religious ceremony

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Latest post Sat, Feb 17 2007 2:08 PM by hcj. 4 replies.
  • Wed, Feb 14 2007 10:47 PM

    • jnj
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Fri, Mar 17 2006
    • Posts 12

    religious ceremony

    Hello. I just received my passport with my K1 visa and have a question. My fiance and I want to have a religious ceremony in my country the day before we leave to the US. It wouldnt have anything to do with the legal part, we just want to leave with God's blessing, and we dont want to live together for 4 months before having a religious ceremony, this is very important for us and our families. Would we have any problem with this in the future if we do it like this? would it be brought up at adjustment of status?

    Thank u

    Jen
  • Thu, Feb 15 2007 2:08 PM In reply to

    re: religious ceremony

    While I fully understand your reasoning for wanting to have the religious ceremony, you need to know that it may cause an issue. Because the U.S. recognizes any "marriage" that takes place in a foreign country as long as that country's government considers it to be a valid marriage, the real issue is whether you will be considered married in your home country once you go through with the religious ceremony. This is sort of a tricky issue, but I have seen it come up before. If you are married in the eyes of your country before you come to the U.S. with a K-1 visa, you are obviously no longer a fiance. I can't tell you what to do, but can only say that it may come up in the context of the adjustment if a background check reveals some state sanctioned marriage that has already taken place.
  • Thu, Feb 15 2007 5:35 PM In reply to

    • hcj
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Jan 8 2001
    • Posts 367

    an idea

    Some people have a "blessing" performed by the church before they leave to be married in the US. You need to make sure they are only blessing you and not actually marrying you. And even then the line between a "blessing" and an actual marriage may be very thin, so be very careful and you may want to discuss with a lawyer beforehand what would be acceptable and what would not be.
  • Sat, Feb 17 2007 1:16 PM In reply to

    re: religious ceremony

    In many countries, the civil and religious wedding ceremonies are two entirely separate things. Many couples, in fact, have two weddings: the civil wedding in a town hall followed by a religious wedding in a house of worship.

    A couple married only in a house of worship, in such a country, would not be legally, civilly, married.

    My suggestion to you is first to accertain if this is the fact. You did not mention your home country, but as far as I know, nations such as Mexico, Germany and France do not civilly recognize a religious wedding.

    Second, discuss the situation with an immigration lawyer who is familiar with the law in your home country and is licensed to practice US immigration law.

    Third, you might want to discuss your predicament with a religious authority in your home country. It is possible that there are other, perfectly acceptable, alternatives that you haven't thought of. Clergy members can be creative when it comes to solutions to weird situations.
  • Sat, Feb 17 2007 2:08 PM In reply to

    • hcj
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Jan 8 2001
    • Posts 367

    re: religious ceremony

    IMHO the issue goes beyond what constitutes a legal marriage in the home country. What some people have had problems with, is USCIS here viewing a religious ceremony as an "actual marriage" (whether it is "legal" or not). So in addition to all of your suggestions, I would also suggest that the OP discuss any ceremony plans with a US immigration attorney, to be clear on how it will be viewed once they get to the US, before moving forward with their plans.
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