Post # 1
Visa issues make me want to start my own nation-state. Here is the saga:
My Fiance is a British citizen, and we want to be married in the Greek Orthodox Church near his town in England, ideally in Spring/Summer 2013. However, he is planning to move to America, and so for immigration reasons we want to be legally married in the US in Fall/Winter 2013, which is about the time his paperwork out to be done. So we want to have our ceremony in England but NOT have it be recognized by the British government so that it does not complicate our visa process. Does anyone know if the church and/or goverment will allow us to do this? Does the British government compel anyone who could be an officiant to always act as a legal officiant?
TL;DR–I want to get married in a religious ceremony but not have it recognized by the British government. Can I do this?
Post # 3
id say as long as you dont sign any forms or get any marriage certificate you may be good. id say talk to a british officiant to see ifthey are willing to work with you guys
Post # 4
I would talk to the church, too. Visa stuff is such a headache! But maybe you could ask them if they’d be willing to marry you in the eyes of the church without signing the legal documents until a later date?
Post # 5
That’s what I’m thinking–I guess I probably won’t know for sure till I talk with a priest!
Has anyone had any experience having a religious ceremony that was not recognized by the government?
Post # 6
@CornySyrup: Is your Fiance going to be applying for the K1 visa? If so, then I definitely advise against having anything that even looks like a wedding before your Fiance has his visa in hand – since I have heard of people getting denied over that sort of thing.
Post # 7
I don’t understand. Any marriage that takes place anywhere is recognized in the US. Wouldn’t that make it easier to sponsor Fiance as a married couple?
Or are you going for the K1 fiance visa?
Post # 8
You are probably going to run into difficulties asking the church to solemnize a “marriage” that isn’t a legal marriage – think about it: you are basically asking the clergy to lie, or at the very least to act disingenuously and engage in deception. I’m not trying to put a damper on your plans, I just anticipate that if you approach the priest asking him to “marry us – but not legally,” he is probably going to feel that something is awry.
Post # 9
Agree with the others… if you are looking for a “religious” Wedding… then asking the Clergy not to comply with the legal issues seems kind of wierd / against their thinking.
What you are looking for isn’t a Wedding, it is more of what the clergy calls a Vow Renewal (for those already married) or a Commitment Ceremony (for those not married). Both of which have no legal bearing at all.
Also, considering one of you is an American Citizen, I don’t get WHY you wouldn’t marry and be done with it. Be it abroad, or in the USA and then you sponsor him.
Personally, I don’t understand your post at all… you want to be married, but you don’t want it to be legal… but you want to be married in the eyes of God, but not the state. BUT you want to be married in the USA legally…
Too confusing for me… in my mind, you are either married are you are not… no middle ground. Do it once, do it right (if that means waiting until he is in the USA… for legal reasons, so be it)
Post # 10
@andielovesj: Yep, the plan was to go for a K1. In terms of straightforwardness and minimizing time apart, this seemed to be the simplest route; however, I am now considering the possibility of going the K3 or CR1 route instead.
Post # 11
I agree with the other ladies. If you are going for K1, then I’d highly recommend not doing ANYTHING that could look like a wedding before you get complete approval. If you go the K3 route then ofc that all changes. 🙂 Good luck!