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Hi all! My UK partner and I are planning to get married in a few months and then start the CR-1 process (decided against the K1 because we didn't want to deal with the AoS wait where he could not work or leave the country!). I am currently in the US after living abroad with him for a number of years; he is still in the UK. 

 

The trouble is...we aren't sure where we can even get married! We were planning on doing it in the UK but it turns out we would both need to be resident there for 7 days, and then give 28 days notice to the registrar before we could even get married-- I can't be away from work for that long!

 

It looks like it is legal for him to come over as a tourist under his ESTA, get married in the US, and then head back home so I can get the visa process started (I know AoS from a tourist visa is a big no-no, and we wouldn't be interested in that anyway as we'd be in the same boat as the K1).

 

my question is--- does anyone have any suggestions for slightly more interesting places to get married that don't have residency requirements? I have been googling around but it looks like a lot of places have restrictions on getting legally married within their borders. Another issue will be receiving  the various affidavits/apostilles from our home countries stating that we are legally able to wed; it is very complicated!

 

We are basically eloping-- no family or friends and just a civil ceremony, so we thought it would be nice to combine it with our "honeymoon" and make a bit of an adventure of it before being apart while waiting for the CR1. 

 

Open to any interesting suggestions! Especially places easily accessible from the US or Europe and where we'd be able to get by in English!! Where did you get married to your international spouse? Especially when you were engaged in two different countries? 

 

thanks all! Happy almost holidays! 

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I think the CR-1 is superior for the exact reasons you mentioned......Well done......It is perfectly legal for him to come to the US via ESTA, get married, and leave before the expiration of his I-94.  Las Vegas is always a popular destinations for marriages....


"Experience can be a tough teacher to those who fail to heed good advice"- Missileman, 12/6/18

 

First career- 20 year Retired E-8, USAF Missileer,

Second career-Retired Registered Nurse, experience in Labor& Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent & Adult Psych

Third career-Retired IT Developer & Database Administrator for surgical services dept.

 

Immigration Journey:

  • Texas Service Center after transfer from Nebraska
  • Consulate :Taipei, Taiwan
  • Marriage: 7/30/2015
  • I-130 NOA1 : 4/27/2016
  • I-130 Approved :9/8/2016
  • Case received at NVC: 10/11/2016                               
  • Case # and IIN#: 10/24/2016
  • AOS Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • AOS Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • IV Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • IV Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • DS-260 Completed: 10/28/16
  • Scan Date:11/9/2016
  • Supervisor review: 12/21/16 
  • Checklist: 1/13/17 
  • Case Complete: 4/10/17
  • Interview Date: 5/8/17 
  • Visa  "ISSUED": 5/10/17
  • Visa and Passport in hand/Flight to USA Booked!!!: 5/12/17  
  • POE Dallas DFW on June 22, 2017
  • SS Card received : 7/3/2017
  • 2-year Green Card received in mail: 7/15/17
 

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One more thing:  His leaving before the expiration of his I-94 is important.  If he overstays, his ESTA will be revoked...........With valid  ESTA, he can legally return to the US for visits during the CR-1 process....good luck.


"Experience can be a tough teacher to those who fail to heed good advice"- Missileman, 12/6/18

 

First career- 20 year Retired E-8, USAF Missileer,

Second career-Retired Registered Nurse, experience in Labor& Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent & Adult Psych

Third career-Retired IT Developer & Database Administrator for surgical services dept.

 

Immigration Journey:

  • Texas Service Center after transfer from Nebraska
  • Consulate :Taipei, Taiwan
  • Marriage: 7/30/2015
  • I-130 NOA1 : 4/27/2016
  • I-130 Approved :9/8/2016
  • Case received at NVC: 10/11/2016                               
  • Case # and IIN#: 10/24/2016
  • AOS Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • AOS Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • IV Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • IV Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • DS-260 Completed: 10/28/16
  • Scan Date:11/9/2016
  • Supervisor review: 12/21/16 
  • Checklist: 1/13/17 
  • Case Complete: 4/10/17
  • Interview Date: 5/8/17 
  • Visa  "ISSUED": 5/10/17
  • Visa and Passport in hand/Flight to USA Booked!!!: 5/12/17  
  • POE Dallas DFW on June 22, 2017
  • SS Card received : 7/3/2017
  • 2-year Green Card received in mail: 7/15/17
 

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Super easy to get married in the US compared to most places. Here in NC you can go from applying for the license to a certified copy of your marriage registration in a couple of hours in most places. I would bsay get married here just so all the documents would be easily available to you any time.

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Hawaii doesn't have any residency requirements, as it's a destination wedding, um, destination. It can get expensive, but if you elope it becomes a lot more doable. Most of the marriage license and marriage certificate filing is done online. My fiance and I are going to just get married at one of the botanical gardens, with a family member officiating. I know someone who's booked a large beachhouse on Airbnb and will do the whole ceremony and small reception there at sunset!

 

Whatever you choose, good luck and congratulations! 

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In the US is no problem generally.  Otherwise, Google "destination weddings".


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Colorado, you dont even need an officiant.

Anywhere in Canada but you're generally waiting 1-2 months or more for the marriage cert.

As pushbrk mentioned, google destination weddings. 


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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I did a lot of research on this before finally deciding on getting married in Brazil, despite the documents hassle and long wait, but we wanted my husband's family to be there.  For you, I would recommend Iceland, as it would be fairly inexpensive to get there (Icelandair has cheap fares), and an easy process for two non-residents.  https://guidetoiceland.is/history-culture/getting-married-in-iceland

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I am Czech citizen living in UK and we married in Denmark, concrete on Ærø island. Why:

  • we cannot marry in US since I am not able to enter now
  • if we would marry in UK, it will be Visa fraud for my wife and would be denied to entry next time and probably banned (as advised by CAB)
  • Denmark, specifically this island, doesn't require all the boring and exhausting paperwork. We needed my passport (EU citizen - fine), wife's passport (US citizen - on Approved list) and wife's divorce decree. Since new year, they will require confirmation from home country that you are eligible to marry, but that should be really short time to get compare with all other paperwork from other countries.

