How To Marry A Foreign Girl: Navigating International Matrimony
How to marry a girl in a foreign country? Marrying a foreign national involves more than just love and commitment. It requires understanding the legal implications in the United States and potentially in the foreign partner’s country. The process to marry a foreign girl doesn’t automatically grant U.S. citizenship or change immigration status. Recognition of the marriage in the non-citizen’s home country also varies. Before planning an international wedding, it’s crucial to research and understand the specific legal requirements in both countries.
Steps to Marry a Foreign Girl in the U.S.
- Obtaining a Marriage License: To marry a foreign girl in the U.S., you need to fulfill the requirements for a marriage license in your local county. This often includes presenting a valid passport and, in some cases, a birth certificate to prove identity and legal age.
- Legal Consultation: Engaging with an immigration lawyer can be beneficial, especially if you’re considering changing citizenship status (naturalization).
Understanding Visas for Marriage
- Fiancé(e) Visas: Before marriage, a fiancé(e) visa allows your partner to enter the U.S. temporarily. This visa requires proof of a genuine relationship and plans to marry and settle in the U.S.
- Marriage-Based Visas: After marriage, you can apply for a marriage-based visa, which also requires proving the legality and validity of your marriage in the U.S.
Bringing a Non-Citizen Spouse to the U.S.
Different forms are required depending on your status (U.S. citizen or green card holder) and location (inside or outside the U.S.). These include Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) and, in some cases, Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status).
Marriage Between Non-Citizens in the U.S.
Non-citizens can legally marry in the U.S. However, this does not automatically alter immigration status and may not be recognized in your home country. Proper identification, such as a valid passport, is required to apply for a marriage license.
Tax Implications and Support Services
Marriage, including international unions, can affect your tax situation. Organizations like Rocket Lawyer offer tax support services, easing the process of adapting to these changes.
Special Considerations for U.S. Citizens and Green Card Holders
- Adjustment of Status: If both partners are in the U.S., the foreign spouse can adjust their status to a green card holder after marriage.
- Consular Processing vs. K-1 Visa: If your future spouse is outside the U.S., you can opt for consular processing (getting married outside the U.S. and applying for a green card) or a K-1 visa (fiancé visa for marrying within the U.S.).
- 90-Day Rule: Be aware of the USCIS 90-day rule, which could impact the green card application process if you marry or apply for a green card soon after entering the U.S. on a temporary visa.
- Marriage Bona Fides: USCIS may require proof that the marriage is genuine and not solely for immigration purposes.
Marrying a Green Card Holder
Marrying a green card holder allows you to apply for a green card through family-based immigration, though availability may be subject to annual limits.
USCIS Guidelines and Restrictions
USCIS recognizes civil marriages for immigration purposes, with specific exceptions (like polygamous relationships or marriages entered into solely for immigration benefits). Same-sex marriages are recognized if they are legal in the country where they occurred.
Key Questions in International Matrimony
When U.S. citizens or residents marry someone from another country, two common and important questions often arise:
How Long Before a Foreign Spouse Can Come to the USA?
- After marry a foreign girl, the time it takes for them to come to the USA depends on several factors, including the type of visa applied for and the current processing times of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- For a spouse living abroad, the U.S. citizen can file Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative). Once approved, the spouse can apply for an immigrant visa, leading to a green card. This process, known as consular processing, generally takes several months to over a year, depending on various factors like the country of origin, the current workload of USCIS, and the specific embassy or consulate’s processing times.
- If opting for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa, the foreign partner can enter the U.S. to marry within 90 days. After marriage, they can adjust their status to a permanent resident. The entire process from K-1 visa application to receiving a green card can take over a year.
- It’s essential to stay updated with the current USCIS processing times, as these can fluctuate.
Does Marrying a Foreign Girl Lead to American Citizenship?
- Marrying a U.S. citizen or permanent resident does not automatically grant American citizenship to a foreign spouse. The process involves several steps and adherence to strict legal procedures.
- After marriage, the foreign spouse must first obtain a green card, which grants them lawful permanent residency in the U.S.
- To become a U.S. citizen, the foreign spouse must hold a green card for at least three years if married to a U.S. citizen or five years if a green card holder sponsored them. This is followed by applying for naturalization through Form N-400, meeting residency requirements, passing a citizenship test, and attending an interview.
- The naturalization process requires proving the marriage’s legitimacy and ongoing status, fluency in English, and knowledge of U.S. history and government.
Key Questions Answered by Leonora Marks:
- Timeline for a Foreign Spouse’s Arrival: The duration for a foreign spouse to come to the USA varies, influenced by visa types and USCIS processing times.
- Path to American Citizenship: Marks clarifies that marriage to a U.S. citizen or resident doesn’t automatically grant citizenship. The foreign spouse must first obtain a green card, followed by a residency period before applying for naturalization.
Marrying a foreign national requires careful consideration of legal, immigration, and cultural factors. It’s essential to thoroughly research and understand the requirements and processes involved in both the U.S. and the partner’s home country. Consulting with legal and immigration experts can provide valuable guidance throughout this journey.