case # Assigned: 27 June 2014 (15 days to case number assigned)

DS-261 Completed: 15 July 2014 (18 days to DS-261 available)

AOS Fee Bill Paid: 17 July 2014

AOS Fee Bill Shows "Paid": 22 July 2014

AOS Package Sent Out:23 July 2014

AOS Package Recieved: 28 July 2014

DS-260 Completed: ?

IV Fee Bill Paid: ?

November 2014 USCIS Spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aqgp_fafY_R6dFI3cDREc2tNWV9qV09mMzN3WXR2dEE&usp=sharing#gid=3

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I actually forgot the marriage certificate. I have heard that Indian marriage certificates are sometimes not accepted without further documentation. In addition to the marriage certificate, is there any other document (or some other form of it) I can provide to establish a bona fide legal marriage?


I-130 Sent: 11 November 2013

I-130 1st i-797(NOA-1): 12 November 2013, Vermont (Dis-)Service Center (1 day in transit)

I-130 2nd i-797(NOA-2): 30 May 2014, Vermont (Total Dis-)Service Center (199 days in USCIS hell)

I-30 Received at NVC: 11 June 2014 (11 days in transit)

NVC Case # Assigned: 27 June 2014 (15 days to case number assigned)

DS-261 Completed: 15 July 2014 (18 days to DS-261 available)

AOS Fee Bill Paid: 17 July 2014

AOS Fee Bill Shows "Paid": 22 July 2014

AOS Package Sent Out:23 July 2014

AOS Package Recieved: 28 July 2014

DS-260 Completed: ?

IV Fee Bill Paid: ?

November 2014 USCIS Spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aqgp_fafY_R6dFI3cDREc2tNWV9qV09mMzN3WXR2dEE&usp=sharing#gid=3

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I actually forgot the marriage certificate. I have heard that Indian marriage certificates are sometimes not accepted without further documentation. In addition to the marriage certificate, is there any other document (or some other form of it) I can provide to establish a bona fide legal marriage?

As per documents all which you have mentioned are enough. But for marriage ,marriage should be registered and have marriage registration certificate.

And affidavits from your side relatives and from your parents also needed.

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Since you will be in a Muslim/Christian marriage, I'm guessing you will marrying under the Special Marriage Act? If so, she will need to register the impending marriage 30 days before the actual wedding. In some localities, the registration office will demand both parties to be present to file the paperwork. In others, just the Indian side of the couple can do it on their own - it truly seems like luck of the draw on whether or not this becomes a PITA thing to deal with...

Your list looks great - a couple of things to think about though, a female Muslim marrying a Christian man is considered in most circles in Islam forbidden. I don't want to start a Islamic jurisprudence fight about it here but there are also some more modern interpretations that say it is all good as long as the guy is "of the book" meaning Christian or Jewish - this stance is in the smallest of minorities. Chances are, if you took a poll, it would be an avalanche of "oh hell no, she can't do that". I'd be willing to bet all the COs are more than familiar with this too. So, here in lies a possible problem. There could be questions about it at the interview. As long as the answer make sense within the scope of your relationship, it should be fine [as in, her family is really progressive and doesn't care OR her family is very old fashioned and now hates me so we married at the municipal offices - what wouldn't make sense would be "well, daddy threatened to kill him and told me I'm burning in hell for this but look at the wedding photos - 500 guests!" - having the family put on a huge celebration after a death threat would look weird to anyone].

Things that would make your case less air-tight: out of wedlock kids on either side, divorces, the inability to communicate well [lack of common language], if she's tried every which way to get a visa in the past including past relationship attempts [K1s or other CR1s]. All of these are very surmountable if you take the time to address them. Search for "front loading" here to see how some people have included information in the original packet.

Other things to think about doing pre-filing that could strengthen your case: add her to bank accounts, credit cards, and insurances immediately including proof of those additions in your CR1 packet.

You do not need to worrying about the I-864 for the first phase of this process. The petition will need to be approved and forwarded to the National Visa Center before that comes into play. The flow chart here on vj will be of great help for you to see the details of how that all shakes down.

Best of luck on your marriage! Let us know how it's going!!!

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Since you will be in a Muslim/Christian marriage, I'm guessing you will marrying under the Special Marriage Act? If so, she will need to register the impending marriage 30 days before the actual wedding. In some localities, the registration office will demand both parties to be present to file the paperwork. In others, just the Indian side of the couple can do it on their own - it truly seems like luck of the draw on whether or not this becomes a PITA thing to deal with...

Your list looks great - a couple of things to think about though, a female Muslim marrying a Christian man is considered in most circles in Islam forbidden. I don't want to start a Islamic jurisprudence fight about it here but there are also some more modern interpretations that say it is all good as long as the guy is "of the book" meaning Christian or Jewish - this stance is in the smallest of minorities. Chances are, if you took a poll, it would be an avalanche of "oh hell no, she can't do that". I'd be willing to bet all the COs are more than familiar with this too. So, here in lies a possible problem. There could be questions about it at the interview. As long as the answer make sense within the scope of your relationship, it should be fine [as in, her family is really progressive and doesn't care OR her family is very old fashioned and now hates me so we married at the municipal offices - what wouldn't make sense would be "well, daddy threatened to kill him and told me I'm burning in hell for this but look at the wedding photos - 500 guests!" - having the family put on a huge celebration after a death threat would look weird to anyone].

Things that would make your case less air-tight: out of wedlock kids on either side, divorces, the inability to communicate well [lack of common language], if she's tried every which way to get a visa in the past including past relationship attempts [K1s or other CR1s]. All of these are very surmountable if you take the time to address them. Search for "front loading" here to see how some people have included information in the original packet.

