Jump to content
Alenx

K1: Civil ceremony first, then a later celebration ceremony. Should we explain ourselves to the USCIS?

31 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Hi Visajourneyers,

 

so we are about to file the AOS application for me. I'm from Germany and got married to my wife in New Mexico on August 17 on a K1 Visa. After the recent USCIS policy change the officers aren't really required to send RFEs anymore if the initial evidence is insufficient and can deny it right away, so we got a little paranoid. My question is: does anybody have experience with a "split" ceremony, meaning a civil, official one with only a few people while on K1 (to make our lives easier in terms of planning), then having a bigger celebration ceremony with all the relatives later? Is this common for other K1-Visa people? Do you think it will seem odd to the officer (like were only getting married for formal reasons)? What did you guys do? I'm asking because we are thinking about including a written explanation as to why we're doing it this way. Do you think it's necessary, particularly to make sure that the "initial" evidence is "sufficient"? I know this may sound like overthinking, but then this explanation could look weird either, like we really have a reason to explain ourselves like that. It took us a year to get the K1 visa and we were apart for 8 months for financial reasons, so at this point its really stressing us out. Any shared experience would be much appreciated.

 

Apart from that: Congratulations to everyone who has been through this! And love to anyone who's doing it right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It honestly doesn't matter if you had a huge wedding or it was just you, your spouse and person performing the wedding.

 

Definitely overthinking.


K1

29.11.2013 - NoA1

06.02.2014 - NoA2

01.04.2014 - Interview. 

AoS

03.2015 - AoS started.

09.2015 - Green Card received.  

RoC

24.07.2017 - NoA1.

01.08.2018 - RoC approved. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a very common thing for K1 couples to do. No need to worry about it having a negative impact on the AOS petition.

My husband and I had a small civil ceremony and then a few months later we had the larger wedding celebration. In our aos petition, we only sent photos from the civil ceremony (because the larger celebration had not happened yet). We brought both sets of photos to our interview. The officer did ask if we had a civil ceremony first and then a bigger celebration later. We just said 'yes' and then he moved on with no issues. 


K1 Visa Process                                                                                                   

Spoiler

 

December 19, 2016: NOA1 receive date 

May 5, 2017: NOA2 hardcopy (still listed as 'received' online...)

May 23, 2017: NVC case number assigned

July 10, 2017: Interview
July 14, 2017: Visa in hand
July 27, 2017: POE at ORD

August 5, 2017: Married!

 

See my 'About Me' section on my profile for a more detailed step by step journey of our K1 Journey through the Casablanca consulate in Morocco

 

AOS Process  

September 8, 2017 : Mailed AOS Packet

September 16, 2017 : NOA1 text/emails (receive date Sept. 12)

October 2, 2017 : Biometrics Appointment

October 13, 2017 : RFIE letter received in mail (they want an English translated Birth Certificate, which we included in the original petition...)

January 24, 2018: EAD/AP Combo Card in hand

August 9, 2018: AOS Interview (Approved)

August 9, 2018: "Card in Production"

August 16, 2018: Green card in hand

 

May 2020: ROC!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

During our AOS, the immigration officer did question why we didn't have a real wedding and why neither of us wore rings. My SO doesn't wear jewelry (he now has a ring that he's worn maybe five times) and it honestly wasn't important to me back then. We were finishing up school and didn't want to put money into something as unnecessary as a ring and it seemed more of a status-quo thing. We were honest when we questioned it. We didn't have a big showy proposal. Like most people in Denmark, we talked it through - being together was already a given.

 

At the interview, we were just honest. Either because of his curiosity or due to a hilarious language barrier, we got flagged for individual interviews. I swear I was about to pee myself. In the lobby. I was terrified. When my turn was up, I went into the room with the officer and he went through his list of questions - all super easy if you're a couple. Once the first question was asked, I immediately relaxed. We compared answers after and one had been wrong - the last place we went out to eat but..... we had just been coming off the weekend where we tend to go out more frequently. 

 

My advice - don't overthink it. Relax. Just be honest and the rest follows. Especially on a K-1 visa, it's not uncommon to separate wedding vs. legal ceremony. Worse case, you have an individual interview and it's a piece of cake. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all 🙂

 

45 minutes ago, RJandHamid said:

That is a very common thing for K1 couples to do. No need to worry about it having a negative impact on the AOS petition.

My husband and I had a small civil ceremony and then a few months later we had the larger wedding celebration. In our aos petition, we only sent photos from the civil ceremony (because the larger celebration had not happened yet). We brought both sets of photos to our interview. The officer did ask if we had a civil ceremony first and then a bigger celebration later. We just said 'yes' and then he moved on with no issues. 

