If you are an American citizen marrying a foreigner, who is your bae and, who is in the US on a tourist visa – as cliché as it sounds or something out of a cheesy Hallmark movie, it is very true and happens more often than one might think.
The only problem occurs when a US citizen does not have the complete required details and things go awry or awkward or downright illegal.
It is a 100% legal and there is nothing wrong with marrying a foreigner on a tourist visa, on a tourist visa if you are a US citizen in America, there are, however, quite a few complications or things that one might want to keep in mind.
The marriage has to be spontaneous
If the authorities get even a whiff that the marriage was pre-planned and the now spouse applied for a tourist visa while harboring the intention of marrying on US soil, so in order to get a green card, things can get very complicated and very fast.
In such cases when the US citizen is marrying a foreigner, and the couple is engaged or betrothed, it is advised to apply for a fiancé visa for the future smooth sailing.
The lie said in front of the designated officer during the visa interview; one commits a crime, known as the visa fraud; and, for obvious reasons, it does not paint a pretty picture for future interviews or process.
Follow the 30/60 days rule
When marrying a foreigner, the couples who get married within the first 30 or 60 days of setting foot in America are higher on the list of immigration officials.
The right thing here is to wait for the first two months out. Try the waters, have fun, travel a bit; and then after the first 2 to 3 months, get hitched and make it official.
Committing visa fraud
If the immigration officials sniff one out to be committing visa fraud, that person can be sent to jail, deported, or when push comes to shove they can be barred or banned from ever entering the country again.
What to do? Seek professional legal assistance
The first thing that an intelligent person does when it comes to problems because of marrying a foreigner is contact an experienced emigration attorney. Instead of running around like a headless chicken, increase your chances of settling down with the help of an individual who knows what they’re doing.
Whatever you do, do not attempt visa fraud
The second thing that one should do, if they find themselves to be so much in love with a certain someone that they married them and that person is at the brink of deportation because their tourist visa is about to expire, is let that person go back to their hometown and then apply for the spouse visa again.
It may take a few weeks or months, but it will definitely increase your chances of finding your permanent abode. However, when marrying a foreigner in the US, there are a few pieces of evidence that one should have up their sleeve before leaving the US and entering their homeland
- A return ticket home
- Lease agreements
- Letters from employers
You got the visa; now what to do?
When marrying a foreigner, if you are lucky enough and got the visa, congratulations!
What next? Are you free to visit wherever you go? Like back home?
Sorry, but the answer to that would be a resounding, no. Though they have received their stay visa, still if they want to make their residence permanent and non-dependent on their citizen spouse, they would have to stay in the US continuously for five years, before they can apply again for permanent residency.
In a nutshell
So, in the crux of things if you are marrying a foreigner on a tourist visa, the following things must be done to avoid putting the immigration officials on your tail:
- Pre-planned weddings
- Follow the 30/60 days rule
- Go through the proper channels