Marrying in Ireland vs marrying in the USA
Hello! Is this all right so? I'm not really sure what to put as a topic title. :/
But, basically, yeah. Hey, I'm Taylor.
I currently live in Ireland on a Working Holiday Authorization. It's my second time coming over on a WHA. I have an Irish boyfriend (now fiancé) of nearly five years. We've gone between the USA and Ireland for ages, and we're completely ready to be done with it. We're just starting the whole marriage/Stamp 4 process. Thanks to this site, I have a pretty good idea of how most of it works. (Thank you!)
Though, my only question now would be whether or not I can marry while on a WHA or if I'll need to exit Ireland and return on a regular 90 day stay. (Though, I've read that it can take longer than 90 days considering the interview is scheduled 3 months in advance in person, plus the added second interview. So, it sounds like the whole process takes a lot of back and forth between the two countries? It makes me wonder if marrying in the US, and getting a fiance visa would be the easier way to go in that case.)
Such a tough topic because everyone's situation is so different.
I've been doing a lot of digging on the INIS site to find answers to this question. They really do bury the details 🙂
What I have found indicates that you can change your status if you get married. I say that with the assumption that you have a Stamp 1, is that correct?
The part that seems to apply to you from the linked page is the following "If you currently have immigration permission to be in the State (Stamp 1, 2 or 3) and a valid in date GNIB card you may apply to change that immigration permission." Read the rest here http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/WP07000279
Also, I recommend reading this info - the criteria which qualifies you for an immigration status change: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/Change%20of%20Immigration%20Status%20from%20Stamp%201
They also point out that if you apply for a status change, it does not affect the expiration date of your WHA. If that is coming up, then you may not have enough time, and would have to leave Ireland anyway.
I'll also say that you don't need to marry in the US. You can marry in Ireland, on a 90 day visa, and go about getting your Stamp 4 that way.
I'd love if you'd come back here, and update us after you have your status changed. Your experience will certainly be very useful to others.
Hey! Thank you so much! That was very useful. I didn't realize it before--but you're right. My GNIB card does state that I'm on a stamp one. (I never knew that.) And I'm happy to say we're proceeding with the marriage process. (and hopefully the Stamp 4 process after.)
We've scheduled a marriage interview. So, after going through the process of scheduling an interview--I'd like to amend what I said in my first paragraph. I was under the impression that when you make a marriage appointment, you have to wait 3 months for the appointment. But, I see now you have to leave at least 3 months between the scheduled appointment date and the marriage date.
That was easy enough, though. We just provided basic information and are now awaiting our appointment.
In the mean time, I've gone back to the U.S. to get the documents I will need. A lot of what I'm going through is similar to other forum posts.
I need my passport. A certified birth certificate with an apostille stamp. My GNIB card.
All of that is relatively easy.
The hard documents I'm struggling with is the certificate of freedom to marry, and the proof of address.
Regarding freedom to marry--I've come to understand the U.S. doesn't have that. I've been told I can get a single status affidavit instead--but I'm still not sure what that is. Some websites say that it is a letter I type up stating my status is single. I have to have said letter notarized and then get an apostille stamp for it. (Which, apparently, the websites are charging $200+ for it.)
But, when I called the Michigan vital records office, (I was born in Michigan.) they told me I could get an authenticated statement of no marriage in Michigan. Which is great! But. I moved to Wisconsin a year ago. So, should I get one from both Michigan and Wisconsin?
Or would this notarized letter stating I've never married be better?
No one is giving me a direct answer--so it's frustrating.
On a similar note--I need to show proof of address in Ireland. However, I'm an au pair. I have no proof of address. My family pays for everything and provides room/board. Also, I'm not sure they have registered me on their taxes? Apparently, au pairs are a real grey area for that.
I'm wondering if I can start an irish bank account--if that's easy enough. Otherwise, I'm lost.
So! I'm excited to be moving forward! But very confused right now. I'll post an update when I figure things out.
edited by admin with link to duplicate post
I wish I could edit my posts as new things come up. ^^;
At this point, I'm not sure if I should switch to the other board about marriage or stick with this board. (Sorry about the title.)
But, just thought I would update here:
The internet is very misleading about single status affidavit. I spoke with the registrar in Ireland and they assured me I just need a sworn affidavit signed by a solicitor confirming you are single and free to marry. So, that was easy enough.
My biggest concern is now proof of address. As, I have none. But, I'm hoping to contact the American Embassy when I return and see if they have any suggestions.
Sorry @taytaypher but it's a limitation of the forum software. However, all info is useful, and it helps tell a story as you go.
Do you have any bank statements in Ireland, rental agreements, utility bills, insurance statements, etc? Anything like that should work. Did you register with an au pair agency? Maybe they can help provide something?
Hayley-- Thank you so much for that link/post you made. It's so heart-warming to see such a successful, easy-going story of what I'll be going through soon enough. Congratulations to you guys.
Liam-- Oh, I see! Haha, that's fair enough.
Sadly, my proof of address is proving incredibly difficult. I have no bank statements. I want to open a bank account in Ireland badly, but they also want proof of address. I've been in contact and they've told me they will not accept a statement from the family I live with (Even though when I messaged the immigration bureau, and they suggested trying that.) I have no rental agreements, utility bills, and I'm not part of an au pair agency.
All I have to go on right now is this:
The immigration bureau sent me an e-mail stating that they have my irish address on record attached to my GNIB. (So, I wonder if there's any form of statement they can offer since I did go through the hassle of registering my address as soon as I go to Ireland.)
The bank (Bank of Ireland) told me to request a P21 form from Revenue and they would accept that. It's called the 'end of the year statement', which seems related to taxes. So--I'm incredibly confused if I'm eligible to apply for such a thing.
My only other idea aside from calling the immigration bureau/garda, is to just contact the American Embassy in Dublin and consult them on how a person in my situation is supposed to get proof of address.
Otherwise, I'm scared I'll have to invest in renting an apartment, or I'll have to change dates and go home. I have proof of address in America. >.> I just have trouble proving I'm staying in Ireland with a nice Irish family that pays for all my needs. xD