I am an American Citizen marrying a Canadian permanent resident. Does it matter if we get married in Canada or America?
3 attorney answers
"Does it matter if we get married in Canada or America?" As a practical matter, it matters where the marriage takes place.
For US immigration purposes, to marry each other, both prospective spouses need to be in the same room when the marriage ceremony takes place. If the US border inspector finds out that your fiance is coming to the US to marry you, he is not going to be admitted into the US even if "He currently has a visitor's visa" unless he gets a K-1 visa. His visitor's visa will be canceled once the US border inspectors find out his intent to come to the US to marry you.
You can check with Canadian legal professionals to see whether the Canadian border inspectors will admit you into Canada to marry someone one in Canada.
US and Canadian citizens usually have an easy time of crossing the national borders. However, with an intending marriage, the border inspectors likely will not be lenient.
I recommend you schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney BEFORE you make any decisions and before you leave for Canada. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may have up to 3 different ways of applying for your soon-to-be husband's green card. All options have their pros and cons, and it would be helpful for you to know that information before you box yourself in to just one option. I also agree with the other attorney that you will be able to start the process if you decide to get married now and before you move to Canada.
As the US citizen, you can petition for your spouse even if you live abroad. If you plan to live in Canada for 1-2 years after you get married, you can file the first step in the process, the I-130 petition, and once it is approved, your husband will apply for what is called an immigrant visa through the US Consulate in Canada. The immigrant visa is the equivalent of the green card petition in the U.S. You just have to show that you intend to resume your residency in the U.S. after 1-2 years.