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K1 Visa- Do we have to marry in his state? - Marriage and Immigration, Oh My!

About K1 Visa- Do we have to marry in his state?

Previous Entry K1 Visa- Do we have to marry in his state? Mar. 31st, 2011 @ 09:40 pm Next Entry
My fiance and I have been together for about 7 years now, and after our last visit earlier this month, we decided to get things rolling, and if our plans work out, we should be applying for the K1 visa this summer (I am British and he is American, from the state of Ohio) :) . We had many different plans for our wedding over the years, but when we realised it would be much easier to wed in the US on the K1, we planned to "elope" (ish- parents and a few friends invited) to California for an intimate (cheap) beach wedding, so as to enjoy our day and avoid unpleasant relatives (who might gate crash). We expect we may have to live with his parents for a short time, but he desperately wants to leave Ohio and we are planning on moving to Oregon when we can afford to. However, today, I was just reading something, and it stated that the requirement for the visa would be that we would have to marry in the petitioner's state of residence. This is not something I had heard before; it does not say anything like that on the government website, it only says that the couple must be married in the US within 90 days. I did have a guide linked to me by another couple currently undergoing application for K1 but the link has broken, and I don't recall ever seeing that on there either. This is a first for me.

This may sound petty, but in actual fact, we have our hearts set on this...for starters, much of his extended family are very unpleasant and we do not want to be obligated to invite them (we both feel this way, this is not just me being an overdomineering bride ^^;; This is why he wants to move to Oregon!). For instance, the man he was hoping to have as best man is black, and his grandfather is racist @.@. My mother actually suggested a destination/eloping wedding, as then we could enjoy the "holiday" rather than stress ourselves out with a reception benefiting people we don't necessarily want to share the day with anyway. However, if what I read is true, this really does pee on our bonfire, so to speak :( Does anyone know if this is the case? x
Current Location: UK
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Date:March 31st, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)
My husband is from the UK and I'm American...we just went through this whole process, currently in the middle of waiting to be approved for his Unconditional 10yr Green Card.

Where did you read that you had to marry in his state?? We were married 10/31/08 in Las Vegas, but I am from NJ...so unless they changed the rules, I do not think that is true.
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Date:March 31st, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry I don't have an answer to your question. A quick google search didn't give me anything except for something mentioning that on Wikipedia, which I wouldn't consider as the most reliable source of info. But I completely understand if you don't want to include the whole clan, especially if they're overbearing and would cloud your happy day. So *if* it is true that you can only get married in your fiancé's state of residence, you might want to do this instead: have a low-keyed court wedding in Ohio—just a ceremony at the city hall. Then later on, you can have the real celebration with your parents and friends in California.

Two of my friends did that. Both were non US citizens on a work visa, so they're already in the States. But they wanted to be able to start the status adjustment process immediately while planning for a church wedding and a reception. It was an option for us as well. I re-entered US with a K-1 visa, and when my then fiancé and I was applying for a marriage license, the city hall staff asked if we wanted to get married right then for an extra $25. (It was really tempting since it got really stressful to plan a wedding in less than 90 days with a demanding mother of the groom looming over your every decision, but we didn't do it.)

Of course, I hope there's no requirement for marrying in a certain state. But if that turns out to be the case, there's a way around it. The only place I can think of to confirm the marriage requirements is to go to USCIS website or visajourney.com. The latter has a wealth of info (esp in the forum) shared by other binational couples who is going/had gone through the process. Good luck with everything!

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Date:April 1st, 2011 10:29 am (UTC)
I suggest asking at visajourney.com - they're a REALLY good resource for people applying for K-1 visas, and I'm sure they'll have your answer there. :)
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