Marriage in VN and documents

Good Luck...got married in Bac Leiu....got screwed evey step of the way...paid out several thousand USD to the  Gov marriage crooks. Still remember what they look like...hope I never see them again

One good reason to marry in VN = We are already here.

Cost of shipping wife and self back to Blighty and then arranging a wedding is far more than would cost here ... and so ... here we are.

If you live in your home country and are marrying a local girl to go live with you in YOUR country, I can see your point.

SongwriterUK :

One good reason to marry in VN = We are already here.

Cost of shipping wife and self back to Blighty and then arranging a wedding is far more than would cost here ... and so ... here we are.

If you live in your home country and are marrying a local girl to go live with you in YOUR country, I can see your point.

I think it  depends on what is important to you.  Even if we remained in VN, I would have still gotten legally married in the USA to protect my wife's future rights to my retirement assets, pensions, social security, property etc.  I did not want her to have issues with a VN marriage and trying to obtain access to my assets in the USA.  It is much easier just to get a U.S. marriage license today and have the legal records in the USA and in English.

vndreamer :
SongwriterUK :

One good reason to marry in VN = We are already here.

Cost of shipping wife and self back to Blighty and then arranging a wedding is far more than would cost here ... and so ... here we are.

If you live in your home country and are marrying a local girl to go live with you in YOUR country, I can see your point.

I think it  depends on what is important to you.  Even if we remained in VN, I would have still gotten legally married in the USA to protect my wife's future rights to my retirement assets, pensions, social security, property etc.  I did not want her to have issues with a VN marriage and trying to obtain access to my assets in the USA.  It is much easier just to get a U.S. marriage license today and have the legal records in the USA and in English.

As far as I know, any Western country will accept the legality of a marriage from any lawful country, Vietnam included. First time I hear a foreign marriage could potentially be deemed as invalid, unless you married in an unrecognized country or the marriage was not valid in that country. Did you hear or see different or you're just being over cautious?

WillyBaldy :

Did you hear or see different or you're just being over cautious?

Curious on this as well.  I've never heard anything to the contrary.

My wife used our Vietnamese marriage certificated as part of her citizenship process so I guess it is self evidently acceptable to the US government.  Only minor drawback is that you have to provide a translation as well.  We already had an official looking Vietnamese translation complete with red stamps, but I understand that the US government will accept a simple statement from the translator.  I think you can find the exact words on the USCIS website.

If you used a marriage date from a remarriage after your spouse is already in the US, you might actually slow the process of citizenship application as she is not eligible until three years after the marriage.

WillyBaldy :

As far as I know, any Western country will accept the legality of a marriage from any lawful country, Vietnam included. First time I hear a foreign marriage could potentially be deemed as invalid, unless you married in an unrecognized country or the marriage was not valid in that country. Did you hear or see different or you're just being over cautious?

I sincerely apologize if you understood differently.  No, that was not my point.  Yes, your are correct in that the USA will recognize a legal marriage outside the USA.   

I am really busy at work and cannot explain my reasoning further, but will when I have the proper time.

Ok, I will try to explain my reasoning for marrying in the USA vs. VN.  The main reason was to make it easier for my wife and our kids in the future when I die.  Here are the reasons:

