Jaime Camil recalls the 'green card wedding' that made immigration think he 'purchased' his wife

Jaime Camil recalls the 'green card wedding' that made immigration think he 'purchased' his wife

Sometimes one wedding just isn't enough: for Jaime Camil and his wife, Mexican model Heidi Balvanera, having two ceremonies was an absolute necessity.

During his Wednesday appearance on The Jennifer Hudson Show, the Jane the Virgin alum was asked about his upcoming 10-year wedding anniversary — but had to explain to the talk show host why due to the immigration process he and Balvanera had "many weddings" so her timing was a little early.

"Well, we had the 'green card wedding,'" Camil began, and when the audience laughed, joked, "Let me explain. In Mexico we say 'amor de mi visa,' the love of my visa."

He continued, "No, I'm kidding. We got married because I was doing the green card process for my family."

Jaime Camil and Heidi Balvanera
Jaime Camil and Heidi Balvanera

Rachel Murray/Getty Images Jaime Camil and wife, Heidi Balvanera

The actor explained that during the green card process, his immigration lawyer asked if he wanted to include his family in his application and when he agreed, started asking about a marriage certificate.

"I said, 'Just tell them we got married at a Mayan ceremony with a shaman," Camil said, but his lawyer wouldn't go for it. "He said 'No, dummy. No. You need a paper.'"

As Hudson displayed a photo of the couple at the clerk's office in casual clothes, he continued, "We went, dressed like that believe it or not, with our daughter Elena, to the Ventura county clerk. And we got married."

Unfortunately, it wasn't exactly a fool-proof plan. According to Camil, it raised "every single red flag that you can imagine for immigration because we filed the green card and the authorities were like, 'Oh. He got married yesterday… So they thought I had purchased my wife — but I didn't."

Thankfully, their visit to the county clerk was their first "wedding," but not their last.

"We had a normal wedding," Camil said. "Like a party with a reception and we went to the church and we did it right."

The couple have been married since 2013 and share two children. When asked about the key to their marriage in a 2017 interview with PEOPLE, Camil said that his being head over heels for Balvanera was a huge factor.

"It happens that I'm in love with my wife," he told the outlet. "I like my wife very much and I think she's super-hot, the hottest girl in the world. So I think that's it… I love her and she is a wonderful woman, she is a brilliant mother. She is the foundation of the family. I'm very lucky to have found that."

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