How do I apply for a visa for my Japanese girlfriend, are we able to get married in the USA if she doesn't have a visa? 4 Answers as of April 14, 2015

I've known my Japanese girlfriend for several years and she has came to visit me last year for 3 weeks. She will be back here next week and will stay for almost 3 months and we are engaged. I'm retired military and I live in the US. We want to get married but does she need a visa in order to get married to me? What paperwork will she need?

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Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, P.C.
Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, P.C. | David Nabow Soloway
A foreign national may marry a U.S. citizen in the U.S. and then complete the Adjustment of Status application process to become a Lawful Permanent Resident (to get a "Green Card"). Beware, however, that details about your fiancee's entry into the U.S. may be problematic. Some nonimmigrant visas, such as "visitor's visas" are inappropriate for someone who is engaged to be married to a U.S. citizen and who intends to permanently reside in the U.S. - visitor's visas are exclusively for people who genuinely intend to stay temporarily and then return abroad, and misuse of a visa can constitute "visa fraud" with very harsh consequences. Other nonimmigrant visas, such as H1B visas, are suitable for someone having both an intention to stay temporarily and an intention to stay permanently, if authorized. It would be wise to consult with an immigration lawyer BEFORE your fiance enters the U.S. in order to discuss relevant details about your fiance, your marriage plans, etc. so that the attorney can advise about eligibilities, options and strategies. 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: 4/14/2015
Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law
Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law | Richard S. Kolomejec
You can marry her while she is in the US visiting on her visa waiver. Just consult with an experienced immigration lawyer before getting married. If done right, she can get a green card in about 3 to 4 months.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/14/2015
Perez-Jenkins Law, LLC | Patricia Perez-Jenkins
There are two options. You can chose to file for a fiancee visa in which case she comes here and gets married here and then you can apply for her green card. Option two you marry her in Japan and file for her as a spouse and she comes in as a Lawful Permanent Resident.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 4/14/2015
Coane and Associates
Coane and Associates | Bruce Coane
While the marriage laws vary from state to state, you certainly do not need a visa to get married in Texas.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 4/14/2015
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