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ScorpioSun

How to get married

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This might sound like a dumb question but... neither my fiancee nor I are sure how to get married once I'm over in the states.

I'm currently in the UK in Administrative Processing purgatory, and if all is approved I will be moving to California. All I can find out for sure is that if two US citizens want to marry they'll need a marriage license in Cali, but I have no idea what kind of preparations I need to make as a K-1 immigrant. Are there any posts here or anyone who can summarise the process?

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The process is same for two US citizens or two non US citizens or two in betweens.


Spouse:

2015-06-16: I-130 Sent

2015-08-17: I-130 approved

2015-09-23: NVC received file

2015-10-05: NVC assigned Case number, Invoice ID & Beneficiary ID

2016-06-30: DS-261 completed, AOS Fee Paid, WL received

2016-07-05: Received IV invoice, IV Fee Paid

2016-07-06: DS-260 Submitted

2016-07-07: AOS and IV Package mailed

2016-07-08: NVC Scan

2016-08-08: Case Complete

2017-06-30: Interview, approved

2017-07-04: Visa in hand

2017-08-01: Entry to US

.

.

.

.

Myself:

2016-05-10: N-400 Sent

2016-05-16: N-400 NOA1

2016-05-26: Biometrics

2017-01-30: Interview

2017-03-02: Oath Ceremony

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, ScorpioSun said:

This might sound like a dumb question but... neither my fiancee nor I are sure how to get married once I'm over in the states.

I'm currently in the UK in Administrative Processing purgatory, and if all is approved I will be moving to California. All I can find out for sure is that if two US citizens want to marry they'll need a marriage license in Cali, but I have no idea what kind of preparations I need to make as a K-1 immigrant. Are there any posts here or anyone who can summarise the process?

It doesn't matter whether immigrant or not.   

 

You need a marriage license, a location and a valid officiant.  Whether or not you want a full on wedding, or a simple one with a couple of witnesses, is totally up to you.    You also do not have to marry in the locality that you are moving to.  For example, you could be moving to LA but decide you really want to get married by an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas.  In that case would you need a license in Las Vegas, not LA and the requirements would be different.   

 

Depending on where you marry, you may be required to both have blood tests.  I had to do this in Massachusetts for my first marriage, but not in North Carolina for my second marriage.    You need to check on the requirements for the marriage license for the place you are marrying.

 

Basically you go to get your marriage license at the county clerk office for the county you are marrying in, get married by a valid officiant, and after the wedding and everything is signed, the marriage needs to be recorded by the county clerk.   Typically that last part is handled by the officiant.  But it doesn't have to be.

 

For my first marriage, the officiant registered it for us while we went on our honeynoon.  For my second one, the officiant signed, as did the witnesses, and then my husband and I took it to the county clerk ourselves to register it the next morning.  We walked out of there with the documentation we needed to move on with the next step in the immigration process.

 

This may help.  I assume it's up to date:  https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/chart-state-marriage-license-blood-29019.html

Edited by mtempelaar

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16 minutes ago, ScorpioSun said:

This might sound like a dumb question but... neither my fiancee nor I are sure how to get married once I'm over in the states.

I'm currently in the UK in Administrative Processing purgatory, and if all is approved I will be moving to California. All I can find out for sure is that if two US citizens want to marry they'll need a marriage license in Cali, but I have no idea what kind of preparations I need to make as a K-1 immigrant. Are there any posts here or anyone who can summarise the process?

For a civil ceremony in California, you'll be working with the county clerk's office in the county you want to marry in (do not marry in LA County on a K-1, as they take a very long time to produce a marriage certificate; if you will be living in LA county, get married in a neighboring county -- Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, or Ventura). Some counties let you set up a civil ceremony online, some you'll have to do this in person. You'll always have to apply for a marriage license in person, but can sometimes do it that just before your civil ceremony; there's no mandated waiting period between getting a license and a wedding in CA. Fees also vary from county to county.

 

We were married in Riverside county; we went to the county clerk's office in Temecula to get a license and make a civil ceremony appointment the day after Anastasia arrived in the US. They didn't have any openings for a civil ceremony for the day we planned on (that Friday), so we ended up marrying on Thursday.


K-1                             AOS
NOA1 Notice Date: 2018-05-31    NOA1 Notice Date: 2019-04-11
NOA2 Date: 2018-11-16           Biometrics Date: 2019-05-10
Arrived at NVC:  2018-12-03
Arrived in Moscow: 2018-12-28
Interview date: 2019-02-14
Visa issued: 2019-02-28
POE: 2019-03-11
Wedding: 2019-03-14

 

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Posted (edited)

Google "getting married in California". It's always best to go to the direct source for correct information. 

