What Is The Process For Marrying A Non-U.S. Citizen?

Are you in love with someone from another country? Planning to tie the knot and begin a life together? That’s wonderful! But as with any marriage, there are a few extra steps to take in case your partner is a non-U.S. citizen. Don’t worry, although – in this article, we’ll stroll you thru the method, step by step, in easy language that anyone can understand.

Getting Started: Understanding the Basics

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty particulars, let’s begin with the basics. Marrying a non-U.S. citizen involves a number of further steps to make sure that your partner can legally reside in the United States. These steps embrace making use of for a marriage-based green card, also called a everlasting residency card. Once your partner obtains this card, they may have the legal right to stay and work in the U.S.

It’s value noting that the process can range slightly depending on whether or not your spouse is already in the U.S. or nonetheless dwelling overseas. However, for the needs of this text, we’ll concentrate on the overall process that applies to most couples.

Step 1: Get Married

The first step in marrying a non-U.S. citizen is, of course, getting married! Before you possibly can begin the immigration process, you have to have a legally process for marrying non us citizen acknowledged marriage. This means going by way of the mandatory steps based on the laws of the nation or state the place the wedding will take place.

Step 2: File an Immigrant Petition

Once you’re fortunately married, it’s time to begin the official immigration course of. The next step is to file an immigrant petition, particularly the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This kind establishes the connection between you (the U.S. citizen) and your spouse (the non-U.S. citizen) and proves that you’ve a real marriage.

To file the Form I-130, you may need to supply supporting documents corresponding to your marriage certificates, proof of your U.S. citizenship, and any relevant proof of your relationship, like pictures or joint bank account statements.

Step three: Await Approval and Priority Date

After you’ve submitted the Form I-130, you may have to wait for it to be accredited. The processing time can differ, so be patient. Once permitted, your spouse shall be assigned a priority date. The priority date is crucial as a result of it determines when your partner can start the ultimate step of the immigration process.

Step four: File the Adjustment of Status Application or Consular Processing

Now that your partner’s precedence date is current, it is time to choose between two paths: adjustment of status or consular processing.

If your partner is already in the U.S. on a sound visa, you can select the adjustment of status route. This means you will file the Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This type is the place your spouse formally applies for his or her green card.

If your partner is residing outside the united states or ineligible for adjustment of standing, you’ll must undergo consular processing. This includes applying for an immigrant visa by way of the united states Department of State. Once permitted, your spouse can proceed with the ultimate step.

Step 5: Attend the Interview and Submit Required Documents

Regardless of whether or not you select adjustment of standing or consular processing, the following step is attending an interview. If you’re in the us, the interview takes place at a USCIS subject workplace. If you’re overseas, will probably be at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

During the interview, a USCIS officer or consular officer will ask questions on your relationship and request supporting paperwork. These paperwork might include medical examinations, police clearances, and monetary evidence to show that you could assist your partner.

Step 6: Await the Decision

After the interview and submission of required paperwork, you may have to wait for a choice. The wait time can range, however typically, you possibly can anticipate to hear to again within a few months.

If everything goes well, your partner will be granted the marriage-based green card, permitting them to live and work legally in the us Congratulations! It’s time to start your new life together.

Additional Considerations

While we’ve covered the primary steps involved in marrying a non-U.S. citizen, it’s essential to maintain a few additional considerations in thoughts:

  • Legal Assistance: The immigration course of may be advanced, so it could be beneficial to seek legal assistance from an immigration lawyer or reputable immigration service.
  • Affidavit of Support: As the sponsoring U.S. citizen, you may must submit an Affidavit of Support, proving that you could financially help your partner. This ensures that your spouse is not going to turn out to be a public charge.
  • Conditional Green Card: If your marriage is less than two years previous at the time your spouse is approved for a green card, they will obtain a conditional green card that’s valid for 2 years. After two years, you have to apply for the removal of those conditions and procure a everlasting green card.


Marrying a non-U.S. citizen may require a couple of further steps, but do not let that discourage you. With proper understanding and preparation, the process could be manageable. Remember to file the mandatory types, attend interviews, and supply the required documents. And most importantly, enjoy this thrilling chapter of your life collectively. Love knows no boundaries, and with endurance and willpower, you’ll find a way to construct a future with the one you love, no matter their nationality. Happy marriage planning!


  1. What are the basic requirements for marrying a non-US citizen?
    To marry a non-US citizen, both events must meet the authorized necessities for marriage of their respective country or state. Additionally, the non-US citizen may have a valid visa to enter the US legally. It’s essential to research and comply with the specific marriage and immigration legal guidelines of your jurisdiction earlier than proceeding.

  2. Can a non-US citizen get married within the United States?
    Yes, a non-US citizen can get married in the United States. However, it is essential to ensure they’ve the suitable legal documentation to enter the country and follow the marriage legal guidelines of the precise state the place the wedding will take place. Some states might have extra necessities, so it’s essential to verify with the local marriage licensing office for correct information.

  3. Do I need a fiancé(e) visa to marry a non-US citizen?
    If you plan to marry a non-US citizen inside the United States, you sometimes don’t need a fiancé(e) visa. Instead, the non-US citizen can enter the nation with a tourist visa or underneath the visa waiver program if they are from an eligible nation. However, as soon as married, it is important to start the process of adjusting their status to become a lawful everlasting resident (Green Card holder) to ensure their legal standing in the US.

  4. What is the process to adjust the status of a non-US citizen spouse?
    To regulate the standing of a non-US citizen spouse, no matter the place the marriage takes place, the US citizen partner must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of their non-US citizen spouse. Once the petition is approved, the non-US citizen spouse can apply for a Green Card by submitting Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This course of requires offering evidence of the bona fide nature of the wedding, monetary information, medical examination outcomes, and extra.

  5. Can a non-US citizen spouse work in the United States while ready for his or her Green Card?
    Yes, a non-US citizen spouse can apply for a work permit, generally recognized as an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), while waiting for his or her Green Card. This requires submitting Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, concurrently with the application to adjust status. Once the EAD is permitted, the non-US citizen spouse can legally work within the United States till they receive their Green Card or their EAD expires.