My fiance and I are looking for some direction. She is a USC and I am a foreigner. We would like to file for a GC before our religious ceremony in August (Illinois). The reason is that we would like to have another ceremony in my home country and travel for our honey moon right after the ceremon. We are planning to go to the county clerk for a marriage lic/certif in March. We won't be able however to live together until the religious cerem (which we both find stupid, but this the tradition in our culture), although we currently have an apartment in our names, have 3 joint credit cards, 2 bank accounts with our direct depos, wedding registry, a big engagement party, save the date, wedding invitation card for the ceremony +reception in august (~275 invitees), banquet hall contracts...
A civil ceremony and official marriage certificate is sufficient to file. Although USCIS considers a marriage celebration in determining the bona fides of your relationship, it is not uncommon that couples have a later ceremony. You should be fine if you can otherwise demonstrate a bona fide relationship.
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