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Dr. Watson

Wedding Ceremonies, Location, Point of Entry

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline

Hello,

I'm an American guy, and just got engaged (!!!) to a Canadian girl. So we've started gathering documentation for the I-129F submission. Everything is going pretty well there, but I do have questions regarding when and where we can get married.

1) I'm aware that the K-1 visa allows her to enter the U.S. to be married within 90 days of entry, and we plan on doing the legal marriage after she enters. However, does that not allow us to have our religious wedding ceremony in Canada? In other words, can we get married (real, religious ceremony) in Canada, then enter the U.S. on the K-1, and then have the legal marriage performed and filed? Will the customs inspectors have a problem if they find out we have had the ceremony in Canada prior to entering the U.S.?

2) So let's assume for a second we can have the ceremony in Canada. We plan on flying out of the Ottawa airport to our honeymoon destination. How does the entry process work when flying into the U.S.? Do we "enter" customs with the visa on the Canadian side, or do we give the visa when we land in the U.S.?

3) Or can we even fly in? Do we have to drive across a physical crossing? Or is there pros and cons to either approach?

Thanks! :-)


I-129F Packet Submitted: 1/09/2015

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K1 is a fiance visa, so you cannot already be married. Even a "pretend" wedding can easily lead to trouble as the officer can deny entry and/or you may have trouble down the road.

You can have her enter on a K1, do a legal ceremony, file AOS with EAD/AP, then once she receives her EAD/ap (takes about 3 months), then do whatever kind of ceremony you want in Canada.

Or you can get married in Canada and file the CR1 visa (check processing times, but roughly a year).

And flying is perfectly fine. They officer working the immigration lines will tell you where to go. If you do end up driving, ask around the Canadian forum as I know different land POE's have different levels of familiarity with the visa.

Congrats and good luck!

Edited by ChicagoSarah

K1 Visa Process AOS Process

Mar 18 2013: I-129F mailed to CSC Nov 15 2013: I-485 with EAD/AP filed at Chicago Lockbox

Sept 19 2013: Interview - Approved!! Jan 25 2014: EAD/AP Card Received

Oct 6 2013: POE - Chicago O'Hare June 2 2014: Permanent Resident Card Received!

Oct 27 2013: Wedding!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

You cannot do any type of religious ceremony in Canada. If you get married by anyone who is legally allowed to perform marriages even with out a marriage certificate/registering it is still a legal marriage and you void the K1.


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

 

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

If that ceremony was a marriage ceremony and performed by someone who is legally allowed to perform it, then it was a legal marriage and when found out she can lose everything.

In Canada any marriages that have been performed by someone who has the authority to perform such acts are legal marriages and will void the K1. Do not mess around with it.


I worked with a girl who had a ceremony in Canada first and a reception and then went to the USA on a k1. No legal marriage until she got to the USA.


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

 

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Filed: Other Country: Canada
Timeline

If that ceremony was a marriage ceremony and performed by someone who is legally allowed to perform it, then it was a legal marriage and when found out she can lose everything.

In Canada any marriages that have been performed by someone who has the authority to perform such acts are legal marriages and will void the K1. Do not mess around with it.

She has AOS'd successfully from what I've heard.

Also I have to take into question the legal marriage thing. My first husband and I had to hold off on a wedding because he didn't have a birth certificate (needed for licence). We were told that we could have a ceremony but it would NOT be legally regognized without the licence (this is in Ontario). My father who was a Pastor for many years in Ontario wouldn't perform a ceremony without a licence as well.

Edited by Transborderwife

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

Agree with Ontarkie. A marriage is a marriage is a marriage. If you want to get married in Canada, apply for CR1. I you apply for I-129F, get married in USA. You haven't applied yet, right? Just gathering papers ? So, it's not too late to sort out and decide what works for you.

Be careful with flying too. The I-129F allows ONE-TIME entry. She comes in with Fiance Visa ONE TIME. Then marry.

Then apply for AOS and EAD/AP. Then Wait.

If she/you both leave, she is not authorized to come back in and it voids the process.

Good Luck !

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

She has AOS'd successfully from what I've heard.

Also I have to take into question the legal marriage thing. My first husband and I had to hold off on a wedding because he didn't have a birth certificate (needed for licence). We were told that we could have a ceremony but it would NOT be legally regognized without the licence (this is in Ontario). My father who was a Pastor for many years in Ontario wouldn't perform a ceremony without a licence as well.

That's right your father wouldn't perform one because if he did he has to register it. It is the same all through Canada it's not Province specific, if you are licensed to marry someone and do it then it's legal with or without the marriage license.

