Post # 1
Hi Bees! One of my best friends is engaged to a Canadian (she’s American) and they’re currently both living here in the states. He just finished his PhD and has been applying for jobs all over the place. Yesterday afternoon he got an offer from an international university in Bratislava, and it was a great offer, so it looks like he’ll be accepting. Originally, they were planning a small destination wedding for this winter, but now they’re wondering if they should get married in a civil ceremony here before they try to make the move. Obviously, the university is taking care of all his paperwork, but hers will be really complicated if they’re not married, right? Or should she just get a job there and THEN try to get a visa? And what if she can’t get a job right away? Will being married make this all easier? He needs to be there in August, and they would like to be there together. Any help would be appreciated. I talk about the Hive all the time, and told her you guys would have some good advice!
Post # 3
I don’t know anything about Bratislava but if their economy is anything like ours it will be hard enough to find a job, let alone one that will sponsor her. And depending on when he starts his job and when she gets a visa they might not be able to go over at the same time. As someone whose gone through a massive visa process, I would assume it would be easier if they were technically married, then she can come as his spouse at the same time?
Post # 4
@aloweha – That’s what I’m thinking.
Does anyone know how difficult it is to get a visa if you ARE married? Anyone?
Post # 5
I would definitely get married before hand. How difficult it is to get a visa depends on the country but most countries will have a mechanism for letting a spouse live together with the person who has reason to be in the country. I’d call the university and talk to them and then I’d call the embassy/counselate.
Post # 6
It depends entirely on the country – evey country has their own regulations, and those regulations often vary according to the citizenship of the person in question. So it could actually be different for a Canadian and an American!
Check that out for more info – how long are they planning to stay? Will she try to get a job or study locally while she’s there? Or is she just going to hang out with her FI?
Post # 7
I agree it really depends on the country. However, I know one of the easiest jobs to get as a native English speaker is as an English teacher. Check the websites for Berlitz, InLingua, etc. and see if they are hiring in a nearby city or look into registering as a student at the University. These are easy ways to get a visa. Also, if they are planning to get married anyway, I would suggest to make it official ASAP. Marriage is taken much more seriously than significant other and it can only help with future visa issues (US or CAN) to have been married longer. If the University is helping him with his paperwork, maybe someone there will have more accurate advice, he should really ask his future employeer about visas, etc. for his fiance.
Post # 8
- Wedding: August 2010 - Indian Head Camp, Honesdale Pennsylvania
Mr. Veg is in NZ on a student visa and I am here on a “supporting partner” working visa that is attached to his student visa. In our case it didn’t matter if we were married or not because NZ gives partnership to unmariied committed couples, we just had to prove that we were in a genuine relationship. However, the while the universitydoes take care of all of his visa paperwork, they cannot do mine, whether we are married or not. Which is frustrating. Extremely frustrating. But in any case, in NZ it didn’t make any difference if we were married.
Post # 9
First of all, she’ll have to consider the amount of time to process her visa and I’m not even sure that’s possible because getting a Visa approved usually falls under 1 of 2 conditions: 1) by family or marriage 2) by work. Even if she went along with her fiance to Bratislava, I don’t think she’s technically allowed to look for work there on a tourist visa because the university that’s sponsoring him may not be able to attach her onto his application without being married. So if the university can’t process her visa with his, she’s have to go on a normal visa that only lasts for 3-months.
Now if they try to get married while they are there and she is on a tourist visa, then it can get very complicated and they might very well have to fly back to the States to do so.
I don’t know about the marriage application laws in Bratislava, but I’ll explain what I had to consider as an American living in Sweden.
I originally wanted to fly back to California to have our legal wedding. But the prospect turned out to be a pain! Basically my Fi doesn’t need a visa to go to the States (open visa, so he can stay up to 3 months) but he is NOT allowed to marry or look for a job. It’s the same with me here, if I arrived before getting my permanent residency, I am not allowed to look for a job at all and marrying would be a pain, but it’s not as bad as doing it in the States.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, they really need to get married before they even apply for anything to save them grief. He can double check to make sure with his university for advice. But I don’t think they treat a fiance with the same rights as a wife in Slovakia.
I was lucky because in Sweden, they give out permanent residency to gf/bfs, being engaged or married is not a requirement.
I should mention that even if they are able to attached her onto his visa, they still have to consider the application period for marriage in Slovakia. Some countries in Europe has some crazy laws that are tied-up with religion, meaning you can not get married unless you’re part of a certain religion OR if you’ve lived there for 1-year!
Post # 10
A work visa is usually standard for the spouse as well. So if he has one, she will have one too. But it is crazy impossible to find a job right now! I have to stress this becase I was warned when I arrived a year ago and knowing what I know now, I realize it’s very close to impossible for a newly arrived foreigner to acquire work in a field that’s not in demand. An in demand feild here in Sweden are Phd’s and research workers. All technical fields used to be in demand but after all the cut-backs and layoffs, even a native would be lucky to land a job in that field. I am in neither fields … so yeh, it’s tough! If I ended up not acquiring work from my old contacts overseas, I wouldn’t be working right now (and it’s only part-time).
I haven’t even mentioned learning the language!
Post # 11
I realized how negative my above responses are, so I wanted to add that it is definitely an adventure and will help them grow stronger as a couple. They’ll both have so much fun exploring a whole new country! Another perk is that travel within Europe can be pretty cheap if you find the right deals!