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LKidKyle1985's avatar

Whats the Easiest way to marry a foreigner.

Asked by LKidKyle1985 (6540 points ) July 27th, 2008

Okay, So I need some legal advice here. I have read different web sites and talked to different people and I always seem to get slightly different answers. So I am trying to marry a woman from over seas. I want to know what is the easiest way to do this and get her back to the United States with me. So some info, as I mentioned, I am a U.S. citizen, she is from Uzbekistan. I have done some research and found some different options. She can come here under a tourist visa, however if she doesn’t state her intention of getting married the government could claim fraudulent entry and cause a hassle (from what I have read) Another option is going there and getting married and bringing her back. Faster visa processing times and no hassle with the US government. However, It is not so simple for an American to travel to Uzbekistan without raising suspicion for the hosting family, not to mention other hassles their government may put me through. There is always a marriage by proxy option, which means we do not have to be in each others presence to get married, however I read that you need to prove that you have meet within the last 2 years, and it has just passed the 2 year mark since we saw each other. One final option is she gets a fiances visa and comes here, But I read that this takes much longer because the U.S. government is much more careful and prudent about giving these out, since the person will be becoming a citizen. And finally, one last factor to consider, Uzbekistan requires that their citizens acquire an exit visa to leave their country. From everything I have read, this is usually not a problem for people getting married, however I am not leaving anything to chance and would like to know if anyone else has any more insight on her governments exit visa policies.

Anyways, I have figured it is easiest to go there and bring her back, and I get the added benefit of meeting her family and traveling some where new and having a cool story to tell the kiddies when ever that comes about. But I would definitely like to hear from someone who has more insight to this, since all my info came from reading stuff online. thanks!

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18 Answers

dangdang's avatar

My wife already had a tourist visa so that is the way we went. They didn’t give us any crap about it later either. I’ll tell you what though, the process sucks. Tons of paper work and dumb interviews. And since you will have not been married for more then 2 years she will only get a temporary permanent resident card to start. Then two years later you go back and re-interview to make sure you are still married and living with each other (having a kid at this point also makes the process a little easier) then they finally give her a real permanent resident card. Then if you move you have to report it to government within 2 weeks of moving (this you can do online). If you can take the time to go over and marry her there I think it would be the best way to go. I have also heard that the process is faster and easier this way. Good luck! The long plane ride will give you a good long time to think about what you are getting yourself into! :) Oh, by the way my wife is from Taiwan.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

Thanks dangdang, I wasn’t sure about the whole tourist visa thing and the whole fraud thing. Did you guys wait 2 months after she was here to do that? or did you just do the paper work first? I ask because I read there was a Supreme Court precedent that affected that, just curious if you did it before the 2 months.

dangdang's avatar

She already had a tourist Visa since the first place I met her was here in the states. So when I was weighing my options it was just easier for her to use the tourist visa to come for our wedding. She was here less then a week before we got married. But she had been in and out of the US a few times before that. Once the first time we met then she went back to Taiwan, then again for a trip to meet my family, then the third time she entered was for the wedding and she came in less then a week before the wedding day. Then after the honeymoon the hard part started with me filling out the endless piles of paperwork and paying an arm and a leg for the application fees. And by the way they all doubled this last year. It is ridiculous. I told the immigration lady on the phone after she told me the fees had all doubled “Know wonder illegal immigration is so common!”

LKidKyle1985's avatar

A shesh, I am afraid to ask, but about how much should I expect to pay in Fees?

Zaku's avatar

Sounds like going there would be a good idea. Perhaps plan to spend some time over there learning where your fiance came from, her family and friends and so on. And get over whatever the “without raising suspicion for the hosting family” part was about.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

@Zaku , well I appreciate the advice, but I think I will exercise some caution while visiting a post soviet state which recently closed an American military base because we complained about them killing a couple hundred protesters in the street and have no respect for due process of law. It is not exactly a walk in the park.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/asia/29uzbek.html?_r=1&fta=y&oref=login

LKidKyle1985's avatar

It isn’t me I am worried about, its what ever hassles the government will give them during and after I leave. You just don’t know with that country.

dangdang's avatar

If I remember correctly for me it was a little more then $1,500. But with the increases this last year I would guess closer to $3,000 by the time it is all said and done.

dangdang's avatar

I would also recommend giving the USCIS a call at 1–800-375–5283 (their hold music is horrible). You don’t have to give them any specifics just ask general questions about the forms you will need and the fees, that way you get a better feel for what lies ahead. This is also the website you will end up getting all of the forms from (http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis). Good luck!

Zaku's avatar

$3,000 in US fees? Isn’t there a distinction between the foreigner applying for US citizenship, and them simply wanting the right to live and/or work in the US?

And is there any value in plan C: Get her an exit visa to go to yet another country, and you both go there and get married? Might avoid some issues dealing with Uzbekistan government, and with US government?

Zaku's avatar

Oh BTW there are lawyers who specialize in immigration issues. I even know one or two…

LKidKyle1985's avatar

Actually yeah zaku that is an option I had considered if getting an exit visa to the united states was such a hassle. But I think people getting denied exit visas to the US is pretty rare when they are married. At least from what I have read. Also she talked to her boss about it, who use to work for the American Embassy in Tashkent, and he told her the whole process and didn’t mention a word about possibly not getting an exit visa. Sooo I am hoping it is okay.
And yeah there is a distinction but obviously she would be gunning for American citizenship.
And yeah I am sure I will be getting in touch with a lawyer sooner or later about this. I guess its not the American legal stuff I am worried about, more so than the uzbek stuff, I am not sure how many lawyers are familiars with the workings of that government

dangdang's avatar

Using a lawyer will only cost you more money! No matter which way you go about it you will end up paying at least $2,000 and maybe $3,000 just in aplication fees by the time it is all said and done. Sorry! That is why I thought it was so bad. Lawyers will only cost you more on top of the form fees.

janthony2104's avatar

dang dang…did ur wife have to go back to her country and wait for all the paper work to go through when u married on a tourist visa or was she able to stay here in the states with u? I have read that changing a tourist visa is hard and almost impossible

maryfe's avatar

i want to have a husband

maryfe's avatar

i love a goodman

quirkycolors's avatar

yeah, that’s what i want to know… cause if my bf comes here on a tourist visa with the intent of getting married does he have to go back home to wait for the paperwork ?

blazzure's avatar

Great question. My fiancee is coming to NY soon with the same intent. I don’t want to send her back after that!

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