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Question about courthouse elopement for AOS/IR-1

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Hi,

 

I appreciate this forum so much. It's been a huge help for us.

 

I'm an American citizen and my partner (home country PRC) is on an OPT student visa with one year left. We are planning on eventually having a big ceremony, but for now the timing is right to get legally married, both for immigration purposes and so also so he can go on my insurance. We've been dating 2 years and living together/sharing finances about 6 months. 

 

We briefly met with a lawyer who told us that if we get married at a courthouse, we should bring family and make sure to take lots of pictures. The pics are fine (we can hire a photographer), but bringing family/friends is logistically difficult because they live 1000 miles away and our timeline is very tight - we're scheduled to go in front of a JP on my one week off from medical residency. We are in a new city and don't know a lot of people who would be off during business hours to tag along. The other thing is that his parents are in China and I really want us to have both families together and 'do it right' in the long run. My preference would be to elope for now and save the sharing for later when we have the bandwidth to really plan. BUT, I don't want to shoot ourselves in the foot if this is going to be a mistake.

 

Is there any legitimate reason to believe that getting married alone at city hall is going to cause us trouble in the application process? We can probably figure out a way to have people there if it will make a big difference, I just can't get a feel for how much this actually matters. The other aspects of our application are (I hope) fairly unremarkable/unlikely to raise red flags. He's here legally, we have many ways to prove the bona fide-ness of our relationship, we live together, we have tons of pictures at other events with family and friends, I meet the criteria to be his sponsor, etc.

 

Thank you!!

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1 minute ago, rk2018 said:

Hi,

 

I appreciate this forum so much. It's been a huge help for us.

 

I'm an American citizen and my partner (home country PRC) is on an OPT student visa with one year left. We are planning on eventually having a big ceremony, but for now the timing is right to get legally married, both for immigration purposes and so also so he can go on my insurance. We've been dating 2 years and living together/sharing finances about 6 months. 

 

We briefly met with a lawyer who told us that if we get married at a courthouse, we should bring family and make sure to take lots of pictures. The pics are fine (we can hire a photographer), but bringing family/friends is logistically difficult because they live 1000 miles away and our timeline is very tight - we're scheduled to go in front of a JP on my one week off from medical residency. We are in a new city and don't know a lot of people who would be off during business hours to tag along. The other thing is that his parents are in China and I really want us to have both families together and 'do it right' in the long run. My preference would be to elope for now and save the sharing for later when we have the bandwidth to really plan. BUT, I don't want to shoot ourselves in the foot if this is going to be a mistake.

 

Is there any legitimate reason to believe that getting married alone at city hall is going to cause us trouble in the application process? We can probably figure out a way to have people there if it will make a big difference, I just can't get a feel for how much this actually matters. The other aspects of our application are (I hope) fairly unremarkable/unlikely to raise red flags. He's here legally, we have many ways to prove the bona fide-ness of our relationship, we live together, we have tons of pictures at other events with family and friends, I meet the criteria to be his sponsor, etc.

 

Thank you!!

No legitimate reason. 


YMMV

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Where, how, and who is there for a wedding doesn't matter.

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

 

 

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10 minutes ago, rk2018 said:

Hi,

 

I appreciate this forum so much. It's been a huge help for us.

 

I'm an American citizen and my partner (home country PRC) is on an OPT student visa with one year left. We are planning on eventually having a big ceremony, but for now the timing is right to get legally married, both for immigration purposes and so also so he can go on my insurance. We've been dating 2 years and living together/sharing finances about 6 months. 

 

We briefly met with a lawyer who told us that if we get married at a courthouse, we should bring family and make sure to take lots of pictures. The pics are fine (we can hire a photographer), but bringing family/friends is logistically difficult because they live 1000 miles away and our timeline is very tight - we're scheduled to go in front of a JP on my one week off from medical residency. We are in a new city and don't know a lot of people who would be off during business hours to tag along. The other thing is that his parents are in China and I really want us to have both families together and 'do it right' in the long run. My preference would be to elope for now and save the sharing for later when we have the bandwidth to really plan. BUT, I don't want to shoot ourselves in the foot if this is going to be a mistake.

 

Is there any legitimate reason to believe that getting married alone at city hall is going to cause us trouble in the application process? We can probably figure out a way to have people there if it will make a big difference, I just can't get a feel for how much this actually matters. The other aspects of our application are (I hope) fairly unremarkable/unlikely to raise red flags. He's here legally, we have many ways to prove the bona fide-ness of our relationship, we live together, we have tons of pictures at other events with family and friends, I meet the criteria to be his sponsor, etc.

 

Thank you!!

We got married at a JP with no issues at all. I would have some people come just because some states ask that a witness comes and signs something. 

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We got married at the courthouse, his mom being our only witness/photographer, and we had no issues. We did our "big" wedding, in both countries, shortly before and the other one shortly after our AOS. We had no proof of either of those included in our package. We were fine and did not get an RFE


event.png
United_States.gif:wub:Our Journey :wub:Belgium.gif

 

K1
Sent I-129F: June 9th, 2015
Received at Texas Lockbox: June 11th. Sent to CSC!
NOA1: (NOA1 date June 15th 2015) Hardcopy arrived June 20th 2015
NOA2: July 23rd! Hardcopy arrived July 27th 2015
Left NVC in transit to Brussels Embassy: August 17th 2015
Received at Brussels Embassy: August 21st, 2015
Package 3 sent: August 25th, 2015
Package 3 reveived: August 26th, 2015
Checklist sent back: August 27th, 2015
Medical Appointment in Antwerp: August 27th, 2015 and August 31st, 2015
Received Package 4: September 11th, 2015
Interview: September 17th, 2015 : APPROVED!!!
POE: October 25th, 3.55pm 2015 at Washington Dulles Airport.
Wedding Courthouse: November 24th, 2015. (L)
Wedding ceremony and reception for friends and family US: April 2nd 2016 (L)
Wedding ceremony and reception for friends and family Belgium: October 8th 2016 (L)

AoS

Filed for AoS: June 17th 2016

Package arrived: June 20th 2016 8.05 AM

Check Cashed: June 25th 2016

Texts and e-mails NOA1: June 28th, 10.30 PM

Hardcopy NOA1`s: July 2nd

Biometrics letter: July 8th.

Biometrics appointment: July 20th, 11 AM, Charlotte, NC

Early walk-in Biometrics: July 14th!

Approved: 2016/10/28 (no interview)

Greencard received: November 5th 2016. (Wrong country of birth: USA)

RoC

Filed: 10/22/2018

Package arrived: 10/23 2:40PM

Package picked up: 10/24/2018 3:54AM.

NOA1: 10/26/2018

Text and e-mail: 10/29/2018

Check cashed: 10/30/2018

 

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