Marrying Someone from Another Country

There is a legend that people were divided into two parts by the gods. And now, each of us is trying to find his soul mate. Sometimes, a soul mate is far away from you, but everything has become easier thanks to modern technology. After all, many dating sites will help you find the perfect bride.

And everything is fine, but not from the point of view of the legislation of your country. Yes, American men often enter into international marriages. But this is a complex procedure with several important features. Let’s talk about what to do if you are about to marry someone from another country.

Marriage and Citizenship

The first thing you need to know is that marrying someone from a different country does not mean that your partner will automatically become a citizen. This procedure is more complicated than you think. Each step takes time and effort. But as a result, your wife will become a full US citizen.


Naturalization in the United States is the process of acquiring citizenship through long-term residence in the United States, as well as integration into American society. To obtain a US passport by naturalization, a foreigner applies to the USCIS Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is authorized to review candidacies and grant civil status.

Conditions for Obtaining US Citizenship

To obtain a US passport, you must have one of the following requirements:

  • Having at least one parent who is a US citizen by birth or naturalization;
  • Permanent residence in the US legally in the status of LPR (Lawful Permanent Residents) for 5 years or 3 years in the case of marriage with an American spouse;
  • Actual proof of 1 year of meritorious service in the United States Army and LPR status at the time of application or military service during combat for any period;
  • Birth in the United States to foreign parents (unless the parents are in the US on a diplomatic mission). Under the Naturalization Clause of the 14th Amendment and U.S. Supreme Court v. Wong Kim Ark, 169/649, if a child is born in the U.S., that child is a citizen by birth, regardless of the civil status of the parents. Therefore, giving birth on American soil is one way to grant United States citizenship to your children.

marrying someone from another country

Depending on the grounds, the conditions for granting US citizenship may vary, but there are general requirements that apply to anyone who intends to obtain an American passport:

  • Applicant must be 18 or older at the time of application;
  • The candidate must be committed to the principles of the US Constitution;
  • The applicant cannot be convicted.

The exception is birth to an American parent or in the United States, where citizenship is automatically assigned.

Process Features

The process of marrying a foreign woman can be simple because modern technologies allow not only to communicate online but also to draw up documents. But the legal process that allows your fiancée to stay in the country has several nuances.

For example, if you can think of an appropriate K-1 visa. To open it, you need to personally meet with a partner at least once in the last two years and be able to prove it. Both must not be in a registered marriage. The wedding is planned within 90 days of arrival, otherwise, the bride must leave the country. Also, it is worth saying that you should be marrying a foreigner with whom you dated and not with another citizen.

A couple who married less than two years before receiving an immigrant visa as a legal permanent resident will initially receive a green card that is only valid for two years and subject to certain conditions. 90 days before the green card expires (valid for two years), the couple must apply together to revoke the terms of their green card. To revoke a green card, a couple must go to an interview and provide proof that the marriage is legal. However, if at the time of obtaining a visa, a US citizen is marrying a foreigner, and this marriage lasts two years or longer, the new immigrant will receive a valid green card for 10 years.

Do not forget – if you intend to formalize relations not with a citizen but with a permanent resident in the territory, then you will not be able to enter on a K-1 visa. You will either have to arrive on a long-term visa and sign in the country or marrying abroad and start the procedure for obtaining citizenship.

Arrival in the USA

What if you are lucky enough to get married in another country, outside of America? In this case, the spouse submits a special form I-130, they are processed at the embassy, ​​as a result, a visa is issued. If the spouse is a citizen of the country, the documents will be issued in a year, permanently residing – 2-2.5 years.

The procedure for obtaining a green card when an international marriage is concluded with a US resident is not very long. Let’s break it down into points.

  1. The spouse submits special immigration forms for the other half.
  2. Two weeks of waiting, and the newlyweds receive information whether their documents have been accepted or whether they need to be finalized.
  3. Two more weeks – they invite you for fingerprinting.
  4. We are waiting for about two months, we get a work permit.
  5. All this time, we are preparing for the main thing – the interview. The date is announced three weeks in advance.
  6. Another half a month of waiting, and we receive a letter about a positive (we count on it) decision. It remains to wait for the actual residence permit.

international marriage

Possible Difficulties

Interestingly, the process for marrying a non-us citizen is controlled at all stages. And this is done for important reasons. The fact is that in the 1980s, a fictitious marriage for obtaining US citizenship was a very common immigration route. To limit the flow of such immigrants, the government introduced tough measures. The first green card is now issued for two years. You can apply for naturalization in three. If it turns out that an American deliberately committed a crime, he faces a prison sentence of up to 5 years and a considerable fine. For a foreigner – imprisonment up to 1 year, deportation. Also, if within five years a fictitious partner declares that dating a foreigner was conditional, the green card and even citizenship will be invalidated.

The cost of such services is quite high. On the Internet, you can regularly find ads “Fictitious marriage for obtaining US citizenship price.” The fee is solid – $15-45, depending on the list of services.

Service Cost

So, if you decide to marry someone from overseas, then you should understand that this process requires the use of a credit card. Thus, the cost of obtaining a K-1 visa is about $2,000. Also, do not forget that a foreign bride comes to a foreign country where she does not have a job or friends. Her food and lodging are also your expenses. Try to create the most comfortable conditions for your girl. In this case, she will feel comfortable, and you will be able to create a harmonious relationship.


Yes, love knows no boundaries. And if you met a beautiful girl who is your soul mate, then you need to go towards happiness. But remember important legal points and aspects. We hope that the information from our review has helped you understand how to do things right. May luck be on your side!

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