Many have asked, “Is it possible getting married on a travel Visa?” Normally, yes. One can enter the United States of America and a marry a U.S citizen but they must return home before their visa expires. Problems can arise when an individual has the intention of marrying a U.S. citizen and plans on staying to adjust status.
Don’t let other people’s stories of getting married on a travel visa, mislead you. While it may be possible to adjust your status on a travel visa, you must provide substantial evidence to U.S. authorities with genuine travelling plans and show that getting married while visiting was unexpected.
If you are the recipient of a travel visa and you intend on getting married here are some factors to consider:
1. What happens if I decide to Adjust Status while in the U.S on a travel Visa and I’m denied?
Whether a foreigner is applying for an adjustment of status or a visa, you must understand that not everyone is able to obtain a change of status or visa. A denial can be the result of many things such as criminal history, an individual’s health, previous bans, or a basic need for more evidence.
If you are denied an adjustment of status, are you prepared to proceed with an appeal and will you be able to afford an immigration lawyer or have the funds to return to your native country. If you are denied an adjustment of status what will the United States Citizen spouse do?
The American spouse of a foreigner cannot just pack up and leave along with their foreign spouse. Getting married on a travel visa can bring many challenges, there is a solution but you must be prepared for any circumstances that may arise, including; getting denied for an adjustment of status.
2. Travelling Won’t Be Possible For Quite Some Time
After applying for an adjustment of status, while in the United States, travelling won’t be possible for quite some time for the foreign spouse.
The foreign spouse must obtain an Advance Parole (Form I-512) or a Green Card. Both the U.S. Citizen and foreign spouse will need to start the process from the beginning and petition for a spouse visa while the immigrant spouse is in his/her home country.
3. Border Protection Officers are Serious about their Job
When foreigners are asked for the purpose of intended travel when entering into the United States of America, it is recommended to always answer honestly. Honesty pays off in the long run. Keep your answers short and sweet when interrogated by border protection officers.
If you state that your intention is to visit a friend and your luggage search reveals otherwise and a wedding dress is found in your luggage prepare for the inescapable interrogation. The worst that can happen is getting penalized and sent home on the next plane.
4. Staying in the U.S. after getting Married on a Travel Visa can be Conflicting
The conflict then arises when the foreigner plans to REMAIN in the United States on a Travel Visa after having married a U.S. Citizen. Regardless of the cost, going back home before your visa expiration is better, however, one must be prepared to provide substantial proof to border officers that you intend to return home.
If you can provide lease agreements, letters from employers and a return plane ticket you should be safe to travel. The more proof you can provide to show your intention of returning home, the better possibilities you have of getting through the border without a hassle.
5. Do not Commit Fraud
Committing Visa Fraud for the intent of marrying a U.S. Citizen and living in the United States is a serious crime. Think again.
If caught, you will be sent to your home country and dealt with by your local authorities. It can get worse; you may even be prevented from entering the U.S. for an unspecified amount of time.
6. Marrying on a Travel Visa and Staying in the U.S. is a Life Changing Experience
Making such a decision will bring forth a lot of changes. Be prepared to say goodbye to your family and old friends. You may risk losing your personal possessions and will likely need to resolve your personal affairs from afar.
It is advisable to first obtain your fiance or spouse visa so you can have the time available to settle affairs at home, while waiting for adjustment of status.
If not you will need the assistance of a close friend or family member to collect the necessary information and have it sent to you in the U.S. Submitting all required documents for an adjustment of status when in another country is not an easy task without the help of a friend.
Overall, a Travel Visa should not be used for the intent of getting married to a U.S. Citizen spouse and staying in the United States of America. Fiance and Spouse Visas are designed specifically for that.
For more information on applying for a Fiance or Spouse Visa or an Adjustment of Status feel free to contact us at 847-443-9303 or visit our website The Gambacorta Law Office. Our Offices are located in Illinois and Arizona.