 

31 minutes ago, GreatDane said:

During our AOS, the immigration officer did question why we didn't have a real wedding and why neither of us wore rings. My SO doesn't wear jewelry (he now has a ring that he's worn maybe five times) and it honestly wasn't important to me back then. We were finishing up school and didn't want to put money into something as unnecessary as a ring and it seemed more of a status-quo thing. We were honest when we questioned it. We didn't have a big showy proposal. Like most people in Denmark, we talked it through - being together was already a given.

 

At the interview, we were just honest. Either because of his curiosity or due to a hilarious language barrier, we got flagged for individual interviews. I swear I was about to pee myself. In the lobby. I was terrified. When my turn was up, I went into the room with the officer and he went through his list of questions - all super easy if you're a couple. Once the first question was asked, I immediately relaxed. We compared answers after and one had been wrong - the last place we went out to eat but..... we had just been coming off the weekend where we tend to go out more frequently. 

 

My advice - don't overthink it. Relax. Just be honest and the rest follows. Especially on a K-1 visa, it's not uncommon to separate wedding vs. legal ceremony. Worse case, you have an individual interview and it's a piece of cake. 

Thank you RJandHamid and GreatDane so far for all the helpful feedback and shared experiences! 😃 The experiences were what I was really hoping for. May I ask you guys where you had your interviews?

 

14 minutes ago, Ben&Zian said:

My god. People need to actually read the information and see it isn't about "No RFE's" or anything. It's about being able to reject petitions missing major items.

 

Hi Ben&Zian! Well yea, I read the paper. It's about rejecting placeholder Applications. Among other things. "Not limited to them". That's in the paper too. Might wanna read it. Thanks a lot though. Maybe read GreatDanes post: Things can happen. That's why I'm asking for shared experience. Which you didn't provide.  So your post isn't helpful to me. Thank you for taking the time to type it though.

 

51 minutes ago, Roel said:

It honestly doesn't matter if you had a huge wedding or it was just you, your spouse and person performing the wedding.

 

Definitely overthinking.

 

Hi! So the other posts depicting such a situation (that are actually contributing to this thread) are just fantasies?

 

Have a good one! :)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Alenx said:

So the other posts depicting such a situation (that are actually contributing to this thread) are just fantasies?

 

If you read those contributions, you will realize it comes up at the interview which has nothing to do with the AOS and rfes and denial part.

 

It is just asking a question about how was the wedding? Who came to the wedding etc. regarding the marriage and wedding part you are not required to send anything but marriage certificate with the AOS application.

Edited by Naes

Check your case status at the new website : https://myaccount.uscis.dhs.gov

USPS INFORMED DELIVERY https://informeddelivery.usps.com/box/pages/intro/start.action

 

How to talk to a live person at USCIShttps://goo.gl/54z5bZ

What to do after NOA2 Approval? How to contact NVCClick here for info - https://goo.gl/KggThF

If you cannot get NVC on the phone try this - https://secureforms.travel.state.gov/ask-nvc.php

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our interview was in Chicago last month on August 9th. 

 

It's totally fine to have a small legal wedding and then a larger wedding celebration later on. As long as you submit a marriage certificate with the AOS petition, I wouldn't worry too much about including 'extra' proof. We sent 1 photo from our civil ceremony and that was it. 


K1 Visa Process                                                                                                   

Spoiler

 

December 19, 2016: NOA1 receive date 

May 5, 2017: NOA2 hardcopy (still listed as 'received' online...)

May 23, 2017: NVC case number assigned

July 10, 2017: Interview
July 14, 2017: Visa in hand
July 27, 2017: POE at ORD

August 5, 2017: Married!

 

See my 'About Me' section on my profile for a more detailed step by step journey of our K1 Journey through the Casablanca consulate in Morocco

 

AOS Process  

September 8, 2017 : Mailed AOS Packet

September 16, 2017 : NOA1 text/emails (receive date Sept. 12)

October 2, 2017 : Biometrics Appointment

October 13, 2017 : RFIE letter received in mail (they want an English translated Birth Certificate, which we included in the original petition...)

January 24, 2018: EAD/AP Combo Card in hand

August 9, 2018: AOS Interview (Approved)

August 9, 2018: "Card in Production"

August 16, 2018: Green card in hand

 

May 2020: ROC!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Alenx said:

It's about rejecting placeholder Applications. Among other things. "Not limited to them". That's in the paper too. Might wanna read it.

It never was limited to them. The IO has always had discretion to deny vs send an RFE.

The paper only expands the situations where they are directed to issue a denial vs sending an RFE by removing the "no possibility" requirement.

You're reading more into the memo than what's actually there.

Edited by geowrian

Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/17/18: Approved

10/24/18: Green card produced

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi- you are definitely overthinking 🙂 it’s no problem to have a small civil wedding. We got married in our living room with about 5 people and the Justice Of the peace. It’s so hard to plan a “regular” wedding on a k1 that this was really our only option. As others have stated you just need to submit your marriage certificate as proof as marriage and remaining evidence- no need for an explanation.