1. I was not living in VN and we decided to live in the USA.  Thus, I did not want to spend months and coffee money and jump through hoops to get married in VN.  Then wait even longer for a visa.
2. Getting Married in the USA was so much easier and faster.  Getting the K-1 was faster as well (6 months from date of application to getting the visa stamped in her passport).
3. We arrived in the USA and I went to the courthouse and got the marriage license.  It took all of about 10 minutes $25. Made an appointment with Justice of the Peace, any day we wanted and voila, 10 minutes later, we were legally married in the USA.  Yes, it was that easy.   We already had our engagement and marriage parties in VN with the family, friends etc. we just needed the legal marriage.
4. Getting a green card for a spouse living in the USA, in my opinion, is easier than if you reside outside the USA.  The law states that if a green card holder does not reside in the USA, USCIS has the legal right to withdraw the green card.  Not sure how often this occurs, but it is a risk that if your spouse is not living in the USA, the green card could be a challenge.
5. My wife has a social security card issued here in the USA and easy to obtain.  Just go to the SS office and voila, she gets it.
6. Our children are born U.S. citizens and nothing has to be done.  No embassy, no red tape, no dna test, etc.  They have all the rights of a US citizen at birth and can travel around the world without many issues.  Even the hospital takes care of the social security card and it arrives in the mail a few weeks after birth.
7. Our children will be fluent in English and VN.
8. Education, no need to explain
9. Retirement, this is one of the main reasons why I wanted to get married in the USA.  I want my wife and kids to have a smooth transition after my death.  I just imagined that if we lived in VN and I died in VN, without living in the USA etc., I could see my wife having a difficult time trying to get what she is entitled to in the USA, her living in VN and never living in the USA.  My estate contains various assets from real estate, to stocks, mutual funds, retirement accounts, pensions, social security etc. as well as other family members that could challenge the distribution of my estate.

So think about it, a VN woman who has never lived in the USA, has no understanding of how to get what she is entitled to and has no U.S. records, except maybe a social security number.  So where does she begin?  I doubt the embassy is going to help, right?  Let's take the easy one, social security.  She is entitled to my SS, but she is going to have to talk to the people in Manila?   I have read the horror stories and I can imagine they are going to want the VN marriage license, translated etc.  But if she has a U.S. marriage license, it is readily available online, in English and no questions and no doubt we are legally married.  I am also taking a guess here, but if she has a U.S. marriage license and social security number, she might even be able to just apply online.

let's talk about Pensions.  Now she is in VN and the company running the pension is a U.S. company.  She needs to know who to contact, which I give her of course.  But we were not married at the time my pension was awarded so the company does not know she exists.  So she calls up and say she is my wife.  Again, VN marriage license would probably have to be translated and apostilled etc.   But a U.S. marriage license, piece of cake and nobody is going to question its validity.  However, one way that may avoid the red tape is designating her as the spouse and beneficiary before I die.  IF she is still living in VN, how is she going to get paid?  Of course setting up a U.S. bank account for her is the easy option and is done while living in the USA.

Stocks/Mutual Funds - pretty much the same as the pension comments above.  However, we added her as a joint tenant and being in the USA, it was a piece of cake and took all of about 10 minutes.  IF we never lived in the USA, not sure how long and difficult this process could have taken because the brokerage firm would not add her without a social security number.  Granted, we could have setup a foreign account for her, but that would be her own separate account.

Retirement Assets IRA/401k etc. - similar to the comments above.  Just imagine a VN woman calling from VN to the USA and requesting that she is entitled to these assets.  Most likely the company is going to ask for a marriage license etc.  However, one can make it easier for your spouse by designating her as a beneficiary, but I am sure the company is going to ask for proof if she is living in VN and no U.S. bank account etc. 

Real estate - this is probably the difficult one.  How is she going to handle the sale or continuation of ownership of real estate assets in the USA from VN?  Especially when all of the real estate was purchased and owned without her and prior to the marriage?  At least while living here in the USA, she knows the properties, how they are managed, she knows the people that manages them and how to contact them.  In addition, there are other interested parties that for sure are going to have their say in the distribution.  I just could not imagine her being in VN and with no experience and knowledge about these assets. 

So for us, it was the right thing to do to get married in the USA for many reasons, but the main reason was to make sure that she would not have problems when i am no longer here.  I wanted to make it easy as possible for her.  In addition, she can keep the assets here in the USA and move back to VN without issue.  One thing I have stressed to her, do not move any assets to VN and she agreed of course, she is a smart woman.

I hope these comments help explain my reasoning.  I am not being overly cautious, just trying to make things easier for her and the kids.

Yes makes sense but you were lucky because there's no way my ex wife would have been allowed to set foot in Canada, so marriage in Vietnam (or elsewhere she was allowed to go) was the only option.

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