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Usaph

Timing of K1 entry, SSN, Wedding, and AOS

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I live in Los Angeles County and got my marriage cert back in 2 weeks after  we were married. 

4 hours ago, Paul & Mary said:

You can't file the AOS package until you have the marriage certificate back.   If you are in Los Angeles California that can take 3 months.  

 

Find out how long it is in Pennsylvania or where you are getting married.

 

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Current wait time an LA County site is 6 to 12 weeks:

 

Recent reports here are about the same.

 

 

Things changed for the worse this last year in LA.

 

Oh and please update your timeline!

 

 


March 2, 2018  Married In Hong Kong

April 30, 2018  Mary moves from the Philippines to Mexico, Husband has MX Permanent Residency

June 13, 2018 Mary receives Mexican Residency Card

June 15, 2018  I-130 DCF Appointment in Juarez  -  June 18, 2018  Approval E-Mail

August 2, 2018 Case Complete At Consulate

September 25, 2018 Interview in CDJ and Approved!

October 7, 2018 In the USA

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9 minutes ago, BBGG said:

Hi @Usaph I had the same question recently and did some research on why everybody is recommending to apply for SSN before marriage. My conclusion from what I read on VJ is as follows:

 

Looks like if I apply for SSN on K1 visa before marriage, it will most likely be successful, but if I apply after marriage, SSN will most likely be denied, and I will have no choice but to wait for SSN after EAD (may take 6 months).

 

From what I read on VJ, SSA (Social Security Administration - the body that issues the SSN) often rejects SSN applicants with K1 visas after marriage on "you're not a fiancé(e) anymore" basis, and this is, as some say, due to SSA's wrong interpretation of K1 visa rules, but it seems that they are adamant, and nobody managed to change their mind after SSN application was rejected for this reason.

 

Looks like after marriage I will simply show as "status mismatch" with my K1 visa and marriage information in their system when they try to enter my application (you can actually search "status mismatch" on VJ if you are interested in further research), and the only workaround is (1) to apply for SSN before marriage or (2) to wait for EAD

 

Alternatively, SSA will accept my application, but I will not show in their system immediately, and they will have to run "manual check" through DHS/USCIS that will anyway return the “status mismatch” reply after 4 weeks of waiting for whatever reason, and while this all is happening my 90-day I-94 will expire, and I can only apply for SSN while my K1 visa/I-94 is valid.

 

(I-94 is the port of entry confirmation, K1 visa is valid for 90 days, so I-94 is also valid for 90 days, but you should apply for SSN within 76 days – before you reach 14 days point before I-94 expiry, after this point SSA is known to reject SSN applications)

 

SSN is not needed for marriage or AOS, but it will make life in the US really hard if I don’t have an SSN (will be almost impossible to open bank account, be added to your spouse's medical insurance or get your own, get driving license, etc.).

 

We decided that I must apply for SSN before marriage, so the plan will be:

  • Day 1: Land in the US and enter with K1 visa
  • Day 2: Request SSN (not waiting for 2 weeks, as it was written above already, now the data is transferred from port of entry instantly)
  • Day 3: Get married without waiting for SSN to be issued (because SSN itself is not needed for marriage or AOS, but it will not be possible to request it after marriage)
  • Day 4: File for AOS* Hooray!
  • Day 5 and on: Wait without rush for the SSN to be delivered by post in about two weeks’ time

 

* It is a separate matter whether it may be possible to get the marriage certificate that soon, as people write here, in most cases they have to wait for 2 weeks to be able to get a certified copy of their marriage certificate for AOS, but I did some research on that too and I will write it in my next comment.
 

I’d be very surprised if you were able to get the marriage certificate one day later, unless you’re getting married in Vegas.  

 

Don’t forget about the marriage license as well- in many jurisdictions it is a 3 day wait for it to be valid.

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Posted (edited)

@Jorgedig, you are right, real same-day marriage certificates seem to be possible only in Vegas.

 

But USA lawyer that I'm working with on K1/Green Card assured me that we don't need an official certified copy of the marriage certificate, and any unofficial marriage confirmation will do for AOS. I trust the lawyer, she hasn't been wrong so far, but I'm honestly still a bit uncomfortable about that...

