Getting married in the United States of America
Foreigners who live in the U.S. on a visitor or work visa may marry a US citizen or someone who holds a green cardholder. The citizen, or the holder of the green card, can sponsor their spouse through adjustment of status.
However, the USCIS does have a “90-day rule” that stops foreigners who have lived in the U.S. for 90 days or less from applying. It is even more difficult if the person has had less than 90 days of residency.
If either both or one spouse lives overseas the foreigner must apply for a K1 visa (fiancé visa) and then file an application for permanent residency following the marriage. The 90-day rule is relevant in this case too.
When the couple is married overseas they may contact the U.S. Consulate for “consular processing”. Using consular processing, the marriage will be legally recognized by the US and the spouse who is non-U.S. is granted a green card.
Getting married in France
Getting married in France you may select either a traditional style marriage or what’s called a “pacte civil de solidarité” (PACS), which is like a civil partnership. Whatever way you choose your starting point is the local “Mairie” (Town Hall). Each town will have its own rules and document requirements. Usually, the couple or one of their parents should have resided in that particular town for no less than 40 days before the date of the marriage ceremony.
The particular authorities could request a “certificate de célibat” which is the evidence to prove you are eligible to get married. You also will need to get a certificate of custom which is an attestation from a foreign lawyer regarding the content, existence, and foreign law interpretation. This certificate runs out after 6 months following its receipt. When the documentation is passed to the court or local town hall you may book your marriage ceremony there.
Getting married in Japan
It is possible to get married in Japan but if you are an Australian you will have to pay a visit to the Australian embassy in Tokyo where you confirm that you are legally permitted to be married through the swearing of an affirmation using an affidavit. If your marriage partner isn’t Japanese s/he will need to follow exactly the same process. The affidavit costs about $100 Aus each.
Other documents and their translations that may be required include:
- birth certificates,
- residence cards,
- evidence of address,
- naturalization documents(if applicable).
- any documents that show a previous marriage(s) has been formally terminated.
As soon as your documents are available and their translations you may take them along to the municipal office where you may complete the request for registering the marriage (Kon-in Todoke).
Whichever country you choose to get married in making sure all the documents requested are accurately translated and if required certified. This will save you a lot of time in the long run and make your marriage a far more enjoyable experience. If your relatives overseas are unable to attend don’t forget to organize a live video recording through Zoom before the marriage ceremony begins.