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

Are you in love with somebody from another country? Planning to tie the knot and start a life together? That’s wonderful! But as with every marriage, there are a few additional steps to take in case your companion is a non-U.S. citizen. Don’t fear, though – in this article, we’ll stroll you thru the process, step-by-step, in easy language that anybody process for marrying non us citizen can perceive.

Getting Started: Understanding the Basics

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty details, let’s start with the fundamentals. Marrying a non-U.S. citizen entails a few further steps to make certain that your spouse can legally reside within the United States. These steps embrace making use of for a marriage-based green card, also identified as a everlasting residency card. Once your partner obtains this card, they may have the authorized proper to stay and work in the U.S.

It’s value noting that the method can differ slightly depending on whether or not your spouse is already in the U.S. or nonetheless dwelling abroad. However, for the needs of this article, we’ll give consideration to the overall course of that applies to most couples.

Step 1: Get Married

The first step in marrying a non-U.S. citizen is, after all, getting married! Before you probably can start the immigration course of, you should have a legally recognized marriage. This means going through the necessary steps according to the laws of the country or state the place the wedding will take place.

Step 2: File an Immigrant Petition

Once you are 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 relationship between you (the U.S. citizen) and your partner (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 paperwork corresponding to your marriage certificate, proof of your U.S. citizenship, and any related evidence of your relationship, like photographs or joint bank account statements.

Step 3: Await Approval and Priority Date

After you’ve got submitted the Form I-130, you’ll have to attend for it to be permitted. The processing time can differ, so be patient. Once accredited, your spouse will be assigned a precedence date. The precedence date is essential because it determines when your partner can start the ultimate step of the immigration course of.

Step 4: File the Adjustment of Status Application or Consular Processing

Now that your spouse’s priority date is present, 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 legitimate visa, you’ll find a way to choose the adjustment of standing route. This means you’ll file the Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This kind is the place your partner officially applies for his or her green card.

If your spouse is residing outside the us or ineligible for adjustment of status, you’ll need to go through consular processing. This includes making use of for an immigrant visa by way of the united states Department of State. Once accredited, your partner can proceed with the final step.

Step 5: Attend the Interview and Submit Required Documents

Regardless of whether you select adjustment of status or consular processing, the next step is attending an interview. If you are in the U.S., the interview takes place at a USCIS field workplace. If you are overseas, it will be at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

During the interview, a USCIS officer or consular officer will ask questions about your relationship and request supporting documents. These documents might embody medical examinations, police clearances, and monetary proof to show you could help your spouse.

Step 6: Await the Decision

After the interview and submission of required paperwork, you will have to wait for a call. The wait time can range, but usually, you possibly can anticipate to hear again inside a couple of months.

If every thing goes nicely, your partner might be granted the marriage-based green card, permitting them to stay and work legally in the U.S. Congratulations! It’s time to start your new life together.

Additional Considerations

While we have covered the primary steps involved in marrying a non-U.S. citizen, it’s essential to keep a quantity of extra concerns in thoughts:

  • Legal Assistance: The immigration process can be advanced, so it might be useful to seek legal help from an immigration lawyer or reputable immigration service.
  • Affidavit of Support: As the sponsoring U.S. citizen, you may need to submit an Affidavit of Support, proving that you can financially support your spouse. This ensures that your partner is not going to turn into a public cost.
  • Conditional Green Card: If your marriage is lower than two years outdated at the time your spouse is accredited for a green card, they will obtain a conditional green card that’s valid for 2 years. After two years, you must apply for the elimination of those conditions and acquire a everlasting green card.


Marrying a non-U.S. citizen may require a number of further steps, but do not let that discourage you. With proper understanding and preparation, the process may be manageable. Remember to file the mandatory varieties, attend interviews, and provide the required documents. And most significantly, get pleasure from this exciting chapter of your life together. Love is aware of no boundaries, and with persistence and determination, you’ll find a way to construct a future with the one you like, no matter their nationality. Happy marriage planning!


  1. What are the essential requirements for marrying a non-US citizen?
    To marry a non-US citizen, both parties must meet the legal necessities for marriage in 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 adjust to the particular marriage and immigration laws of your jurisdiction earlier than continuing.

  2. Can a non-US citizen get married in the United States?
    Yes, a non-US citizen can get married in the United States. However, it is important to make sure they’ve the appropriate authorized documentation to enter the nation and comply with the wedding laws of the particular state the place the marriage will happen. Some states could have additional requirements, so it’s essential to check with the local marriage licensing workplace for correct data.

  3. Do I need a fiancé(e) visa to marry a non-US citizen?
    If you propose to marry a non-US citizen contained in the United States, you sometimes don’t want a fiancé(e) visa. Instead, the non-US citizen can enter the nation with a vacationer visa or underneath the visa waiver program if they are from an eligible country. However, as quickly as married, it’s essential to begin the method of adjusting their status to turn into a lawful everlasting resident (Green Card holder) to ensure their authorized standing within the US.

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

  5. Can a non-US citizen partner work in the United States whereas ready for his or her Green Card?
    Yes, a non-US citizen spouse can apply for a work allow, generally recognized as an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), while ready for their Green Card. This requires filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, concurrently with the applying to regulate standing. Once the EAD is accredited, the non-US citizen spouse can legally work within the United States till they receive their Green Card or their EAD expires.