Q: How do you get married to a spouse overseas?
So I’m trying to get married to my girlfriend. She’s in the uk and im in the us. I know how the immigrant marriage visa process works to get her here. But how do I get married to her in the first place if you’re not allowed to marry on a tourist visa?(as this can ban her from the us permanently!!!) Do I just go to my local courthouse by myself? Do I fly out to her and marry? I can’t find any answers so please feel free to enlighten me.
A: First and foremost, congratulations! Next, it is a common misconception that one cannot marry in the United States while here on visitor status. One can do so while in visitor status as long as the person does not have the intent at the time of marrying in the U.S. to thereafter pursue adjustment of status. The person could marry here while in visitor status, leave and pursue a petition for relative / consular processing immigrant visa case. If, however, you and your fiancee wish to marry in the United States and pursue adjustment of status, then a K-1 fiancee visa case would be the way to go. You can, as you suggested, also travel abroad to marry her in her home country and thereafter file a petition for relative/consular processing immigrant visa case. If there are foreign national step-children involved, and they are under 21 but over 18 years of age, a K-1 case may be the better path if you plan to have those children come with their mother. My recommendation would be that you schedule a consultation with a competent immigration attorney would can go over everything with you. Time frames for the different types of cases can vary greatly, and depending on what your goals/priorities are, you may like to pursue one type of case more than another. Note that many attorneys, like me, are offering online Zoom, Skype, etc. consultations during this COVID-19 pandemic. This could also prove useful if you and your fiancee are apart right now, but both want to "attend" the consultation.
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A: She can marry you on a visitor visa provided she intends to return to the UK to process at her home consulate for her spousal visa. Another option is the fiancé visa. If you have met in the last two years, she can apply for her fiancé visa then get married within 90 days of entering the US, then adjusting status to get her green card. Both routes are taking a little over a year with the fiancé route taking a little less. Consider working with an attorney her in Florida. Some of us charge a very affordable flat fee for representation from start to finish.
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