Denmark's marriage certificate is issued in 5 languages on 1 paper so no translations are required for US and UK. Also, my wife was able to change name with that, get new passport and submit I-130 without any apostille.

 

Basically we decided to get marry, called agency in Denmark and 14 days later we had our marriage certificates!

 

Definitely don't marry using ESTA. That's worst Visa fraud, I was told by immigration lawyer. If you would marry on his first visit in US, maybe, but not other. 

Edited by tomuk

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49 minutes ago, tomuk said:

Definitely don't marry using ESTA. That's worst Visa fraud, I was told by immigration lawyer. If you would marry on his first visit in US, maybe, but not other. 

Definitely not correct. Source: I did this, and my UK spouse (now my ex) not only had no problems when we applied for the CR-1, he's now a citizen with zero issues. We were living together in London but wanted to get married in the US. So we flew over, married in Vermont, and after the ceremony (and a brief vacation) we returned to the UK together. He was completely up front with CBP when he entered on his ESTA (it was the VWP still back then) and said he was coming to the States to marry his American fiancee, with whom he lived in London, and then return back to the UK. Stamped through, no problem. Filed the I-130 and got the CR-1 about 5 months later through direct consular filing.

 

The problem comes when you come over on an ESTA to marry with the intent to stay and adjust status. No one here is recommending that route (and to do so would be in violation of the TOS). Coming for a visit with the intent to marry and then depart, after which time the I-130 is submitted, is absolutely fine. The question is one of intent. Think about it -- there would be no US destination wedding industry to sell to other countries if that were not the case! People come from all over the world to have a Vegas wedding, or get married on a beach in Hawaii. As long as they came in without the intent to stay permanently in the US, there is nothing wrong about getting married in the US as a tourist.

 

Either the immigration lawyer didn't know what he was talking about, or you didn't understand what the lawyer was saying.  

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1 hour ago, tomuk said:

Definitely don't marry using ESTA. That's worst Visa fraud,

Absolutely false!!!!!  There is noting illegal for a person to enter the US via ESTA, marry, then leave prior to the expiration of their I-94.....


"Experience can be a tough teacher to those who fail to heed good advice"- Missileman, 12/6/18

 

First career- 20 year Retired E-8, USAF Missileer,

Second career-Retired Registered Nurse, experience in Labor& Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent & Adult Psych

Third career-Retired IT Developer & Database Administrator for surgical services dept.

 

Immigration Journey:

  • Texas Service Center after transfer from Nebraska
  • Consulate :Taipei, Taiwan
  • Marriage: 7/30/2015
  • I-130 NOA1 : 4/27/2016
  • I-130 Approved :9/8/2016
  • Case received at NVC: 10/11/2016                               
  • Case # and IIN#: 10/24/2016
  • AOS Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • AOS Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • IV Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • IV Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • DS-260 Completed: 10/28/16
  • Scan Date:11/9/2016
  • Supervisor review: 12/21/16 
  • Checklist: 1/13/17 
  • Case Complete: 4/10/17
  • Interview Date: 5/8/17 
  • Visa  "ISSUED": 5/10/17
  • Visa and Passport in hand/Flight to USA Booked!!!: 5/12/17  
  • POE Dallas DFW on June 22, 2017
  • SS Card received : 7/3/2017
  • 2-year Green Card received in mail: 7/15/17
 

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That's what I was told also at POE. Officer which was refusing me to enter (different reason then want to marry anyone) told me that he turned around person a week ago who wanted to come there for 5 days just to get married, with words "get K1 visa". From my point of view, it's big lottery and I would definitely not go through that, it might be more difficult with future processing.

 

When you wrote "now my ex", I guess, it was while ago. They are more strict right now, as I heard. Another thing is that you were living in UK so ties where elsewhere for both of you.

 

Also: I didn't say it's illegal. Just someone, who can decide about your stuff, can think that it was fraud. And you can't do anything with that. It's his/her decision to believe that.

Edited by tomuk

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14 minutes ago, tomuk said:

That's what I was told also at POE. Officer which was refusing me to enter (different reason then want to marry anyone) told me that he turned around person a week ago who wanted to come there for 5 days just to get married, with words "get K1 visa". From my point of view, it's big lottery and I would definitely not go through that, it might be more difficult with future processing.

 

When you wrote "now my ex", I guess, it was while ago. They are more strict right now, as I heard. Another thing is that you were living in UK so ties where elsewhere for both of you.

 

Also: I didn't say it's illegal. Just someone, who can decide about your stuff, can think that it was fraud. And you can't do anything with that. It's his/her decision to believe that.

It's all about intent. You can come in on esta and get married. Your opinion and you seeing someone get denied entry doesn't make it a fact. That person may have had a tourist visa. There's a difference between that and esta. 

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Just now, Redheadguy03 said:

It's all about intent. You can come in on esta and get married. Your opinion and you seeing someone get denied entry doesn't make it a fact. That person may have had a tourist visa. There's a difference between that and esta. 

OK, let's say that instead "definitely don't do that", I'd say "I don't recommend that".

Question is how officer would believe that you don't have intention to stay when you say that you want to get marry on VWP when entering US.


Example above describes case when US citizen lived abroad. Everybody can come there and get marry on Tourist Visa / VWP freely, if USC does not resides in US. In this case, it's up to officer what he believes about your intentions.

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