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Smelserjl

Are Marriages in Foreign Countries Automatically Valid in the U.S.?

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Hi VJ,

I dont know if this belongs in this forum or not but I wasn't sure where to put it. Sorry mods if this is wrong!

I married my husband last year in Cairo, Egypt and we got our marriage certificate authenticated at the US Embassy in Cairo. I was wondering, is there something else I should do in order to use our marriage certificate in the US? Specifically, I'd like to change my last name since we are married and I didnt know if the translated/authenticated certificate was enough.

Thanks!

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Yes, as long as the marriage wasn't a proxy marriage without "consummation", it is valid.

I used my foreign marriage certificate to change my name and have used it several other times with no problem.


3/2/18  E-filed N-400 under 5 year rule

3/26/18 Biometrics

7/2019-12/2019 (Yes, 16- 21 months) Estimated time to interview MSP office.

 

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I guess the US is a lot nicer about that than other countries. Example: I got married in California. Then, I had to apply for a new passport at the consulate in LA. I filled out the form as "married", since, well... I am. The person there was all like "that is totally wrong, you can't do that, the Romanian government doesn't know you're married, blah blah, fill it out as single". I was annoyed, felt like I was lying, worried that it would affect my case with USCIS and all sorts of discomfited. Turns out, USCIS doesn't care about what the Romanian government knows or doesn't know and their stupid bureaucracy. Yay!

But now, next time I'm over there, I'll have to jump through hoops and probably pay a bunch of money to get the stupid Romanian government to recognize my marriage. Simply presenting the California certificate won't work, a translated version must be made, forms filled out, fees paid, and officials bribed! Or something. ARGH, how they annoy me! </rant>

Translated/certified by the US embassy - sounds like it's all you need.

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Thanks for both of your responses. The immigration process is one reason I'm thinking I should wait until my husband is here to change my name. Paperwork is such a pain! Also, my husband actually has several names (father of the father, etc in Egyptian custom), and the name I'd like to select is on our marriage contract but is different from what's on his passport. It's all confusing.

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