 

Anyway, I'm working on a more detailed post about my "marriage license" research, will publish it soon.

Edited by BBGG

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Posted (edited)

So, what I've learned about getting the marriage certificate.

 

Before I start, I'll just mention that 6 months' waiting period for my EAD is painful enough already, getting a job is very important to me, so I would not like to add another month of waiting because of all the lengthy processes of SSN and marriage certificate. So I'm looking for a way to file for AOS as soon as possible after I enter the US.

 

 

First of all, it's important to not confuse marriage license and marriage certificate.

 

The process is:

(1) Getting marriage license which is just a permission to marry

(2) Getting married

(3) Getting marriage certificate which is the actual proof of marriage

 

 

Reducing waiting period between (1) and (2):

 

In most states (apart from Nevada, obviously) there a few days' waiting period between the day when you obtain your marriage license and the day you can get married. But some states/counties officially offer to waive the few-day waiting period for an extra payment (i.e. in Portland, OR it's just $5.00). Look for information on marriage licenses page on your county's site. Examples:

  • Multnomah County, Oregon: https://multco.us/recording/marriage-licenses
  • Washington County, Oregon: https://www.co.washington.or.us/AssessmentTaxation/MarriageLicenses/index.cfm
  • Clark County, Nevada: https://www.clarkcountynv.gov/clerk/Pages/how-to-obtain-proof-of-marriage.aspx

 

I also used these two sites to learn about the process, and that's where I learned about waiving of the waiting period between (1) and (2), maybe you can find something similar for your state/county:

https://m.wikihow.com/Get-Married-in-Oregon

https://aclu-or.org/en/obtaining-marriage-license-oregon-county

 

 

Reducing waiting period between (2) and (3):

 

This is a more complicated matter. Normal "non-Vegas" process seems to be something like this (we are in Oregon, so dates are for two counties in Oregon):

 

  • From the day we get married, the officiant who performs the ceremony has up to 5 (in Portland) or 14 (in Hillsboro) days to submit the signed marriage license to the county office for recording. This should be the same county office that issued the marriage license in the first place.
  • The county office receives the signed marriage license from the officiant and adds it in their system. This may take 1 day.
  • Then we can either pick up the certified copy of the marriage certificate in person from the county office, or wait for it to be mailed to us (7-10 days).

 

So there are two possible scenarios to get a certified copy of marriage certificate on the day of marriage, and therefore remove waiting between (2) and (3):

 

Option 1. To ask the officiant not to file the signed marriage license for us, and ask them to give it to us instead so that we could go to the county office and file it ourselves. This will take 0 days instead of 14. Also, if we get the signed marriage license to the county office ourselves, we can get a certified copy of the marriage certificate there right away. That is what seems to be happening in Vegas. In all other states and counties officiants may refuse to give you the signed marriage license so that you could take it to the county office yourself. My plan is to call all the judges from my county site and check if they can let us do it "like in Vegas". But I don't have much hope.

 

Option 2. If Option 1 above is not possible in our county, we can ask the officiant to give us a temporary marriage confirmation right away to prove the marriage until we can request the official certified copy of the marriage certificate from the county office in a couple weeks. I'm personally not comfortable with Option 2 and filing some "unofficial" marriage confirmation with my AOS, but my US visa lawyer told me that we can totally use any "unofficial" marriage confirmation and it will work. As I wrote above, our lawyer has not been wrong so far, but... I'm not sure I personally want to go this way, and I would rather arrange marriage in Vegas and use Option 1 and get the real official marriage certificate asap.

 

 

In conclusion:

(1) and (2) - No waiting in Vegas, in other counties may be possible to waive waiting for a small fee.

(2) and (3) - No waiting in Vegas (but you may need to check the exact chapel's site). I'm still inclined towards getting married in Vegas, but I will do some research to be sure that removing this waiting period is just not possible in Oregon where we are going to live.

