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ETintheUS

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25 minutes ago, Trellick said:

Start by considering these three things:

 

1. Do either of you have strong preferences about where you get married? For example I am the UK spouse and only wanted to get married in the UK. 

 

2. After the marriage are you okay with living in separate countries while the spousal visa is being process - this can take 12+ months. 

 

3. If you want to get married and immediately start living together as a married couple then you will need the K1 fiancee visa - with this option bear in mind that the immigrating spouse will not be able to work legally or leave and travel back to the US for many months while they wait for temporary permissions on the way to the green card proper. This can be anywhere from 3 months to 6 months or even more. 

 

 

Yes, we have organized the actions to take, we were just mostly confused about having to marry in a 3rd country and all the complications of that. But after today and all the help Ive received, I feel MUCH clearer! Thank you for your time! 

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The attorneys may be giving you the "marry in a third country" advice, because the UK citizen may not have strong enough ties to return, and therefore could be denied entry to the US at the POE.  Everyone who is saying get married in the US on ESTA is assuming that the UK citizen has strong ties and will not be denied entry, but if his ties are not strong, and with a fiancee in the US, it is possible he could be denied entry and no one wants that hassle.  A UK marriage requires a visa.  Third countries like Denmark and Iceland are easier for these reasons.  No visas required, no question about possibly being denied entry at POE by US CBP officers.  Only you and your fiancé know the situation so take all the advice you've received from attorneys and here on VJ and make the best decision for the two of you.  I just completed the CR-1 visa process with my husband who lives in Brazil, it took 11 months from filing to receipt of the visa.  No attorneys.  Good luck!

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The OP has visited without issue.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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9 hours ago, ETintheUS said:

We were told 3rd country, to avoid getting married on traveller visa, which is a conflict to get married on a ESTA.

I got married on the VWP. I’m from the UK. It even tells you on the US embassy London website that this is the correct thing to do - enter on the VWP, marry, return to the UK and continue with the immigration paper trail.


 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, carmel34 said:

The attorneys may be giving you the "marry in a third country" advice, because the UK citizen may not have strong enough ties to return, and therefore could be denied entry to the US at the POE.  Everyone who is saying get married in the US on ESTA is assuming that the UK citizen has strong ties and will not be denied entry, but if his ties are not strong, and with a fiancee in the US, it is possible he could be denied entry and no one wants that hassle.  A UK marriage requires a visa.  Third countries like Denmark and Iceland are easier for these reasons.  No visas required, no question about possibly being denied entry at POE by US CBP officers.  Only you and your fiancé know the situation so take all the advice you've received from attorneys and here on VJ and make the best decision for the two of you.  I just completed the CR-1 visa process with my husband who lives in Brazil, it took 11 months from filing to receipt of the visa.  No attorneys.  Good luck!

I had absolutely no ties to the UK. I was living in a spare room in a family member’s home. I had sold my house. I had a job but I worked at home full-time and often took my laptop with me around the UK staying with various friends and family members. All I needed was mains power and an internet connection and I could work. I have no children. No pets. I had no student loans (or any other loans). I hadn’t seen my father since I was a child. I was not caring for any elderly relatives. I had no car (sold it due to my epilepsy getting out of control and losing my drivers license anyway so no need for a car). 

 

But I visited over 40 times on the VWP. People who say “you will be asked for proof of ties” have obviously not travelled under the VWP. We just don’t get asked those questions. 

 

This is how my quickest exchange at CBP went on the VWP.

 

Me: Hello (slides passport and customs form across the counter)

Officer: “final destination?”

Me: “Los Ang...”

Officer: (interrupts me and points st the fingerprint screen) “right hand. Left hand. Glasses off. Look at the camera. Have a nice day. Next in line, please!”

 

Almost all entries were as uneventful. 

Edited by JFH

 

 

 

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Consider that time to GC is longer when going through K-1, but shorter separation period, but also can't work right away. Through CR-1 you will be facing long separation time - minimum 1 year, realistically 14-16 months. The visits help but they are costly and imo it is not really being together. 

Other option is, should you be able to get a job there, to move to the UK and wait out the CR-1 process together there. In such case make sure you maintain your domicile and think about the US income/assets if you don't plan to use a joint-sponsor. 

There is no perfect solution, but this is the immigration you are going to deal with and immigration is not meant to be easy in most systems. 

Best of luck! 

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18 hours ago, ETintheUS said:

I'm so confused. We've seen 2 different lawyers for 2 different opinions and both encouraged a 3rd country marriage. 

lawyers just want your money and most have no clue about this

 

unless one of you have major criminal convictions or a ban of any kind, it is very rarely needed.

 

you can marry on esta as long as they go home after and then you file the cr1


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9 hours ago, JFH said:

I had absolutely no ties to the UK. I was living in a spare room in a family member’s home. I had sold my house. I had a job but I worked at home full-time and often took my laptop with me around the UK staying with various friends and family members. All I needed was mains power and an internet connection and I could work. I have no children. No pets. I had no student loans (or any other loans). I hadn’t seen my father since I was a child. I was not caring for any elderly relatives. I had no car (sold it due to my epilepsy getting out of control and losing my drivers license anyway so no need for a car). 

 

But I visited over 40 times on the VWP. People who say “you will be asked for proof of ties” have obviously not travelled under the VWP. We just don’t get asked those questions. 