Other things to think about doing pre-filing that could strengthen your case: add her to bank accounts, credit cards, and insurances immediately including proof of those additions in your CR1 packet.

You do not need to worrying about the I-864 for the first phase of this process. The petition will need to be approved and forwarded to the National Visa Center before that comes into play. The flow chart here on vj will be of great help for you to see the details of how that all shakes down.

Best of luck on your marriage! Let us know how it's going!!!

---------------------------------------------------

We already have the Special Marriage Act part covered. Let's just say in India where there's a will there's a way.

Thanks for the advice! Now as to the religion issue, her parents never actually made me convert but they did teach me to pray, had me talk with an aalim about Islam, and expect the children to be raised Muslim. What we have decided to do and how we have decided to live our lives is our own issue (we don't intend to say this to the CO though), the main thing is that her parents are willing and they will be fully participating in the wedding. Theyare relatively progressive and have assured both of us that if the embassy asks them they will tell their daughter that they gave their permission to marry me. This is all we intend to say on the matter, will this suffice?

Also, she tried to apply for a student visa to study at an English program near where I used to live, and was denied. Other than that she has made no attempts of any kind to get a visa, certainly by marriage. This will be the first marriage for both of us (and in shaa2 allah the last as well). Neither of us have any children. She is one year older than I, an annoyance to her but I hope not a big deal. She studied English at the university level, but I had come to Lucknow in 2011 to learn Urdu and at this point am extremely conversive in Hindi/Urdu. We talk mostly in this language and I am also able to communicate with her family with little difficulty (they make fun of the way I talk--I once said "chammak" for "chammach"--but they are completely able to understand me, even on the phone).

Thank you for the other advice. How can I add her to my credit cards and bank accounts if she is not in the country and does not have a social security number? I will look into adding her to my insurance but that's awfully expensive for something she won't be using at all.

Thank you for the advice!

Edited by thedude6752000

I-130 Sent: 11 November 2013

I-130 1st i-797(NOA-1): 12 November 2013, Vermont (Dis-)Service Center (1 day in transit)

I-130 2nd i-797(NOA-2): 30 May 2014, Vermont (Total Dis-)Service Center (199 days in USCIS hell)

I-30 Received at NVC: 11 June 2014 (11 days in transit)

NVC Case # Assigned: 27 June 2014 (15 days to case number assigned)

DS-261 Completed: 15 July 2014 (18 days to DS-261 available)

AOS Fee Bill Paid: 17 July 2014

AOS Fee Bill Shows "Paid": 22 July 2014

AOS Package Sent Out:23 July 2014

AOS Package Recieved: 28 July 2014

DS-260 Completed: ?

IV Fee Bill Paid: ?

November 2014 USCIS Spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aqgp_fafY_R6dFI3cDREc2tNWV9qV09mMzN3WXR2dEE&usp=sharing#gid=3

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Also do I need the marriage certificate notarized? Do any need to do anything special with it?


I-130 Sent: 11 November 2013

I-130 1st i-797(NOA-1): 12 November 2013, Vermont (Dis-)Service Center (1 day in transit)

I-130 2nd i-797(NOA-2): 30 May 2014, Vermont (Total Dis-)Service Center (199 days in USCIS hell)

I-30 Received at NVC: 11 June 2014 (11 days in transit)

NVC Case # Assigned: 27 June 2014 (15 days to case number assigned)

DS-261 Completed: 15 July 2014 (18 days to DS-261 available)

AOS Fee Bill Paid: 17 July 2014

AOS Fee Bill Shows "Paid": 22 July 2014

AOS Package Sent Out:23 July 2014

AOS Package Recieved: 28 July 2014

DS-260 Completed: ?

IV Fee Bill Paid: ?

November 2014 USCIS Spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aqgp_fafY_R6dFI3cDREc2tNWV9qV09mMzN3WXR2dEE&usp=sharing#gid=3

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Also, how should we explain the English Program visa? At the time we needed more evidence, so on of us had to go to the other's country and as we all know they don't give out tourist visas to Indians who aren't wealthy. She applied to this English program and got in, but was denied the visa. Thereafter I went to India where we did the engagement ceremony (we were thinking about doing a K-1 at the time). Will this be a problem? There was no interview, she was denied almost as soon as she stepped to the window.


I-130 Sent: 11 November 2013

I-130 1st i-797(NOA-1): 12 November 2013, Vermont (Dis-)Service Center (1 day in transit)

I-130 2nd i-797(NOA-2): 30 May 2014, Vermont (Total Dis-)Service Center (199 days in USCIS hell)

I-30 Received at NVC: 11 June 2014 (11 days in transit)

NVC Case # Assigned: 27 June 2014 (15 days to case number assigned)

DS-261 Completed: 15 July 2014 (18 days to DS-261 available)

AOS Fee Bill Paid: 17 July 2014

AOS Fee Bill Shows "Paid": 22 July 2014

AOS Package Sent Out:23 July 2014

AOS Package Recieved: 28 July 2014

DS-260 Completed: ?

IV Fee Bill Paid: ?

November 2014 USCIS Spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aqgp_fafY_R6dFI3cDREc2tNWV9qV09mMzN3WXR2dEE&usp=sharing#gid=3

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Past denials should not be a problem but some CO can think those as she trying to enter US by hook or crook and might question more about the marriage and make sure it is legit and not for immigration purpose.

You don’t need to add her to the account or credit card until she is in US, embassy is not expecting to see a joint account.

Me and my wife were living in US and never had joint account until we got married nor we had same credit cards until after we got married.

Marriage certificate from court are accepted as it is, most of those documentation is in English so there is no need to notarize it.

For last, yes religion is personal but COs can and might bring up religion during interview.

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