Tuesday, 15 May 2012

International Security Matters (…or how to marry your Brazilian fiancé in Germany and move to London town…)

Getting married. Sounds quite simple to me, two people planning their happily ever after and
deciding where they want to live next. We are in a flexible and totally globalized world, aren’ t
we?! Well, one might suggest we are. However, as I am currently planning and “executing” the
process of international marriage and moving, I have come to the conclusion that only the rich
are supposed to get married with a ‘not from the same country’. Why is that? Let’s start with
the obvious: Documents.

What would a “normal” couple need to get married? Their birth certificate, maybe a document proving their residence in the country (such as a registration stamp or your passport/ID stating your address/town) and an identification document such as the before-mentioned.

Well, actually an “international” couple also needs a ‘certificate’ proving their singleness,
which means two witnesses who must have known you for at least 15 years, stating that you are single as well as two other witnesses witnessing the two witnesses. Yes.

Obviously, one needs to get a sample of the official’s signature as well. Now after organizing the (quite expensive couple of Brazilian documents such as) birth certificate, certificate of singleness through 4 witnesses, a certificate of residence and of course your brand-new passport, you are free to travel to a far-away place to get your documents ‘legalized’ through your ‘closest’ consul of the country your fiancé is from. Which means stamping them. Which obviously is an enormous process and has to be paid as well. Obviously.

Now, in case that your fiancé works in his home country, get the proof of his workplace (and pay slips, in case he/she receives them) before leaving his home country. You are going to need them for the marriage as well as other matters. (What does marrying has to do with your husband’s workplace? Is it that if he doesn t gain enough or more than you, you will be unable to live a happily ever after? Quite ridiculous. But let’s continue our journey. Please also be aware that your husband might lose his job due to the long and complicated procedures, he might prefer to get a half year holiday from now on. Or start an internet job.

You are now ready –waaaaaaait, please don t forget the police statements on your latest criminal actions, you are surely going to need those as well. Alright, I believe now we are ready to go. Be sure to check your emails as the relevant registry office official will send regular updates on more documents needed, as soon as you ask whether the documents now organized are complete.

Just book the next-best flights (RETURN flights! Or they are not going to let your fiancé in on a tourist allowance) and together with your fiancé, fly to your country of choice, your pockets full of money, international credit cards and a 6 month travel insurance, and be thankful that in your country of choice (Germany), your Brazilian fiancé is able to marry you as a tourist without any visa stress in case he does not plan to stay longer than 6 months. (Or he will be forced to do a language course, in case you wish to stay there…).

Now, you are ready to hand in your documents – wait a minute. Obviously, you need to translate your legalized documents with your state-approved translator. After you’ve done that, talk to your friendly translator and, after you have paid the expensive translated documents, pay him also to go to the registry office with you. Yes, in order to hand in your translated and legalized documents at the registry office, you need to have a translator for your (non-German) speaking fiancé. Obviously. Now, if you have thought the fight is over, waiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. It has just started. The registry office of your choice (actually, no, the registry office of your place of residence) will be handing the documents to a governmental verification centre. To do what? Well, to check and legalize the documents once more, obviously for more money. And maybe to ask for another few documents to be send (from your fiancé s home country). Which means your fiancé, who obviously is a millionaire, will take the next return flight back and get the rest of the documents. If you are lucky enough, your verification centre of choice will only ask for a few of euros to be sent over and hand over the documents to your registry centre which is now ready to tell you your next marriage date. If you are lucky, it will be during the first three months of tourist allowance (or the next 3 months of extension of your tourist allowance). You are now almost ready to plan your wedding. When you are going to the registry centre to get married, obviously you will need your friend, the translator, or well, interpreter again, to translate the 20minutes of unknown speech (…) so that your not-German-speaking fiancé knows that he is actually marrying you. Obviously your friend, the interpreter, will want another few euros for this matter. Now, is it finally done? Waiiit, there is one more thing: Your fiancé should pay another few euros to hand in his own declaration of singleness to the registry office official. WTF??? Of course, should have known that. And now (or maybe later on) you should receive your marriage certificate. (Please remember that choosing a double name will complicate things incredibly... at least in Germany! You should make sure that you contact at least two Brazilian embassies or consulates located in Germany with additional print outs of law books talking about the name rights in Brazil. One tipp: Contact the very professional, polite and efficient Frankfurt consulate (not the Munich consulate, they never reply...) email: "notarial.frankfurt@itamaraty.gov.br" and ask them if they could confirm the information of the following link http://www.law-wolf.ch/docs/ccb-1511.pdf which is the translated Brazilian law book version, refer to

§ 1º do art. 1.565  do Novo Código Civil
O Novo Código Civil prevê, no § 1º do art. 1.565, que qualquer dos nubentes, querendo, poderá acrescer ao seu o sobrenome do outro. 

