Can I Marry in the US with a tourist visa?
In most cases, it is possible for a foreigner to marry in the US while on a tourist visa, and then remain in the US to obtain a green card. There are various types of visas that are more problematic. Each case is different.
Dating During Covid 19 and More
In today’s dating world, online dating and cell phone apps have become a main source of how couples meet up. You match with someone in your area, whether you are a student on campus or live in the same neighborhood and have just never met. Online technologies open up ways of dating without the chance of meeting in person while things are shut down under the current Coronavirus Pandemic.
Video chats are popular. You get to test basic attraction online, then eventually date. Casual dating sometimes turns into a stable relationship. Eventually, you find yourself at a point of commitment. In some cases, the foreigner is already out of status and can be deported.
Marrying an American on a Tourist Visa or Student Visa
But, what can you do when you find out the person you have been dating these last few months explains they are only in the U.S. on a visiting visa for 6 months, or a student visa for 1 year. You decide you want to marry, but what? Can you even marry a foreigner in the US?
How to Marry a Foreigner
Yes, a foreigner can marry in the U.S. Most states allow a foreign fiancee to marry even if they entered the U.S. illegally. Everyone should normally be able to marry in the state in which he or she resides, regardless of immigration status. There are always neighboring states, or even Las Vegas, if you live in a state that does not allow you to marry a foreigner who is not legal in the U.S.
Marriage Green Card
Once married, you want to help the foreign bride or husband obtain a green card based on the marriage. Immigration rules often allow the foreigner to adjust status to a green card and be put into lawful status due to the marriage, but not always. Many types of visas do not permit a stateside adjustment of status.
The Immigration Plan
The first step is to understand the immigration history of your fiancee or new spouse. US citizens are often in the dark about immigration, but the foreigners generally know and they should tell you. Nothing is impossible. It’s that some cases are more complicated than others. Immigration officers are not paid to be friendly; they are paid to find problems and limit immigration.
Stuck in the U.S. Due to the Coronavirus
Having to lose the one you love or be apart for months on end is something we want to help prevent. If you are dating, or engaged, or married, or if you think the relationship could lead the direction of marriage, a call to us can help clarify your options and keep your family together. Sometimes, foreigners believe that remaining in the U.S. is not possible. There are many people online to rush to give advice, but they disappear when you are in trouble and get stuck because the advice in the beginning was incorrect.
What We Need to Help
Please get a copy of the passport with all stamps inside of it, and ask about the immigration history, particularly the most recent entry and what happened at the border check coming in. Give us a call and we can discuss options.
Finding your forever person is what we all look for. You should not need to worry much or be confused if you have found yours and now learn they do not have a green card or U.S. citizenship. We likely can work it out. Your relationship matters. We want you to begin the rest of your lives together as a married couple without the added stress of the immigration problem. COVID or no COVID, life moves on and we are here for you.
frank Consiglio says
Morning, I am marrying my fiance who has a work visa and is currently in the United States. We live In Las Vegas and she is a teacher and is working at a local school. Its a 2 year Visa and she has been here about 16-18 months. What do we need to do and what is the cost to get her Green Card and official US citizen ship. Thanks.
Allan Lolly, Esq. says
Frank, There are a variety of work visas, some of which have a restriction that does not allow her to adjust her status from a work visa to permanent resident based on your marriage. It helps that she remains in lawful status, but I need to know the type of visa. Consular processing may be needed. We have reasonable legal fees and do not gouge. The fee depends on the work needed. Can you please call me at 858.483.0311 to discuss and I can quote a fee to consider? There is no fee for the consultation and I should be able to confirm a strategy. Kind regards, Allan