How to get married in the United States with tourist visa in USA;
If you are traveling through the USA and find love there, you should know that it is possible to get married with a tourist visa. However, there are certain conditions when you want to obtain residency to live there after marriage.
Before celebrating your marital union, it is recommended that you read this article so that you can get married in the USA without problems.
Requirements to get married in the United States as a foreigner
It all depends on the state, municipality, or county where you are going to celebrate the marriage because the laws vary in each one of them. The only certain thing is that in all of them you need to acquire a marriage license to be able to carry out said celebration.
The procedure is carried out in a Civil Registry with the following documentation:
- identity document; for foreigners, the passport, visa, or Green Card is valid.
- Social Security number
- Birth certificate
- certified translation into English if the documents are is in another language.
The wedding must also be in person and at the end of it, it will be necessary to issue a marriage certificate for the said union to be considered legal.
There are also other aspects to take into account when planning the ceremony, especially if after it you seek to obtain US residency.
- One of them is to get married 90 days after arriving in the country, otherwise, it will be believed that the marriage was made out of convenience. This can cause problems in the future with migration.
- The second is to gather enough evidence to obtain a certificate of good faith, which shows that the celebration was not done for fraudulent reasons. The management is in the immigration office with a series of documents that support a solid marriage.
If the above aspects are taken into account, a marriage in the USA will not mean any inconvenience.
How to legalize a foreign marriage in the United States?
Now, for a foreign marriage to be recognized within the USA, it is necessary to go through the authentication process. The same is done either by means of the Hague apostille or by means of the legality certification if the ceremony was carried out in a country that does not belong to the agreement.
The legalization process is carried out by the USCIS Citizenship and Immigration Service.
To be able to carry it out you need:
- The IDs of the married
- the marriage certificate
- Proof that neither of the two maintains another type of marital commitment
- Others, which may vary depending on the case
It should be noted that all documentation must have a certified translation, otherwise, the process will not be possible. If you follow all the recommendations in this post, you don’t have to worry, just focus on enjoying and celebrating that love that breaks boundaries. It should be noted that all documentation must have a certified translation, otherwise, the process will not be possible. If you follow all the recommendations in this post, you don’t have to worry, just focus on enjoying and celebrating that love that breaks boundaries.
how to get married in u.s. as a foreigner
If you are in the United States as a tourist and you are considering getting married and wondering if you can do it, the answer is yes, it is possible to get married on a tourist visa in the United States.
It is quite another thing to be able to stay legally in the country and get a residence card by marriage. If this is what is intended, it is highly recommended to read this article carefully and avoid mistakes that can cost dearly.
This article explains what the problems can be for foreigners who enter the United States on a tourist visa and marry an American citizen. Likewise, reference is made to legal options to avoid problems.
Who are tourists from the migratory point of view?
This question may seem silly, but it is not. Tourists are those who entered with that visa, but also Spaniards and Chileans who travel to the United States as tourists and without a visa because they are part of the group of countries to which the Visa Waiver Program applies.
In these Spanish and Chilean cases, in most cases, they only have an electronic authorization known as ESTA that allows them to be in the country for a maximum of 90 days, which can never be extended.
Both visa and ESTA-only tourists can get married in the United States.
Another thing is that marriage, solely by itself, produces migratory effects.
Civil requirements to marry and that the marriage has migratory effects
You must meet the requirements of the state or, if applicable, the county or municipality in which the marriage is celebrated.
It should be noted that in all the states of the United States as well as in the territories that make up the Commonwealth – such as Puerto Rico – same-sex marriage is legal. On the other hand, neither is bigamy allowed, that is, being married to more than one person at the same time.
Immigration issues and precautions to be taken into account
In theory, when a foreign national who is in the United States as a tourist and a US citizen marries, the foreign spouse should leave the country before their authorization to stay legally expires.
Then, if they so wish, the citizen would request their spouse through a consular procedure while waiting outside the United States for the time of the interview at the consulate and obtaining the immigrant visa. (See Types of VISA In the US AND WHAT THEY ARE FOR)
But the truth is that in practice in many cases this does not happen and the foreign spouse decides to stay in the United States while the papers are processed. To avoid very serious immigration problems, it is advisable to take into account the following information:
First: avoid problems related to the intention, or what in English is known as “intent”.
When a person who enters the United States as a tourist must necessarily have that intention: to travel through the country and before the visa or the period of legal stay expires, they must return to their country. And he should never enter the country with the intention of getting married because if that is the intention the CBP officer will deny entry into the country.
Until recently, this was guaranteed by following the 30/60 rule, which is a rule from the Department of State that the USCIS used to apply in cases of marriages between foreigners and American citizens and that should be understood as follows:
Something very different and that can be admitted is that two people decide in an instant to marry. In other words, when the foreigner arrived in the USA, he did not have that idea, but love is sometimes impulsive and you can change your mind. But how do avoid problems and be able to prove that the intention to marry did not exist before entering the country?
When an adjustment of status by marriage was requested within 30 days of the foreigner’s arrival, it was presumed that they were acting in bad faith. In other words, it was always his intention to marry and therefore the adjustment of the status petition should not be granted.