Michele & Schneithers K1 Journey

I-129f

Service Center : Texas Service Center   Transferred? California Service Center on 8/11/14

Consulate : Port au Prince, Haiti             I-129F Sent : 4/14/2014

I-129F NOA1 : 4/24/14                            I-129F NOA2 : 9/10/14

NVC Received : 9/24/14                          NVC Left : 9/26/14

Consulate Received : 10/6/14 CEAC status changed to ready

Packet 3 Received : 10/27/14 packet received by petitioner in USA ( beneficiary never received packet 3)

Medical: 10/30/14 Dr. Buteau                  Medical picked up: 11/3/14

Packet 3 Sent : 11/10/13.. Had to schedule interview appointment and attach confirmation receipt to packet

Packet 4 Received : never received ..does it even exist?

Interview Date : 12/1/14                           Interview Result : Approved !

Visa Received : 12/10/14 picked up at Jacmel location

US Entry : 12/15/14 Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Apply for Social Security Card: 12/30/14 Connecticut

Marriage: 1/26/15

 

Adjustment of Status

CIS Office : Hartford                                  Filed : 3/18/15

NOA : 3/25/15                                            Biometrics : 4/15/15

Approved: 8/31/15                                     Received: 9/8/15

 

EAD

CIS Office : Hartford                                  Filed : 3/18/15

NOA : 3/25/15                                            Approved: 6/12/15

Received: 6/20/15

 

Removal of Conditions I-751

Filed: 8/14/17 at VSC                                 NOA: 8/15/17 Received 8/21 by mail

Biometrics: Dated: 8/25/17   Received 9/2/17   Appointment 9/11/17

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, mushroomspore said:

@Ben&Zian is a very experienced member and moderator of this forum. This isn't the first time the new RFE/NOID policy has been discussed here. The policy is terribly misunderstood AND terribly reported by many journalists. Ben&Zian was simply clarifying (as he has done MANY times over the past several months) that this policy isn't something to be nervous about if you actually care about your application and aren't attempting to just plop yourself in line.

Not quite, it's more like youre reading that into his post because you already know his opinion. I don't question he knows what hes talking about. But opening a convo with the equivalent of "My god, learn to read, people!" might make the communication part a little hard and might make it more likely that someone doesn't see an important piece of info. :) I mean, being able to communicate is part of moderating skills too. Or should be. 

(He also said it has nothing to do with rfes, then you said its the new rfe/noid policy being discussed, so uhm...)

 

19 minutes ago, mushroomspore said:

so I'm not sure what you mean by the other posts depicting such a situation are "just fantasies".

 

I think Roel knows what I meant. It's fine though, I appreciate his second post. So the gist here is they really don't care about anything but the "hard" certificate until it comes to the interview, but adding some evidence doesn't seem to hurt either. Ok. 🙂  

 

27 minutes ago, geowrian said:

The paper only expands the situations where they are directed to issue a denial vs sending an RFE by removing the "no possibility" requirement.

Thanks for that added info. I'm actually hoping it doesn't matter for the honest cases. 

15 minutes ago, Luckycuds said:

It’s so hard to plan a “regular” wedding on a k1 that this was really our only option.

Yea, that's what I thought. 

 

Thank you guys for addressing my concerns so far, I think it helped me make a decision. Probably not doing the explanation thing. 

 

Have a good one!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Alenx said:

Not quite, it's more like youre reading that into his post because you already know his opinion. I don't question he knows what hes talking about. But opening a convo with the equivalent of "My god, learn to read, people!" might make the communication part a little hard and might make it more likely that someone doesn't see an important piece of info. :) I mean, being able to communicate is part of moderating skills too. Or should be. 

(He also said it has nothing to do with rfes, then you said its the new rfe/noid policy being discussed, so uhm...)

I think Roel knows what I meant. It's fine though, I appreciate his second post. So the gist here is they really don't care about anything but the "hard" certificate until it comes to the interview, but adding some evidence doesn't seem to hurt either. Ok. 🙂  

Thanks for that added info. I'm actually hoping it doesn't matter for the honest cases. 

Yea, that's what I thought. 

Thank you guys for addressing my concerns so far, I think it helped me make a decision. Probably not doing the explanation thing. 

 

Have a good one!

 

@Ben&Zian said it like that because this has been discussed before in ad nauseum. So it's a little frustrating to say the least. But you are definitely over thinking things to much. The COs and USCIS do not care if you got married in a mosque, church, or a house as long as you got official married with a marriage license.

A fair number of people like my wife and I got married in a JOP courthouse wedding and we will renew our vows next year in the Philippines. The CO for AOS did not care that we got married in a courthouse at all. As long as you have the marriage license you will be A OK.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×