U.S. Law Center

Marrying a foreign national in the United States

If you want to marry a person who is a resident and citizen of another country, and you are a U.S. citizen in Orange or Riverside, California, the federal government has created the means for you to help your fiancé(e) become a legal resident so you can live together in the United States. We at the U.S. Law Center understand that it may be important to you to have the wedding in the United States. Filing a K-1 visa application may be the option that is right for you.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services allows you to marry a foreign national in this country when you plan to marry within 90 days of his or her arrival. However, there are some requirements that you and your future spouse must meet. As the U.S. citizen, you will be the petitioner who files the paperwork, and you must provide proof that, within the past two years, you and your fiancé(e) have met in person at least one time.

There are a couple of exceptions to that rule. You may be able to prove that the meeting would not have been possible because it created an extreme hardship, or that you or your future spouse have customs within your culture that would not allow you to meet in person.

Naturally, you and your fiancé(e) must both be unmarried, although previous marriages do not create an issue as long as the union ended with a legal divorce or annulment, or the former spouse died. For more information, please visit our page about immigration options for families.

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