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GeorgetownLawyr
GeorgetownLawyr, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12047
Experience:  Experience: contested Divorces, custody disputes, Post dissolution modification, child support issues, adopti
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US Citizen getting married to a Residential Alien (Canada)

Customer Question

US Citizen getting married to a Residential Alien (Canada) in Jamaica. Are there added complications to doing the certificate in Jamaica vs getting the paperwork done at home in the US before we leave?
Submitted: 3 years ago via USmarriagelaws.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  GeorgetownLawyr replied 3 years ago.
Hello, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'll be helping you resolve your matter.

Please remember there may be a delay as I may be helping other customers.

Where do you plan on living after the marriage? In Canada or the U.S.??
if the u.s. will you be petitioning for the green card for the Canadian??
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Lisa! Thanks for help.

My girlfriend (the Canadian) and I currently live in Madison, WI in a house I own. After getting married, we'll be living here.

Could you explain how the green card works with marriage? She currently has a green card and I was under the impression from movies that once we wed, she was automatically a US citizen. How does it actually work?

An addition thought: She has lived in the US so long she's eligible to become a citizen on her own right if she just takes the test (in fact, she's the only one in her immediate family that doesn't currently have duel citizenship). So, we're trying to figure out which of these 3 options is least messy/expensive:

1 - She gets her citizenship in the summer. Then we'll be getting married in Jamaica as two US citizens.
2 - Wed wed in Madison right before we leave. Then the wedding in Jamaica would be just a cerimony. (I'm not sure how this would work with the green card I'm asking about above).
3- Have the wedding certified in Jamaica between a US citizen and Canadian citizen.

Thanks again for your help.

-Matt
Expert:  GeorgetownLawyr replied 3 years ago.
Ok, Matt thanks. I'm glad to hear she has her green card because that would have affected where you got married. If she didn't have her green card and you got married in Jamaica and had to petition for her green card, she would have had to go back to Jamaica at the u.s. embassy for the interview. So glad that is not the case. I do not know the criteria for getting married in Jamaica but just know that the u.s. will recognize the marriage certificate from another country and you do not have to register it or do anything here when you return. I think it's just easier to have the legal marriage in the u.s. and then have the ceremony in Jamaica. None of these options affect her green card. Also, she does not automatically become a u.s.citizen when you get married, she will have to apply for citizenship. the only thing that a foreigner marrying a u.s. citizen does for them as far as citizenship is concerned is that they only have to wait 3 years after getting their green card through marriage to a u.s. citizen to file for citizenship, whereas if they did not get their green card through marriage to a u .s. citizen they have to wait 5 years after getting the green card to get citizenship. so her marriage to you does not affect her time or ability to become a u.s. citizen, since she did not get her green card based on marriage to you.

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GeorgetownLawyr, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12047
Experience: Experience: contested Divorces, custody disputes, Post dissolution modification, child support issues, adopti
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Experience: contested Divorces, custody disputes, Post dissolution modification, child support issues, adopti