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Topic: Getting Married in NYC to apply for UK spouse visa  (Read 236 times)

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Getting Married in NYC to apply for UK spouse visa
« on: January 21, 2020, 02:13:26 AM »
I made a thread a few weeks ago about starting the process of applying for a fiancee visa, thanks for the help there! A lot of people recommended we instead get married on paper at least in the US and then directly apply for a UK spouse visa, and have a ceremony for family/friends once all the visa stuff is taken care of. This actually seems a lot easier and more cost-effective, plus trying to plan everything within the 6 month fiancee visa window was getting stressful.

We decided New York City is the best place to do it because the flights from his city to NY-based airports are pretty affordable, the process seems very straightforward, and we have friends in the city who can attend as witnesses. I'd just like to ask people who did this some questions to make sure it goes smoothly!

The process seems to be, fill out an online form ahead of time, go to the county clerk office and show ID to complete the form and receive the license, wait 24 hours and come back the next day with the license and ID (as well as a witness) to do the ceremony and get the marriage certificate. Are there any other documents you'd recommend bringing because we're an international couple, like birth certificates? Or are both of our passports by themselves fine?

Also did you get the extended certificate? It just seems like doing a little extra paperwork and then taking it to a different government building to get signed off again, which isn't too much trouble, but if the regular certificate is perfectly acceptable in the UK in this case it'd be nice to not have to worry.

Thanks again! Compared to the UK visa and marriage process this almost seems TOO easy so I want to make sure I'm not missing some important detail.


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Re: Getting Married in NYC to apply for UK spouse visa
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2020, 04:59:02 PM »
First off, congrats on your upcoming nuptials!!

My husband and I just went through the same thing.  After reading all the advice on this forum, we got married in November at the courthouse in Ohio and applied for the spouse visa rather than the fiancee route.

So what I've learned is that courthouse marriages vary by county, so you'll just have to double check with where you're getting married.  For us in Ohio we had to go to the courthouse where I am a resident of to get the license.  We both had to be present, and I had to bring something that proved I lived there (i had lost my drivers license, oops, so I brought a credit card statement with my name and address on it and that sufficed).   All my husband needed was his passport and they had him sign an affadavit stating he does not posses a social security card. Then on the same day,  we took the license to the courthouse in a different county to have the ceremony performed.  Then right after that we had to go back to the courthouse I'm a resident of to have it signed and certified.  Sometimes you aren't able to get your certified copy that day and they mail it to you.  So if you plan on applying for the spouse visa right after the wedding, double check you'll be able to get your certified copy the day of. 

In Ohio, we did not need a witness,  and birth certificates aren't required.  The only thing is that if one of you has been divorced before, you'll need to bring the official divorce decree.

It sounds like you've done  your research for weddings in NY though, so I'm sure you're good.  Through the Columbus Municipal  Court, they have a marriage hotline which I called to double check everything - I'm guessing NY might have something similar.  It does seem way more straightforward than the whole visa process hahaa, and when you get to the courthouse they tell you exactly what needs to be done.. you can't really mess it up :)

Good luck, and congrats again!


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Re: Getting Married in NYC to apply for UK spouse visa
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2020, 07:30:39 PM »
Thanks! From what I can tell, NY differs in that you don't need to be a resident, but you DO need a witness, but the rest of the process sounds about the same as I understand it.


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Re: Getting Married in NYC to apply for UK spouse visa
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2020, 11:50:12 AM »
I married in NYC.  Yes, definitely get a long certificate or two.    You get them right then and there.  Worth the extra few $ to get a couple of extras.  You do NOT need an Apostille.  They will tell you until they are blue in the face that you DO need an Apostille.  You DO NOT.  The UK recognises US marriages and the certificate is in English.  Don't let them worry you or confuse you.

We arrived on a Wednesday and went straight to City Hall.  Gave our notice.  We went back at 9am on Friday to marry.  We had a photographer as our witness.  Was great.


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Re: Getting Married in NYC to apply for UK spouse visa
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2020, 06:21:07 PM »
That's good to hear, our plan was basically the same! Are just passports for both of us fine to get the license and do the ceremony or is there other documentation/ID they might ask for?


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Re: Getting Married in NYC to apply for UK spouse visa
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2020, 01:30:15 PM »
That's good to hear, our plan was basically the same! Are just passports for both of us fine to get the license and do the ceremony or is there other documentation/ID they might ask for?

I needed my divorce decree from a previous marriage.  We had our birth certificates, but I genuinely don't think we needed them.  It was some time ago, so I don't recall.  I do know that their website was up to date and accurate though.  You could always call if you are unsure.


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