 

 

As a bonus, here are some quotes from people on VJ who got their marriage certificates on the date of marriage

(seems to not only be possible in Vegas, although both quotes are from 2006, things could have changed in 13 years):

 

"We married at a court house (in Wisconsin) and asked the judge if we could get a copy of the marriage certificate that day and one of his assistants walked us down to the Register of Deeds to make sure that they processed it right away. We had it within 5 minutes."

 

"We got married on Sat., August 28th, and after the judge married us, she gave us the signed marriage certificate to take to the Court house ourselves on Monday, August 30th. We had to pay a very small fee for each copy (we got 3 at the same time) and they gave us the copies while we waited. If the judge would have sent the signed marriage certificate in herself, we would have had to wait about a month to get copies ordered."

 

 

Edited by BBGG

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May I ask all of you here why some people seem to vitally prioritise filing for AOS within a few days of marriage? Isn’t a big factor for being approved providing evidence that the marriage is bonafide? My fiancé and I are getting married tomorrow on my K1, but planning to file right around 90 days post POE (if not a little later) so we have time to gather supporting documents with both our names on them (e.g. bills, insurance, etc.).

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Teacake said:

May I ask all of you here why some people seem to vitally prioritise filing for AOS within a few days of marriage? Isn’t a big factor for being approved providing evidence that the marriage is bonafide? My fiancé and I are getting married tomorrow on my K1, but planning to file right around 90 days post POE (if not a little later) so we have time to gather supporting documents with both our names on them (e.g. bills, insurance, etc.).

The supporting documents (evidence of bona fide relationship) isn't required until the AOS interview stage.  The only requirement for AOS filing  is the marriage certificate. But some swear by front loading.

 

Just depends on your preference.

 

It's also better to file within 90 days so you/your fiance doesn't lose status.

Edited by TXBill

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, TXBill said:

The supporting documents (evidence of bona fide relationship) isn't required until the AOS interview stage.  The only requirement for AOS filing  is the marriage certificate. But some swear by front loading.

 

Just depends on your preference.

 

It's also better to file within 90 days so you/your fiance doesn't lose status.

Oh, I see! I’ll definitely need to take a closer look into AOS then. If all the extra stuff isn’t totally necessary, I’ll make a point to file before the 90 days are up so I’m not out of status. Thanks!

Edited by Teacake

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7 minutes ago, Teacake said:

Oh, I see! I’ll definitely need to take a closer look into AOS then. If all the extra stuff isn’t totally necessary, I’ll make a point to file before the 90 days are up so I’m not out of status. Thanks!

You're welcome! I had the same question.

 

Here's my post: 

 

it didn't get a lot of reply but you might find something useful

 

IMO it's not a bad idea to include evidence of relationship if you have it and can send it with the AOS before 90 days. It's always good to be able to convince them earlier than later. Good luck!

 

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45 minutes ago, TXBill said:

The supporting documents (evidence of bona fide relationship) isn't required until the AOS interview stage.  The only requirement for AOS filing  is the marriage certificate. But some swear by front loading.

 

Just depends on your preference.

 

It's also better to file within 90 days so you/your fiance doesn't lose status.

No, you don't need any evidence when you file AOS. You just need the marriage certificate and the filled-out forms and of course, the fee. We filed the day we got our marriage certificate in the mail (7 days after our wedding ceremony).

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In Oklahoma the license and certificate are one document. The license is printed while you wait and then valid for (I think) 7 days. It is then filled out after the ceremony by the couple, officiant, witnesses. You then have a certain number of days to take it back to the court clerk office and they register it and emboss it with their seal, now it's a certificate! Valid right away. It's $50, or $5 if the couple completes a set number of hours of pre-marital counselling. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, BBGG said:

But USA lawyer that I'm working with on K1/Green Card assured me that we don't need an official certified copy of the marriage certificate, and any unofficial marriage confirmation will do for AOS. I trust the lawyer, she hasn't been wrong so far, but I'm honestly still a bit uncomfortable about that...

Don't do it.  The lawyer is wrong.

 

It is kind of like the commemorative birth certificate you get from the hospital when you have a baby.  Cute keepsakes that are not substitutions for actual legal documents.

Edited by Jorgedig

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