Post # 1
Bees I could really use your help!!!
My fiance and I are currently deciding whether to get married here (in California) or in his home country of Sweden. One of our big deciding factors is paper work! I know it sounds horrible, but those of you who have had to go through this will hopefully either completely understand, or give me some advice that will make it seem not so overwhelming.
We originally wanted to get married in Sweden because that is where we met and we have a lot of memories there, AND because we thought the immigration paper work for my fiance to come here would be a lot less if we married in Sweden.
Now we are just not sure what to do… a LOT of my family will not be able to spend the money to go to Sweden for a wedding, I won’t be able to be very involved in the planning, and I’m wondering how bad is the paperwork if we get married here…
Any advice is welcome and if you know of any websites (other than the confusing USCIS website) I would be greatly appreciative! THANK YOU BEES!!!
Post # 3
We are an international couple, but our situation is a bit more clear-cut than yours. I am American, he is French. We live in Paris and have since we met here 8 years ago…So it just seemed natural to hold the wedding here. Of course that means that some of my family and close friends won’t be able to make it, but I am finding that if you give people ample time to save and plan, many will surprise you and actually make the trip. Plus we’re finding that many people are excited to come to Paris and make a trip out of it. As for the paperwork, I’m sorry but I won’t be of much help on this subject. I have papers to live and work in France so for us it is easiest to do the wedding here, have it certified for the US and then deal with getting my FI papers when it comes time to move to the States. I would suggest you read Miss d’Orsay’s posts. She had to get a fiancé visa for her FI and they described the whole process. Good luck!
Post # 4
we married in PNG (we’re aussies) and paid someone to handle all the arrangments, paperwork and wedding so all we had to do was wait the number of days on the island required by law and get married. ive been told by the aussie govt department that as long as the wedding is legally recongnized in PNG then they legally recongnize it here but i’ll be guarding our wedding certificate like gold because if something happens to it i wouldnt want to try to get a copy from a 3rd world country filing system
Post # 5
I’m Swedish and i got married in Sweden with my French husband but we are currently living in a third European country, which means I planned my wedding from far and I am very well familiar with the paperwork.
I’ve never been involved with US admin, but I can compare the Swedish admin to the French, Belgian and Italian admin – and what I’ve heard from friends also the German, Luxembourgish and Lettonian admin, and compared to that it seems as my husband and I got away really ieasily when it comes to the paperwork.
It is the Swedish taxation authority which handles applications for a marriage license (hindersprovning in Swedish), and if your future husband is still a resident in Sweden he should contact his local tax office. This was not my case, and I was told that as a non-resident but still a Swedish national I could contact any tax office.
This is the official webpage of the taxation authority: http://www.skatteverket.se/privat/folkbokforing/aktenskappartnerskap.4.18e1b10334ebe8bc80004956.html
I contacted them via email and they were quick to respond regarding the information they needed. This is what we were told:
– We needed to show up in person (this means you’d have to go to Sweden once before your wedding – I combined that visit with meeting with vendors)
– Show them our valid passports
– Give them an extract of the population register (not older than three months)where it was stated that we were single (or divorced) from the country where we currently were residents.
– Give them a copy of the applicable legislation to marriages in the country where we were residents.
It took them two weeks to process our application and the marriage license is valid for four months.
I hope this is helpful, but you can always pm me if you’d like more information.
Best of luck!
Post # 6
I’m planning a wedding in the USA from Ireland and marrying an Irish guy. We live in Ireland and we won’t be living in the USA anytime soon so paperwork doesn’t seem to be an issue. I contacted the Town Clerk in my town (where we’re getting married) and she said all we need to get our marriage license is a form of ID (like a passport). I thought it was interesting because I thought it would be more complicated…I’m still wondering if it might be. Maybe I should do more digging…
Post # 7
I’m an American citizen planning a wedding in the US from England, marrying a British guy. I’m living and working here legally on a work permit, and we plan to start the filing process for him to move to the US shortly after getting married (we return to the UK after our US wedding). We’re planning on filing directly with the consulate here (DCF), which seems to be a faster process than going through one of the US service centers.
Are you living in California together right now? What is his status in the US currently? Is he in the US on a work or student visa, or is he just a visitor as part of the visa waiver program?
Did someone tell you that the immigration process would be less complicated if you married in Sweden? Is your intention to permanently settle in the US, or do you have the option of moving to Sweden?
Try not to get too overwhelmed. Yes, it is a long process with lots of forms to fill out, and lots of hoops to jump through, but as long as you follow the correct process, it shouldn’t be too complicated.
I would recommend you spend some time in the forums at http://www.visajourney.com or http://www.diveintoamerica.com — they have been very helpful to me as I start to gather all the materials we’ll need for our petition and application.
Post # 8
I am from the USA and my man if Swiss, and we got civilly married and had a small reception in Switzerland and are having our “American, white dress, etc” wedding in a few weeks in New York. This is how we compromised and were able to have both his family and friends and mine enjoy it – have two weddings 😉
To get married in Switzerland I had to have the usual documents – birth certificate translated, passport, document from the Embassy etc… it was not that hard. I would assume that Sweden has similar laws and you just have to make sure everything is translated/notarized correctly. Are you planning to live in Sweden or in the US?
Good luck and congratulations!
PS when I tell people my husband is from Switzerland and we live there the next time they see me they invariably ask me how it’s going in Sweden and how my Swedish husband is doing 😉 I don’t know why but so many people mix it up!
Post # 9
Thank you everyone! This information is very useful, and just knowing that other people are going/went through it is nice too.
hunterstorme – when my fiance is here everyone asks my Swedish fiance, “How are the Alps? Does your country have good chocolate? Do you speak Swiss?” hahaha!
To give all of you further info: Currently my fiance is living in Sweden. We met there in 2005 while I was studying abroad and we started dating almost as soon as I got there! Summer of 2006 I returned to California to finish my degree, but we kept our relationship going – talk about long distance! We took turns visiting each other on summer and christmas breaks, and in Fall of 2008 my fiance came to study at CSULB (my school) for the year. In June 2009, he was getting ready to go back to Sweden to finish his law degree and a few weeks before he had to leave, that’s when he asked me to marry him! So we’ve been together for almost 4 years, but about 2 of them have been long distance! Crazy I know.
We plan to live in California after we get married – if we were living in Sweden I think it would be a lot easier, there are a lot less restrictions/paper work. Anyway, I really appreciate all your advice bees! I’ll keep reading here for advice and thank you thank you thank you!
Post # 10
my FI and I are both non-Americans but have lived in NY for 10 years so that’s where we’re having our wedding. since most of our extended family won’t be able to make the trip (he’s from Europe, I’m from Asia), we had an engagement party in his hometown and we’ll be having a dinner party in mine at the end of our honeymoon.
have you spoken to an immigration lawyer tho? my sis married an american and it still took her ~9 months to get her GC based on spousal status. she was able to stay in the country in the interim on her work visa
Post # 11
So is your plan to file for a fiance visa, so that your man can come over for the wedding, and continue to live in the US? If so, I would definitely think you’d want to get that started right away. I’m not sure what the current processing times are for the fiance visa, but I know it’s a pretty long process– check out Miss D’Orsay’s posts on her experience. Once the fiance visa is issued, I think your fiance has 6 months to enter the US, and then you must marry within 90 days of the entry date.
Post # 12
jhphi – that is also what I understand to be the case. I would be filing for a fiance visa and have found (with the help of awesome bees of course) a few helpful websites to get us started! It will definately take some time, but it’s not as overwhelming as it looked the first time! phew! Now to make the big decision – marry here or marry in Sweden!