 

You apply to the county clerk for a marriage licence. You'll need to take your ID. The marriage licence is valid for a limited period. 

 

Marriage Law Requirements for California Marriage Licenses:

To marry in California, the two parties may not be already married to each other or other individuals.

Both parties must bring in a valid ID (i.e. driver’s license, military ID, passport, or green card, etc).

Legal Age Without Parental Consent: 18.

Same Sex Marriage: Yes.

Waiting Period: None.

Blood Test Requirement: Not Required.

Residency: Not Required.

License Validity: 90 Days.

Witnesses: The public marriage license requires the signature of one witness, and if desired, has a place for an additional witness. No more than two witnesses may sign on the public marriage license. Only one signature per line is allowed. No witnesses may sign on the confidential marriage license.

California marriage license fee varies by county and is required at the time of application under CA Marriage License laws Requirements.

 

For immigration you need to make sure you get married in time for the marriage certificate to be ready to be included when you apply for adjustment of status. It took 10 days after we got married for the certificate to be ready to collect. You need to factor in these details to file in time so that you do not risk being out of status. 

Edited by fip & jim

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44 minutes ago, ScorpioSun said:

This might sound like a dumb question but... neither my fiancee nor I are sure how to get married once I'm over in the states.

I'm currently in the UK in Administrative Processing purgatory, and if all is approved I will be moving to California. All I can find out for sure is that if two US citizens want to marry they'll need a marriage license in Cali, but I have no idea what kind of preparations I need to make as a K-1 immigrant. Are there any posts here or anyone who can summarise the process?

You're doing the right thing by thinking about this now. Its good to find out as much as possible in advance about the future steps.

 

As others have said, its pretty simple.

I got married in North Carolina and we just had to go to a city government office and get a license. We'd already arranged our officiant for a hotel wedding with friends and family - we gave her the license on the day of the wedding. After the wedding she submitted the paperwork for us, and we got the marriage certificate in the mail as I recall. It was pretty simple and hassle-free.

I had a social security number from 20 years before (did a j1 straight after uni) but if you don't have that its no problem - the normally just need to know reason you don't have one (eg you're a new immigrant).


--- k1 visa ---
Texas Service Center (Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here)
I-129F sent: 12 Aug 2014
I-129F NOA1: 15 Aug 2014
I-129F NOA2: 2 Mar 2015 (199 days from NOA1) **No RFEs!**
NVC Received: 19 Mar 2015
Case#, IIN, BIN assigned: 19 Mar 2015
NVC Left: 20 Mar 2015
Consultate Received: 23 Mar 2015
Package 3 Received: 26 Mar 2015
Medical: 10 Apr 2015
Packet 3 Sent: 10 Apr 2015
Packet 4 Received: 23 Apr 2015
Interview Date: 8 May 2015 (Approved!!!)
Visa Issued: 14 May 2015
Visa in Hand: 19 May 2015
Entry to USA: 5 Jun 2015
Married: 21 Jun 2015

---Adjustment of Status---
Sent I-485, I-131 and I-765: 7 Jul 2015
NOA1 for I-485, I-131 and I-765: 14 Jul 2015
Email notification that I-765 was approved: 12 Sep 2015
Email notification that I-131 was approved: 15 Sep 2015
Email notification that EAD/AP combo card was mailed: 15 Sep 2015
EAD and AP combo card received: 18 Sep 2015
Green Card Received: 3 Dec 2015 [ :)] Previous letter stated interview requirement was likely to be waived

 

---Removal of Conditions---
Sent I-751: 13 Oct 2017
NOA1 for I-751: 23 Oct 2017

Biometrics: 20 Nov 2017
Approved: 20 Dec 2018

Green Card Received: 2 Jan 2019

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22 minutes ago, fip & jim said:

Google "getting married in California". It's always best to go to the direct source for correct information.

The state site is https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHSI/Pages/California-Marriage-License-General-Information.aspx The info in your post is from a third-party site that in this case has accurate info: https://www.usmarriagelaws.com/marriage-license/california/county-clerks-recorder/office-requirements

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Posted (edited)

1) Check in which county you'll reside and search for the offices there and around -at nearby counties-.

2) Select an office and book an appointment if needed (some offices accept walk ins and for the ones that require an appointment, you can book way in advance).

3) Appear in person at the selected office and present one form of valid picture identification. (Valid picture identification is one that contains a photograph, date of birth, and an issue and expiration date.)

4) Get married at said office or the location of your choice, that same day or on any of the following 90 days after obtaining the license. (This may also require booking in advance.)

