What is the best option for marrying my girlfriend on a tourist visa? 10 Answers as of September 26, 2013

I am a US Citizen and I met a girl last December and we went out a few times before she had to go back to Brazil. Over the last 8 months, we had stayed in communication, and talked a lot over social media about her coming back to the States to visit her sister who is a Permanent Resident. Marriage talk had come up, but we did not agree upon marriage. We wanted to get to know each other more before we made that decision. She entered the States on a 6 month tourist visa (roundtrip ticket paid) a month ago on August 27, with the stated purpose of visiting family and friends. And we have since agreed to formally date, and now marriage is a definite possibility. I was wondering about how we would proceed if we decided to marry? I don't think we would be getting married for another 2 or 3 months. What would be the best option for us? I have heard of issues with immigrants marrying on a tourist visa and not being able to stay. I would like to be a part from her for the least amount of time possible, no time would be the best, and being a single father I am unable to move to Brazil to be with her. Should we get married and apply to adjust status? Or would it be better to marry and for her to go back to Brazil at the end of her tourist visa and we apply for a spousal visa? Or wait to get married and apply for a Fiance visa? The goal here is to spend the least amount of time apart, but with the lowest amount of risk for potential deportation.

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Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC
Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC | Michael Lichtenberg
If the goal is to be apart as little as possible, then getting married and applying for a green card is the best option. Immigration will give you hard time if the marriage occurs within 3 months from the date of entry on a tourist visa; the longer you wait, the less questions will be asked about your girlfriend's intent at the time she entered the U.S. Leaving the marriage until almost the end of her 6-month authorized stay will also give you more time to make sure you two belong together.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/26/2013
Law Office of David Molot | David Molot
You need to do what's best for you, and legally you can marry and petition for your spouse while she is in the U.S.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/25/2013
Ben T. Liu Law Office
Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
You should be able to marry and your wife can file for adjustment here. See an attorney to review all the facts and discuss your options.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/24/2013
Vladimir Parizher
Vladimir Parizher | Vladimir Parizher
You do know your choices. The least apart is if you marry while she is here on B2 visa and apply immediately for an adjustment of status. Hopefully, interview will come fast; and if she approved, she does not have to go back (or will go back on her conditional permanent residency card). The drawback here is: if your marriage is not recognized by the authorities and she is placed on removal she will have to be defended. In addition, if your marriage is not recognized and her I-94 expire, she will be considered in violation of non-immigrant status with all legal consequences on admission. Even though this sounds attractive, the other options are safer and she will not overstay her visa. Your relationship is relatively short and might bring attention of the authorities. In addition, I would give a little more time to the relationship, to know more if it is indeed a valid one and not for the procurement of an immigrant visa. Bottom line: it is still your choice. Also, you must know if your income qualifies you for an affidavit of support (given that you have a child from your previous marriage).
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/25/2013
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal | Alexander Segal
The option the causes the least separation would of course be marrying and seeking adjustment of status in the U.S. However, this can be a problem as USCIS will suspect her of having immigrant intent. Whether this is a feasible option will depend upon how well she can explain her intentions.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/24/2013
    Kapoor Law Firm, PLLC
    Kapoor Law Firm, PLLC | Shiv K. Kapoor
    Based on your facts, she did not intend to remain permanently at the time of entry. So, if you get married and apply for her permanent residence while she is here, there should not be an issue of preconceived intent, especially if you wait a few months.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/24/2013
    Lana Kurilova Rich PLLC
    Lana Kurilova Rich PLLC | Lana Kurilova Rich
    Your girlfriend had no intent to marry you when she entered the US. From what I gather, marriage is still a "maybe" possibility. So nothing was set in stone at the time of her arrival. Thus, she did not violate the conditions of her visa, she did not defraud the US when she entered on her tourist visa. If you decide to get married, I would recommend allowing 90 days or more to pass from the date of her arrival. From what I am reading here, she has done nothing wrong, and if at some point during her stay you two decide to get married, that is fine and she can remain in the US and adjust her stats (provided, of course, that she has no prior immigration violations or any criminal history).
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/25/2013
    Law Office of Eric Fisher | Eric Fisher
    If you marry, you can petition for her and she can apply for adjustment to permanent resident. The marriage should occur at least 90 days after her entry to US, but can be much later if she doesn't mind staying in the US while the process is in the works - at least 3 months.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/24/2013
    Mulder Law office, PA
    Mulder Law office, PA | Kyndra L Mulder, Esquire
    As long as she entered the USA on a valid visa and has an I-94 she is free to marry a USC.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/24/2013
    Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law
    Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law | Richard S. Kolomejec
    The best option is to marry at the end of her stay and apply for her green card while in the US. This way, it is a 3 month process from start to finish.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/24/2013
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