É clara a dicção do Código. Os nubentes, ou seja, aqueles que estão prestes a contrair matrimônio, poderão, querendo, acrescer ao seu o sobrenome do outro. 

and send the email reply to you as well as the concerning registry office. Now print it out for the registry centre officer and don t forget the contacted embassadors emails and telefone numbers. (And you will be asking yourself why you have to pay an additional 180 euro for a few marriage certificate documents as well as the "procedure costs", as you have done all the work, calling and emailing for them. But don t worry, most important is, that you can get married to your loved one now!)

Now, are you sure that you still want to move to London town with your NON-EEA husband? Yes? So… be prepared and warned. In case your fiancé still got a few days or weeks of his holiday allowance left, do the process in Germany, if not, send him back to his home country and let him save a couple of (or well, quite a few more of) reais to continue this process.

By law, your dearest now has the right to live with you in Europe, your country of choice is UK and your city of choice is LONDON. He has the right, yes, but he has to prove his right first. How? Through the EEA family permit. That sounds like a visa, right? But your husband has the right to stay without a visa, isn t it? Yes. Well, just prove it and you re done. Doesn t sound like a "right" to me then. Anyway.

Alright, let s start. After contacting various UK consulates and embassies in Germany with no response at all, you are now ready to contact UK border control which will hopefully give you two kinds of information: Check the UK immigration HP in order to decide which visa you need (as above-mentioned, the EEA family permit!) and contact Worldbridge. Worldbride? OOOh, yes. Worldbridge. Never heard of it? Me neither. Now… Worldbridge is a private organization handling visa (yes, visa) matters for the UK. Just visit one of the following centres in your country of choice, here Germany, with the following translated documents: (Be sure to be a millionaire or have savings of at least 30.000 pounds before starting the whole process as stated from the beginning). Your husband now has a German and hopefully international version of your marriage certificate, just in case let all of them be translated again so that nothing can go wrong. Now… what do we need to prove our right to be somewhere. Prove that you have a place to live in the country of your choice. Which is London. Erm, yes, sure, you and your fiancé are not there yet. Anyway, just prove it. (?). Alright, so just be lucky enough to find a place that offers you a room or apartment in London from abroad/Germany with a price you can pay from abroad. As soon as you have solved the booking and paid the registry fee, you are ready to print this out for your portfolio. Portfolio? Errrr, let s continue. Now… you still got the good old birth certificate, residence certificate of your fiancé s place of residence, police statements on your latest criminal actions, proof of workplaces of both of you (name, salary, how long you have been working with them), 3 months of account statements (obviously all translated to English now) as well as the EU member’s legalized ID copy, passport copies and the non-EEA legalized passport copy as well as original passport.

Work places? Well, are you planning to find your work in London? Better have an online part-time job at hand, that convinces them that you will survive the first few months when looking for work there. Oh sure… you also need to gain quite a lot of money to be able to live happily ever after together in London. Which is why your savings of 30.000 pounds are of utmost importance. Irony. As obviously you are only planning to come to England to get governmental support. Errrr, just prove that ‘wth’ you have never been planning to apply for UK gov. support services, through your savings and jobs and you are good to go. Are you? Actually, not yet. It is quite good that you are planning to move together with your Non-EEA fiancé and arrive there together – or at least send a statement that you will be waiting at the airport. Just to stand through the horrible immigration process when embarking into the new country. Or also when handing in your documents? Yes. And that s not all yet… you should also prove that your relationship has existed before the marriage. As your marriage date is quite close to your move to your country of choice, London. Sure… So, provide your (translated – yes, I mentioned you should marry a millionaire) last apartment contracts from Brazil that prove that you both lived together for a few months (oh yes, forgot, you needed to take those to your country of marriage as well, sorry to mention it just now :/ ) as well as a lot of pictures of both of you – and passport pictures of both of you as well. Errrr… and maybe your marriage video as well. WTH? Privacy? No, err, I meant… Yes, obviously. Well actually, with the marriage video maybe a good friend of yours can help you out as she got a camera in which she can document your marriage, so you shouldn't worry too much about that one ;). Are we ready now to hand in the documents? No, actually, you need to call the worldbridge call centre first to book your consultation with them, the date in which you will be handing in your documents. Obviously the call centre charges you 13 pounds per minute to call them – or
use www.saynoto0870.com to call for free ;). Obviously. But, you know, you are lucky, you are not going to pay anything for the EEA family permit. (Just the documents, translations and calls. Just that. Obviously). Now you are ready to go! (Are you sure that your husband still got a few days left of his tourist allowance in your country? Well, if yes, then you are quite lucky.

And now, hopefully after all this stress, your permit will be accepted and you are ready to move. Nooow, that s not the end, it’s EEA1 and EEA2 residence cards, waiting for you!!! (At least you have lost a few kilos through all this stress – always see things positive ;) . Oh dear… why did I actually want to live in London in the first place??? Alright then, let’s solve EEA1&2, when it’s time and let our stressed mind and relationship relax a bit in between – just remember, your family permit is also just valid for 6 months… so… stay tuned. ;)

*(this is an article I have written a few months ago, but I believe it perfectly fits into the blog! We are now happily married (including a (for German understanding) complicated Brazilian double name without the dreaded German "hyphen" in between...)

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