Steps to take when you want to marry a foreigner

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Steps to take when you want to marry a foreigner

Love sees no boundary. It goes beyond religion, conquering age, race, distance, and belief. It is a language that can be expressed not just in words but also in sweet gestures, a universal language that everyone can understand.

Everyone is free to choose whoever they want to marry. We are free to marry a foreign national or a non-citizen partner as a US citizen or permanent resident. However, we need to follow our immigration laws to request the love of our life to live in the US permanently.

Many of us are unaware of many things about marrying a person from other countries. Many of us might ask about his or her rights under the immigration laws of the US. This blog will tackle the usual questions that we have about marrying someone from another country.

Marrying a Non-U.S. Citizen?

We are allowed to marry foreigner or anyone we like unless it violates the laws of a US state. In some states in the country, a wedding between close family members is prohibited. Some impose an age limit for the matrimony. Generally, the immigration status of a person has no bearing on whether your matrimony will be recognized as legal.

Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex marriage is allowed in the US since 2013 after the Supreme Court overturned a piece of a federal law called the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Since then, same-sex marriage is treated like any other matrimony for federal immigration law purposes. However, applicants need to that gay nuptial is recognized by the state or country where it took place. The court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges stated that no state may ban same-sex marriage. As part of the immigrant’s application for U.S. lawful permanent residence (a green card), you will need to present a government-issued certificate of your nuptial.

marry foreigner

Automatic U.S. Citizenship of Immigrant Partner

A partner who married a US citizen will not automatically receive a US citizenship but they need to apply for a green card. The application is a long process that involves submission and review of many forms and documents. Petitioners with a medical problem, criminal history, past immigration violations, or the U.S. immigration authorities’ belief that the nuptial is a fraud to get a green card will be regarded as inadmissible. The partner might apply for U.S. citizenship after successfully obtaining a green card if it was found out that they are still married and living together after three years.

Obtaining a Fiancé Visa

The US immigration grants non-US applicants for a fiancé (K-1) visa to be used for entry to the US for the purpose of nuptial. The applicant needs to file a petition on Form I-129F with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in order for your fiancé to get a K-1 visa. The petition will be forwarded to the U.S. consulate in the non-US partner’s home country for review after its approval.

The partner will be scheduled for an interview in the consulate. The visa will be issued if all goes well at the interview. The immigrant has six months in which to use it to enter the U.S., and then another 90 days in which to get married once the fiancé visa is issued. The applicant will need an official government certificate proving nuptial in order to submit with the adjustment of status application if he or she wants to apply to adjust status. Therefore, it is advised that they get married sooner.

Regulations about Finances and Income Levels

marry foreigner

The regulations for U.S. citizens who marry foreigner or non-U.S. citizens who will apply for a green card is outlined in the immigration law of 1996. They need to prove their ability to support the immigrant at a level above the U.S. Poverty Guidelines by filling up the Form I-864 Affidavit of Support. The US citizen partner needs to assure the government that he or she can support her partner for approximately ten years. The couple needs to find a household member or other person in the U.S. to promise support if the US citizen partner doesn’t have enough income and assets to support the non-US partner at the required level. The assets of the non-US partner can be accessed, but it won’t be needy in getting a job offer in the United States.

Overstayed or “Out of Status” Fiancé Visa

Overstaying or “Out of Status” visa risks the partner’s residency in the United States. The immigrant partner could be deported at any time. They won’t be able to adjust status, and worst they will have to leave the US to attend an interview at a US consulate. The partner could be barred from going back to the US for three to ten years as a punishment for spending time in the United States unlawfully.

Forms to be completed

The type of ways depends on various factors including whether you’re married yet, whether the immigrant lives in the U.S. or overseas, and if the immigrant lives in the U.S., whether he or she is eligible to use the procedure known as adjustment of status. The couple is advised to visit an immigration lawyer to guide them with the procedure.

The need for a lawyer

Things that we often ask about immigration can be answered by real experts on the field. A lawyer can help you figure out your spouse’s basic eligibility for a visa or green card, make sure some bit of history or problem of status won’t impact his or her right to apply for the green card, prepare the immigration forms and gather the correct documents, prove the legitimacy of your relationship and nuptial, and attend your immigration interview.

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