5) Wait for the marriage certificate to be available and get a copy at the office where you got the license (depending on the office, it can take from a week to over a month for the certificate to be available).

 

For marriage licenses from California, if the ceremony is not performed at the clerk's office, it must happen anywhere within the state -a house, a church, a beach, a park, etc.- Any person authorized to solemnize marriage ceremonies in California can perform the ceremony. 

 

I personally think the easiest way is to get the license at your nearest office and get married that very same day at said office. As you were advised, avoid Los Angeles County as it will delay your marriage certificate and therefore, filing for AOS.

 

 

Edited by Allaboutwaiting

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3 hours ago, ScorpioSun said:

This might sound like a dumb question but... neither my fiancee nor I are sure how to get married once I'm over in the states.

I'm currently in the UK in Administrative Processing purgatory, and if all is approved I will be moving to California. All I can find out for sure is that if two US citizens want to marry they'll need a marriage license in Cali, but I have no idea what kind of preparations I need to make as a K-1 immigrant. Are there any posts here or anyone who can summarise the process?

Once you arrive in the States.. you can get married at any local court room, register recorder office, or private marriage places that are licensed. Once you get your marriage certificate, make sure to get a few "certified" copies.. you'll need to provide a certified copy to submit with your AOS package. Be sure to submit Advanced Parole and EAD with your AOS package since it's free.

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This is fantastic, thanks so much for all the replies.

We did look into the "normal" marriage process but I assumed it would be different for us & wanted to check. Thanks for clarifying everything folks, we can go ahead and start planning ahead now 😄

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FYI if you are going to be in LA county, our marriage certificate took two weeks to process and come in the mail. This was January 2018. So not too long, if you plan for it. Certainly not same or next-day processing if you are in a time crunch.

How to apply varies county by county -  LA county, you can apply for the marriage license online, and then pick it up (both people still have to be there with ID to pick it up); while in my local county you have to apply in person. 

 

Also something to consider: in California, either or both spouses can change middle and last names through marriage (with some guidelines, you can find when you look up applying). But you have to decide if/how names will change at the time you apply for the license, because the license/certificate states the new married names. I note this because I know that marriage certificates in other states only show the maiden names and do not specify the married names.


AOS from J-1

2/26/2018 AOS packet sent

3/01/2018 AOS packet delivered to Lockbox

3/12/2018 NOA1

4/02/2018 Biometrics appointment

7/17/2018 EAD & AP approved - card in production

8/16/2018 Interview scheduled

9/20/2018 Interview date - Approved! - card in production

9/28/2018 Green card received

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Posted (edited)

Me (immigrant) and my husband (US citizen) ordered our California Marriage License online, the next day (which was day 4 after me entering the country) we applied for my SSN and went down to the selected office to pick up our Marriage License (here in LA county). While there we scheduled a date for our wedding ceremony at the county clerk's office about 3 weeks later. 

 

Very easy and smooth process. After the wedding we were told the marriage would be recorded in 6-8 weeks and our Marriage Certificate would then be sent to our address. We were lucky, our marriage was recorded in only 4 weeks and to speed things up we went down to the office to pick it up that same day instead of waiting for it in the mail.

 

We sent the AOS package the same day we picked up the marriage certificate.

Edited by Scandi

K-1: 12-22-2015 - 09-07-2016 (260 days)

AP: 12-20-2016 - 04-07-2017 (108 days)

EAD: 01-18-2017 - 05-30-2017 (132 days)

AOS: 12-20-2016 - 07-26-2017 (217 days)

 

ROC:

04-19-2019 - Earliest filing date

04-22-2019 - I-751 sent with USPS (AZ lockbox)

04-24-2019 - Delivered/Received date

04-30-2019 - Check cashed

04-30-2019 - NOA1 text/email (WAC)

05-03-2019 - NOA1 hardcopy/extension letter

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~~Moved to Moving Here adn Your New Life, from K1 P&P - As the question is about getting married after entry.~~


Spoiler

Met Playing Everquest in 2005
Engaged 9-15-2006
K-1 & 4 K-2'S
Filed 05-09-07
Interview 03-12-08
Visa received 04-21-08
Entry 05-06-08
Married 06-21-08
AOS X5
Filed 07-08-08
Cards Received01-22-09
Roc X5
Filed 10-17-10
Cards Received02-22-11
Citizenship
Filed 10-17-11
Interview 01-12-12
Oath 06-29-12

Citizenship for older 2 boys

Filed 03/08/2014

NOA/fee waiver 03/19/2014

Biometrics 04/15/14

Interview 05/29/14

In line for Oath 06/20/14

Oath 09/19/2014 We are all done! All USC no more USCIS

 

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