Can I marry a woman who's visiting on a tourist visa? 10 Answers as of January 09, 2014

Before contacting a lawyer for process specifics. I'm considering marriage to a woman, (with whom I have been in contact for some time), who will be visiting her sister and brother-in-law on a tourist visa. If we were to marry during her visit, would she have to return to her country, and what would be the next step necessary to establish permanent residence in the U.S.?

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Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, P.C.
Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, P.C. | David Nabow Soloway
Although not mentioned in your question, I assume you are a U.S. Citizen. Generally, a U.S. Citizen may marry someone who entered the U.S. with a visitor's visa, and then sponsor her in the "Immediate Relative" visa category so the foreign national spouse may "adjust status" to become a Lawful Permanent Resident (to get a "Green Card"). If the marriage takes place and the petitioning begins fairly soon after the foreign national entered the U.S. with a visitor's visa, however, then the USCIS may suspect "visa fraud" - entering with a visa that is exclusively for people who intend to stay temporarily and then return abroad, while actually intending to become married and stay permanently. It would be wise to engage an immigration attorney to learn all of the relevant information about the foreign national and the plans to marry, in order to be able to advise about eligibilities, options and strategies, and to assure that the adjustment of status process is handled properly and is fully documented. Some immigration law firms, including mine, offer legal services on a "flat fee" basis so that a client will know the total expense from the very beginning, and a few immigration law firms, including mine, offer an initial consultation free of charge.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 1/9/2014
Law Office of Adebola Asekun | Adebola O. Asekun
Yes, you can marry an alien who entered the US with a tourist visa, And, on the basis of such marriage, you can file a petition and other necessary documents with CIS for her to obtain a green card. But, note that the process of getting a green card involve careful consideration of several factors including whether you, the US citizen is eligible to file petition, and whether the alien is eligible to get a green card. These issues are many and cannot be satisfactorily discussed in detail in this forum. You must therefore consult with a well recommended immigration attorney.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 1/9/2014
Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
She should visit for a couple of weeks. Then leave. Then once she has left, you can apply for a fiance visa. It will take about five months. Once she gets the visa, she comes into the country, you marry and then she will get a conditional green card for two years. If you stay married for two years, then you can both apply to have the condition removed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/9/2014
Christian Schmidt, Attorney at Law
Christian Schmidt, Attorney at Law | Christian Schmidt
Once married, she would be eligible to apply for a green card without having to leave the U.S. if you are a U.S. citizen.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/9/2014
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal | Alexander Segal
You can marry while she is in the United States. However, whether she can remain in the United States and what steps need to be taken depends upon more information. It's time to contact an attorney.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 1/9/2014
    Pius Joseph A Professional Law Corp. | Pius Joseph
    I suggest you contact a lawyer before your marriage because marriage within the 90 days of entry creates certain presumptions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2014
    Abigail Law Firm, PLLC | Meghan Abigail
    If she enters with a visa and is otherwise eligible, she can adjust status here without needing to leave the U.S. However, the difficulty in the case will be convincing USCIS that 1. there was no immigrant intent when she entered with the visa (they will be particularly suspicious if there is a marriage within 60 days of her entry), and 2. the marriage is bona fide. It is certainly doable, but you will want to be careful, especially with those issues.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 1/9/2014
    Law Office of Eric Fisher | Eric Fisher
    If she marries within the first 90 days of her arrival, USCIS could suspect she entered the US to get married, which would indicate fraud in entry. Regardless, if you are a US citizen, you can file a visa petition for her after you are married. She can then file for adjustment of status without going home. You should consult an immigration attorney as the forms and documents required are complex.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/9/2014
    Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law
    Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law | Richard S. Kolomejec
    Yes. You can marry and apply for a green card while here on a visitor visa.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2014
    Coane and Associates
    Coane and Associates | Bruce Coane
    If a USA citizen marries a person who is here on a visitor visa, that person can stay here while the paperwork for a green card is pending with Homeland Security.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 1/9/2014
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