(Closed) Long distance and immigration SUCK. Mixed feelings

posted 7 years ago in Long Distance Relationships
Post # 17
368 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2000

***ETA: I was going to mention the more legalistic stuff, but the comment above mine got to all of it. If you feel overwhelmed and have the money, do consult an immigration attorney.***


(Previously: The more touchy-feely stuff)

Look, a ‘quicky’ legal wedding is not unusual in your circumstances. I married very quickly so my husband and I wouldn’t be separated (though we lived in the same country, my status was about to lapse). In a fortnight, my first cousin marries her South African finace so they can be together.


I didn’t opt for another ceremony, she will have a traditional ceremony next year. These things happen, and if anything getting married because you can’t stand to be parted, because that “piece of paper” means everything to your quality of life and happiness, is equally romantic and special, regardless of the more clinical aspects of a civil ceremony.


I understand that you feel it’s not quite how you picture the official transition from Miss to Mrs going, but you would still be able to have a family extravaganza! Multi-national pairings come with unique stresses, and sometimes the practicalities elbow their way into taking precidence. If you know he’s the one (sure sounds like it!), I can’t imagine your moment of union being anything less than special and momentous, regardless of if it’s on the day of a traditional ceremoney, or at a civil ceremoney sometime sooner. 


Post # 18
2478 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

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@bowsergirl:  Weirdly, after treating her only slightly better than Osama Bin Laden on welfare, last summer, her fiancee visa only took 2 weeks to process and, best of all, after their wedding, her work and right to remain visa arrived just as quickly!

I can honestly say that I’ve only ever received easy entry to the US. Each time I have had a visa waiver or nowadays an ESTA but for sure, UK immigration is not a pleasant hurdle to jump!

Good luck with your visa too! Hope all goes very smoothly for you.

Post # 19
1365 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

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@Sporty-Bee:  We’re still going through GC process and it is NOT easy.

I have a few German friends and can appreciate why it’s tough for both of you since both the US and Germany are not prone to make it easy for people to have dual-citizenship. It IS possible for Germans (my old boss has one) but it’s a lot of work.

As PPs have pointed out, really do your research on the legal process before jumping into it.  For us since we’re both expats living here, it’s different.  And (I’m sure you would be), be empathetic to the fact that if he comes here, he’ll have to do a bunch of work to get his visa and he likely won’t be able to work (unless he can still work-long distance.)

I absolutely get the point about the ceremony that’s important being when all your friends and family are there.  Because that’s what was amazing for us.  Our day at city hall was special and I wouldn’t change anything we did, but exchanging vows while surrounded by friends and family is such an emotional high and one you’ll never forget no matter the circumstances.

Post # 22
2 posts

@Sporty-Bee:  ๐Ÿ™‚ Ha I’m actually German and moved to the US this summer to finally be with my now husband!
We signed the papers at the courthouse within the 90 days of me arriving, since I entered on a K1 visa.
But we will actually have our “real” big church wedding in a couple weeks and our families will be there to celebrate with us. There were just the two of us when we got married in the courthouse. I enjoyed sharing that moment just with him.

And like you said, the Germans are used to having the civil and religious wedding seperate. Even though it is different here in the US his family is still really excited for our upcoming wedding.

Wish you the best of luck and I’ll hope your visa paperwork won’t take to long once you decided which one you’ll do!

Post # 23
381 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

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@Sporty-Bee:  First of all, hugs. I completely understand how you feel. MY husband, from Hong Kong, and I had a similar problem. We were doing 7 years of long distance across the Pacific ocean, and it was honestly, awful. When we started planning everything, we felt a little scared too, like we were rushing into marriage for legal purposes. But I think the fact that you said “you just want to be together” means that you are part of a contingent of us who eventually said those EXACT SAME WORDS and took the plunge. 

Your wedding, even if you have it a year later, will STILL BE SPECIAL. We did all of our legal stuff before we had our big wedding as well (though, controversially, we didn’t tell anyone, since there was only a few weeks’ difference), and a colleague of mine, who went through the same process, had his wedding 9 months later, and we all flew to Texas (we are in California) to celebrate with him. Even though they had been legally married for 9 months, it was absolutely still a beautiful, special, amazing wedding. 

As far as immigration policy goes, honestly, going through this process was one of the first MAJOR things that really shook my confidence about the logic of my country’s government. My husband never got seriously interrogated or anything, but the whole application process, even WITH a lawyer, was long and scary. There are forums to post on to help you get through (visajourney.com is the most common one), but honestly, I found it made me MORE scared than anything, since a lot of people who post on there are begging for help about their various horror stories. 

In the end, I think it will be worth it. A light at the end of the AWFUL long distance tunnel! 

Post # 24
1471 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

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@Sporty-Bee:  I also wanted to mention. There are some Bees who can get VERY snotty about having the family/cultural/ religious ceremony separate from the legal ceremony.

They typically haven’t had to deal with years of immigration and thousands of dollars spent on moving to be together! (and also seem to conviniently forget that in a lot of places that is the only way to get married! I would never call my Japanese friends weddings pretend!)

Post # 25
268 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Don’t feel terribly bad.  I’m American and ended up marrying a dutch guy and live in the Netherlands.  Whenever **I** come back to the states I’m the one who gets the 21 questions and anal probe (ok, no probe but I feel like it sometimes).  I’ve no idea what their beef is either.

But also, my dutch co-workers tend to get the 3rd degree too so I don’t feel terribly bad. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyways, marriage works the same way in the Netherlands.  My husband and I just did a wedding at the gemeente, but a lot of people just go quickly sign and then do a church wedding.  I don’t know about Germany, but there’s even a lot of churches who have become “wedding locations” and the priest is a cival servant so both the cival and religious part can be done in one go.

I don’t think it takes away the specialness of a religious wedding in a church.  Even the king and queen married this way.

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