When applying between the 31st and 60th there was a strong suspicion that there may have been an intention to marry from the beginning. In such cases, a very thorough examination of the marriage and its intentions was to be expected.
However, the number of days has recently changed under the Trump Administration. According to a statement from the State Department, with rare exceptions, marriages with the purpose of requesting an adjustment of status celebrated within 90 days of entering the United States will be considered a fraud of law.
And the consequence of this is that the adjustment of status will not be approved, the visa will not be renewed, which can be canceled, no change of visa will be approved and, if the foreigner remains in the United States, he becomes eligible for deportation.
This is an important and very serious change. It is important to understand that it does not matter that family and friends did not have problems with this matter in the past. The rules have changed and what matters is what is applied at the moment.
Second: be clear about the process of residence by marriage and all the requirements. The process is basically two parts: On the one hand, the petition per se, and on the other, the adjustment of status. But before starting, make sure that basic requirements are met, such as the minimum income to sponsor. (See How to obtain Permanent Residence in the USA)
Third: it is very important to bear in mind that during this process, the stay of the foreign spouse will probably be for several months not covered from the migratory point of view by a visa or by the ESTA. That is why you should not leave the United States.
It is advisable to stay within the country either until you receive the resident card or a permit known as advance parole.
If you leave before or without that authorization, you risk being denied entry at the US border when you want to return. It is even advisable to consult with a lawyer if it is convenient to leave even with the advance parole.
Fourth: be very clear that in this article we always talk about marriage with an American citizen and never about the case of a couple made up of a foreign tourist and a permanent resident. (see How to obtain Permanent Residence in the USA)
And it is that these cases are very different since if the tourist is left without the legal protection of the visa or the ESTA because he remains in the country longer than allowed, he will not be able to adjust his status and, therefore, he will not be able to obtain residency within the United States. This is a big difference from the migratory point of view.
Fifth: keep in mind that we always talk about tourists who entered with a visa or ESTA. Nothing that this article says applies to migrants who arrived in the United States without going through immigration control, that is, those who entered illegally through the border. These people can never adjust their status by marriage.
Sixth: do not forget that the problems may begin with immigration control. It is perfectly possible that the Immigration officer at the United States border (port, airport, or land border) will prohibit the entry of a foreigner with a tourist visa when he suspects that he intends to come to the country to get married.
The Immigration officer always has a short conversation with the person processing (and it is recommended not to lie) and can conclude that he is coming to get married. In addition, they can open the luggage and discover suspicious things such as the wedding dress, gifts, many suitcases for a theoretical trip of only a couple of weeks, etc.
In these cases, Immigration has the right to prohibit the entry of foreigners, no matter how many visas they have. And it is very important to understand that in order to obtain the approval of a non-immigrant visa, such as a tourist visa, or its renewal or the guarantee of being admitted when arriving at immigration control in the United States, it is necessary to be, at all times, visa eligible and admissible to enter the USA.
There are 20 causes that make a person ineligible and there are 22 that make them inadmissible.
What happens if immigration does not approve the adjustment of status by marriage?
It is very rare that the Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) denies the approval of the I-130, that is, the initial part of the process where really the only thing that is confirmed is that the one requesting is a citizen and is legally married to the requested person. Nothing more.
The problem arises in the adjustment of status. The reasons can be very varied. For example, it is considered that she entered the United States with the intention of getting married. This can be considered a fraud of law since it implies a lie when the tourist visa was applied for or when the ESTA was completed.
Another problem is when the marriage is considered false and its sole purpose is for the foreign spouse to obtain the papers. This can lead to legal penalties, in addition to the green card not being approved.
It should be noted that denial of an adjustment of status by USCIS is currently a priority for deportation.
Finally, the residence card can be denied for any of these more than 40 reasons that apply to all cases of residence applications. (See How to Travel Abroad without having money)
Delays in processing paperwork
Although green card petitions for marriage to a citizen are among the fastest, the truth is that they can take several months. It is possible to learn how to verify it.
Immigration options to request the boyfriend or spouse
First, if the couple is not married, the American can apply for a fiancé or fiancée visa when he or she is not yet in the United States, known as a K-1. With this visa, the fiancés and their children can enter the country.
In cases in which a citizen is married to a foreigner and he is outside the United States, he can request it through an I-130 and then a consular procedure or, in very specific cases, it may be worth applying for a K-3 visa, but it is advisable to consult with an immigration attorney.
Finally, if the citizen lives outside the United States and is married to a foreigner and decides to move to the USA, keep in mind that problems may arise when proving income. Get advice before starting the procedures.
Relevant information to avoid problems
To avoid problems it is essential to be informed. This tourist visa test contains essential information on how to obtain it and how to keep it. This other, about the authorization known as ESTA for citizens of countries that can travel without a visa.
Also, this on the residence card allows having clear fundamental points to obtain it and to keep it.
Finally, keep in mind that the information in this article does not apply to foreigners who enter the United States illegally, since they would not be able to adjust their status by marrying a citizen.
And in the case of marriage with a permanent resident, it is always an essential requirement that you be legally in the country in order to adjust your status. It will not be possible if you entered illegally or if you entered with a visa and stayed longer than allowed.
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