 

This is how my quickest exchange at CBP went on the VWP.

 

Me: Hello (slides passport and customs form across the counter)

Officer: “final destination?”

Me: “Los Ang...”

Officer: (interrupts me and points st the fingerprint screen) “right hand. Left hand. Glasses off. Look at the camera. Have a nice day. Next in line, please!”

 

Almost all entries were as uneventful. 

ditto for hubbys via canada.

 

he sold his house a year and a half before he moved down, had no young children and other than his job, no discernible ties. he did take pay stubs and a letter from his employer stating his return date with each crossing but was never asked anything more than where he was going, why, and when he was returning


i 485, 130, EAD and AP

04/09/2019    NOA1 received/check cashed i 485 and 131

04/19/2019    Rec'd appointment letter for biometrics

05/02/2019    Biometrics

05/15/2019    Submitted initial request for EAD expedite 5/22 faxed info

06/05/2019    EAD APPROVAL!!!!!!!!!!  06/06/2019    AP Approval

06/13/2019    Combo Card Received in Mail

06/19/2019    Social Security Card received in mail

 

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9 hours ago, JFH said:

I had absolutely no ties to the UK. I was living in a spare room in a family member’s home. I had sold my house. I had a job but I worked at home full-time and often took my laptop with me around the UK staying with various friends and family members. All I needed was mains power and an internet connection and I could work. I have no children. No pets. I had no student loans (or any other loans). I hadn’t seen my father since I was a child. I was not caring for any elderly relatives. I had no car (sold it due to my epilepsy getting out of control and losing my drivers license anyway so no need for a car). 

 

But I visited over 40 times on the VWP. People who say “you will be asked for proof of ties” have obviously not travelled under the VWP. We just don’t get asked those questions. 

 

This is how my quickest exchange at CBP went on the VWP.

 

Me: Hello (slides passport and customs form across the counter)

Officer: “final destination?”

Me: “Los Ang...”

Officer: (interrupts me and points st the fingerprint screen) “right hand. Left hand. Glasses off. Look at the camera. Have a nice day. Next in line, please!”

 

Almost all entries were as uneventful. 

Every officer and POE is different though. My husband came many times on the VWP, in hindsight he never had a lot of ties to home. His first trip they took him aside and gave him quite a grilling (any type of probing question you could think to ask), and every subsequent time they emphasized ''do not marry''. Now we know that's just not a true thing for them to say, but there are many a couple that would be scared by this, and choose to get themselves into potential situations where they lie to an officer. They may never be asked of course if they intend to marry while visiting (and the couple is within their rights to do so), but the CBP can do... as they literally please. They may also be asked if they intend to marry - and the answer would be yes. Will the officer understand they may do so, and will be satisfied to allow this without the individual providing ties to home?

 

A few years back while waiting for his parents to get out of the queue, we actually saw officers come out and grill the US individuals waiting on the other side of the door for their bfs/gfs. His parents were barely asked anything, just like your experience.


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I married on an ESTA. I was interviewed at secondary when I entered the country and asked if I planned to marry and I told them yes. I had ties to my home country (the UK) and I was permitted to enter. We married and I left. 

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On 6/30/2019 at 1:10 PM, HRQX said:

Marrying on ESTA is 100% legal:

As long as he leaves before the 90 days on ESTA are up.

Other options include:

For UK marriage, the US citizen needs a UK visa to marry: https://www.gov.uk/marriage-visa

Are these the best countries (Gibraltar, Iceland + Denmark) to get married in? Do you have other ideas of relatively easy spots to get married?

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1 minute ago, ETintheUS said:

Are these the best countries (Gibraltar, Iceland + Denmark) to get married in? Do you have other ideas of relatively easy spots to get married?

Canada may be an option.  Maybe one of our friendly Canadian members can chime in.  Possibly varies by province also.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ETintheUS said:

Do you have other ideas of relatively easy spots to get married?

Tied for #1 spot in the world is Las Vegas, NV and Reno, NV. Their respective Marriage License Bureaus are open 8 AM to midnight, 7 days a week (open all holidays). On average, can be married in 2 hours from start to finish.

Within Europe, Gibraltar, Iceland, and Denmark are way better than the bureaucracy in Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, etc. Gibraltar just requires a 1 night stay before the wedding day. Iceland and Denmark you can start the process without physically being there. You can email documents to them and then bring the originals with you to complete the process. On average can be married within 4 days after arriving in Denmark and 7 days after arriving in Iceland.

 

Another option is Hong Kong. On average can be married within 10 days.

1 hour ago, Jorgedig said:

Possibly varies by province also.

Yup: https://www.weddingwire.ca/wedding-ideas/license-to-wed-how-to-get-married-in-canada--c187

Edited by HRQX

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6 hours ago, Jorgedig said:

Canada may be an option.  Maybe one of our friendly Canadian members can chime in.  Possibly varies by province also.

So here is what I have gathered, US Citizen would not need an eTA, but a UK Citizen would need an eTA to enter Canada.  See website here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/eta.html. You can marry in Canada on a visitor visa according thi province of Ontario Settlement website: https://settlement.org/ontario/daily-life/life-events/marriage/can-i-get-married-in-canada-on-a-visitor-visa/. You would have to meet the requirements though of whichever province in which you marry. 


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