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Moving to USA - easier to be married?

(16 Posts)
fassbendersmistress Mon 08-Feb-16 13:15:42

DP is negotiating a move to the east coast US. We are engaged but not married. Would it make life easier for us to get married before we go? I am inclined to take a career break and settle DS(3) but not sure I want the possibility of working totally ruled out....

Would I be really limited if I'm not a 'spouse'? (I'm all for saving heaps of money and having a shotgun wedding before we go!!)

NewYearSameMe Mon 08-Feb-16 13:21:33

One of my friends was transferred to New York by the company that she worked for. She got married to make things easier, just a quick registry office thing. I was surprised, they had been together for ages and I had sort of assumed they were already married. I think you would need to be married before you start the paperwork rather than just before you go.

SweetAdeline Mon 08-Feb-16 13:29:09

I'm not sure you'll be able to go at all on his visa if you're not married - link.

SweetAdeline Mon 08-Feb-16 13:32:46

If you're married (assuming he'd be getting an L1 visa) you'd get an L2 visa and be able to work.

FinallyHere Mon 08-Feb-16 13:33:50

What visa will he get and is whoever arranging it, offering to arrange a trailing spouse visa too?

What are your chances of obtaining a visa independent of his arrangements? What passport do you, and potentially also your children also hold?

Lots of information here: Good luck.

Just for info, you might want to look up the arrangements should you have further children born in the USA.

kansasmum Mon 08-Feb-16 13:34:07

Definitely easier to go if you're married. Friends of ours came over to the US and weren't married and it was a bit trickier and she couldn't work at all. This was 10 yrs ago so things might have changed!
However if you're not opposed to the idea of marriage I would just get married before you apply for the visas. Easier too with things like health insurance etc.

fassbendersmistress Mon 08-Feb-16 19:14:50

He works for a large multinational, so I was thinking they'd sort me, the trailing spouse and DS (both in Brit passports) with visas. I doubt I'd get a visa in my own right without a job to go to and as I don't want to work full time and my profession is quite UK specific, I think that's unlikely.

Thanks so much everyone for the advice and links. Much appreciated.

We've been really lazy about getting hitched - this might just be the kick up the butt we need smile

VimFuego101 Mon 08-Feb-16 19:20:12

You have to get married if you want to get an L visa. You will need to apply for an EAD (work permit) before you can work on an L2. Good luck with the move, I found the BritishExpats forum really helpful (moved to Michigan about 5 years ago).

Make sure your employer has a plan in place for sponsoring your green cards if you want to stay beyond the maximum term of the visas. It gives a lot more freedom in terms of not being tied to your husband's employer if he is laid off or wants to change jobs.

realhousewife23 Wed 10-Feb-16 05:24:10

Agree with what others have said, you really need to know what type of visa he's going to get. If it's an L1 then you and the kids would get L2 visas but you would need to be married. You could stay in the US for a maximum of 7 years before you either need to return to the UK or have Green Cards in place. Here's an official USCIS link for L1 information.

You would be eligible to work on an L2 visa after you've received your EAD card (Employment Authorization). Some visas do not allow for the spouse to work so be sure you know what type of visa you're getting into if being able to work is important to you.

Note, his company (however large) cannot "sort you" for visas. Yes, they will submit the petition and put in all the formal paperwork on your behalf but they don't get any say in whether the application is approved and visas are granted. That's up to the US Government.

AngharadTheSplendid Wed 10-Feb-16 05:46:40

Yep you'll definitely want to be married. DH has lots of buddies at work whose Gfs are still back home because of visa issues. Agree with realhousewife getting visas is a long, complicated process - married or not there is no guarantee they will be approved, so make sure you definitely want to be hitched anyway!

fassbendersmistress Wed 10-Feb-16 12:28:08

tHanks for this additional info.

DP will be getting an L1 visa, so no question, we need to get married. My big problem now is that he is dead against a simple registry office affair and doesn't seem to get that in order to start paperwork we need to do that and can't spend months planning a big party...even if we were lucky to get a venue to like!! I suspect at this rate he'll be out there in his own for a bit before DS and I catch up....

HerRoyalNotness Wed 10-Feb-16 12:34:11

Apply for EAD as
Soon as you arrive, it takes 3mths to receive. Also apply for an ITN number for your DC so you can claim them in your tax return. They don't get an SS number.

realhousewife23 Wed 10-Feb-16 15:06:38

Going the the visa process and moving overseas was one of the most stressful things I've even done. Not just sorting out all the practicalities but the emotional aspect. And that was without kids! I can't even imagine trying to organize a wedding at the same time. I think that would just be too much for most people. In my experience, the visa process is not just a simple fill in a form and get a visa process. There are immigration lawyers to deal with, mountains of paperwork to be prepared, a visit to the US Embassy. Plus all of the day to day living stuff to sort out both in the UK and overseas. It's a HUGE undertaking.

SweetAdeline Wed 10-Feb-16 15:23:25

Can you not just have a secret registry office thing and a proper wedding later. A few of my friends have done this as they wanted outdoor weddings and you can't legally get married outside in the UK. They didn't invite anyone other than parents and witnesses to the registry office and then had a weddingy ceremony on their proper wedding day.

KierkegaardGroupie Sat 13-Feb-16 11:44:15

We did this. Straight forward. Company handled all visa stuff. We went to the embassy maybe once. We had to plan our wedding g in 20 days. Got a cancellation at registers we kept calling each day to try and catch one. We decided to get married on day 1 and were married by day 20 of that month. Lovely wedding. Hired a private room in a restaurant. No party. 30 guests.
Would not change a thing. Friend lent me a white dress. Got some flowers on the morning of the wedding. Relative made the cake. Photographer for 2 hours. All came in at 1200.and most of that was the meal.

We love living in the US mostly. All happened fast. Not that stressful.
Now we have green cards and don't plan on returning to the UK for our working lives .
Pay much better here. Quality of life better. We do miss family.

Want2bSupermum Mon 15-Feb-16 03:46:04

There is absolutely no way that I would move 3000 miles away without being married. If you are not married you might be allowed in but more importantly you will not be able to work. That puts you in a vulnerable position. Most employers don't offer health insurance to non registered couples. Being Gf and BF (which is how you are seen in the US) doesn't cut it as its registered couples (ie same sex couples) or married couples only.

DH works for a danish company and there is another danish company in the town where we live. All guys are married to the GFs. DH and I laugh at them because there is nothing wrong with being married.

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