Congratulations on your recent engagement. You probably have a lot of planning to do …and a lot of questions that need to be answered. If you are marrying a U.S. citizen, here are the answers to some common marriage visa questions. If your question is not answered below, get it answered by contacting a marriage and fiance visa immigration lawyer.
Does the United States accept marriages performed in other countries?
Yes. U.S. immigration law does not require that a marriage be performed in the United States. A good rule of thumb is that as long as a marriage is legal where it takes place, it will be valid for U.S. immigration purposes. Of course there are a few exceptions to that rule of thumb (i.e. polygamist marriages, child marriages, etc.).
If I Start the Fiancee visa, can I convert it into a marriage visa?
No. Unfortunately it is not possible to switch from a fiance visa to a marriage visa. If you start the fiance visa and get married before the foreign national enters the U.S. on the K-1 visa – you will not be able to enter on the fiance visa and will need to apply for a marriage visa.
We live on Opposite Sides of the World – Can We Marry By Proxy?
No. A proxy marriage is not valid for immigration purposes if it has not been consummated. Generally speaking, if you plan to seek immigration benefits, it is best to have a regular marriage.
Do We Really Have to Physically See Each Other Within Two Years To File the K-1 Fiance Visa?
Yes. It is a hardened rule that the immigration agency enforces very strictly. Applicants for the K-1 Visa must see each other within the two years immediately proceeding the filing of the application. Two years and one day before will not work, nor will seeing each other while the K-1 Visa is pending. The only waivers to the K-1 visa’s meeting rule are strictly interpreted.
Do you have other questions? Let me know.