Your could of had a blessing and party in Canada. If she actually got married one day it may come back to haunt her.


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

 

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Filed: Other Country: Canada
Timeline

That's right your father wouldn't perform one because if he did he has to register it. It is the same all through Canada it's not Province specific, if you are licensed to marry someone and do it then it's legal with or without the marriage license.

Your could of had a blessing and party in Canada. If she actually got married one day it may come back to haunt her.

It may have been a blessing ceremony that looked just like a wedding. I wasn't at the ceremony but a co worker said that it was pretty much the same aside from signing a registry. Anyways, as always err on the side of caution.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Philippines
Timeline

The most I would recommend having is a engagement party, invite a few friends and family.,.,.."""ANY type of ceremony..,'even if it is dance around a camp fire' if it is considered as any type of marriage ceremony, then you can forget about a quick K-1"""

Yes, some people get by with such things.,.,.,."do you want to take away the chance of a quick K-1, to please a few family members" if so, do it.,.,.,and file CR-1~ and wait 12-16 months for approval!

My wife and I had a huge engagement party, (over 300 people in the Philippines).,.,.,.,and entertainment, great food, laughter, performers, and it was a great time.,.,.,.BUT.,.,."there was NO type of ceremony at all, no exchange of words between us in any way".,.,.,.,.in short, do not ask for trouble, and it will not come, most of the time!

God speed and good luck! Read this site daily, and .,.,learn!

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Hello,

I'm an American guy, and just got engaged (!!!) to a Canadian girl. So we've started gathering documentation for the I-129F submission. Everything is going pretty well there, but I do have questions regarding when and where we can get married.

1) I'm aware that the K-1 visa allows her to enter the U.S. to be married within 90 days of entry, and we plan on doing the legal marriage after she enters. However, does that not allow us to have our religious wedding ceremony in Canada? In other words, can we get married (real, religious ceremony) in Canada, then enter the U.S. on the K-1, and then have the legal marriage performed and filed? Will the customs inspectors have a problem if they find out we have had the ceremony in Canada prior to entering the U.S.?

2) So let's assume for a second we can have the ceremony in Canada. We plan on flying out of the Ottawa airport to our honeymoon destination. How does the entry process work when flying into the U.S.? Do we "enter" customs with the visa on the Canadian side, or do we give the visa when we land in the U.S.?

3) Or can we even fly in? Do we have to drive across a physical crossing? Or is there pros and cons to either approach?

Thanks! :-)

1) No. Your fiancee can be denied entry if the CBP feel she already is married, even if she has a valid visa. Do not, under any circumstances have any sort of wedding before your legal marriage in the USA. If you want to have a wedding in Canada you can either pursue the CR1 visa (spousal visa) or plan a wedding a year or so later and have a second wedding with friends and family in Canada. This is a route that many K1 choose to take.

2) After the visa is granted, if the beneficiary is going through a Canadian airport that has preclearance, then they enter after going through US customs (CBP.) They will need to do paper work in secondary inspection. The preclearance side of US customs in an airport is considered US soil. Before the visa is granted your fiancee can still visit the USA but should bring proof of her ties to Canada. There is a list on the CBP website of ties to bring to show you're not trying to immigrate at that time.

3) Yes she can fly in. The pros to driving in is she can bring all of her things at that time with you, or you can send it down with a mover and fly in. Whatever is cheaper and easier for you.

It sounds like you haven't read the entire process for the K1 visa. Do you have a job in the USA? There is an affidavit of support form you must provide. I-134. Also after entry and marriage in the USA the beneficiary must adjust their status ($1070.) Without that their legal stay expires in 90 days. The AOS process is often 6+ months long and your new wife must obtain advance parole to leave the USA and employment authorization to work, both of which are filed for free with the AOS package. At this time the petitioner must also send a legally binding I-864 affidavit of support. If the AOS is approved THEN your wife gets a green card.


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

 

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Philippines
Timeline

A religious ceremony performed by any cleric who is empowered to marry people in Canada counts as a valid marriage. I know her folks want to see something before she goes, but you simply can't. Even a "blessing" ceremony has been held to count as a marriage.

Both of you MUST be unmarried at the time of POE. That rule is strictly enforced with no exceptions. Even if you get away with breaking it at POE, you can still be denied AOS. So please don't do it. Wait until she has AP, then you can go back to Canada and do as you please.

You can have the legal ceremony done anywhere in the USA, but it must be in the USA and nowhere else.

Edited by Al422

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