A tourist visa, or visitor visa allows nonimmigrant visa holders to visit the U.S. temporarily for reasons such as tourism, visiting relatives or family, or undergoing medical treatment. It does not allow you to stay indefinitely in the U.S.
Can you get married in the U.S. on a tourist visa? The simple answer would be yes. You can get married in the U.S. while you are on a tourist visa. There are no laws that prohibit getting married on a tourist visa. However, there can be different circumstances that would require you to have a different visa status. We have covered some of these situations below:
1. Getting married to a U.S. citizen while you are abroad
You have two options if you are abroad and your spouse is in the U.S. First, they can travel to you to get married, and then you can apply for your Green Card through the U.S. Embassy or consulate. The second option is to get a fiancé visa (K1), and travel to the U.S. to get married to your fiancé.
2. Getting married when both you and your fiancé live abroad
If both of you are non-U.S. citizens and want to get married in the U.S., you can travel on a tourist visa, get married, and then return to your home country within the permitted time. If one of you is a U.S. citizen, then getting a K1 visa is the best option for getting married in the U.S. Then, you can stay with your spouse and apply for status change after getting married.
3. Getting married when both you and your fiancé are in the U.S.
If both you and your fiancé are in the U.S., chances are that you are on a temporary work visa or tourist visa. Getting married in the U.S. on a temporary visa would mean a status change to a green card. This process is known as ‘adjustment of status.’ You can do this after getting your marriage registered in the U.S. Just remember to follow the ‘90-day rule’ by USCIS. Violating the law can be considered fraud.
Things to Remember When Getting Married in the U.S. On A Tourist Visa
Tourists are allowed to get married in the U.S. on a B-2 visa. However, there are few things to remember to avoid any violation of laws.
1. Your wedding should be genuine:
It is important for you to convince USCIS that your intention of getting married is genuine. If the officials determine that you got married just to get immigrant status, then strict actions can be taken against you. They can also deport you to your home country.
2. Follow the 30/60-day rule:
USCIS is very strict when it comes to visa issuance. To prevent any visa fraud, the officials use the 30/60-day rule:
- Applying for a change or adjustment in your status within 30 days of your arrival can portray your intentions of staying in the U.S. permanently.
- If you apply for a change in the status within 30 to 60 days of your arrival, then the officials would not assume any false play. However, you might have to convince officers of your intentions.
- Applying for a change or adjustment in the status after 60 days does not result in any kind of presumption.
3. Take time to get married after arriving in the U.S.:
If you get married immediately after reaching the U.S., this can raise suspicion with USCIS. The department can assume that you predetermined the idea of getting married in the U.S. and applying for permanent residency.
Reasons for Denial of Status Change
A marriage green card application might take 10 to 38 months to get approved. However, there are chances for the denial of your application. Some of the reasons for denial of your application can be:
- Lack of evidence
- Ill health of the applicant
- Criminal history
If your application is denied due to any violation of laws, then you might face severe charges. This can also result in deportation. Consult your attorney and resubmit the application to avoid any ill fate.
FAQs – Marry in The U.S. On A Tourist Visa
1. Can I travel to the U.S. solely for getting married?
Yes, you can. However, using your tourist visa to get married in the U.S. can be perceived as your intention to stay permanently in the U.S.
2. Can I apply for the marriage-based Green Card?
Yes, you can apply for a marriage-based Green Card. However, there is no guarantee that your Green Card will get approved. It is best to consult an attorney to follow the correct process.
3. What is a fiancé visa?
A fiancé visa, or K-1 visa is issued to the foreign-citizen fiancé of a U.S. citizen. The visa lets the foreign-citizen fiancé travel to the U.S. and get married to their U.S. partner within 90 days of their arrival.
4. Can I stay in the U.S. after getting married?
Once you are married, your spouse (a U.S. citizen) can apply for a permanent residency for you. Meanwhile, you file the form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé.
5. Can I leave the U.S. immediately after getting married to a U.S. citizen?
If you married a U.S. citizen, then you can apply for a marriage-based Green Card. You cannot leave the U.S. until USCIS is processing your Green Card application. However, you can apply for an ‘advance parole’ in case of any emergency.
During your stay in the U.S., be sure to get the right insurance. After marrying a U.S. citizen, you may qualify for domestic healthcare insurance. However, until then, be sure to have the proper insurance coverage for any medical emergencies.
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