Can You Get Married While in the Country on a Travel Visa?
We’ve all heard stories about immigrants with visas (and without) coming into the United States with the hope of marrying an American citizen and being allowed to establish permanent residency. Reports of these incidents are nothing but fairy tales, because chances are good that the foreign partner will be sent back to their own country when their visa expires, married or not.
While it is possible to get married while in the country on a travel visa, there’s no guarantee that you are going to receive legal status in order to remain in the country once your visa expires.
This is a very touchy subject, especially with American citizens who are reeling under the burden of recession and rising costs, over-crowded service organizations, such as doctor’s offices and post offices, and facing higher property taxes while trying to provide larger schools in order to educate the offspring of illegal aliens. While no one minds immigrants coming into the country legally, it’s when people try to skirt the laws of the land that others, including the federal government, start objecting vehemently.
Thus said, it is possible to enter the country on a travel visa, marry, and end up being granted citizenship, but these cases are few and far between. If you’re an American citizen who decides to marry a foreigner, things may not work out the way you hope, either. The situation will require the hiring of an immigration attorney, and that doesn’t come cheap.
You both have to be able to prove that the foreign spouse came into the country on a travel visa without planning ahead of time to get married while here. For example, a foreign student who came to the country to study and then meets and marries a citizen. A person like this will probably be able to prove that they did not intend to marry when they came to the U.S.
However, it’s possible that even this type of situation may be denied by the American courts. A change of legal status will be based on many other things, such as health status, a criminal background, or just the fact that intent when entering the country can’t be proven.
In the event of any of these findings, the person can be sent back to their own country and denied further entrance to the United States. If this would happen to you, the American spouse could then be faced with either packing up his or her life and moving to the spouse’s country or living and raising any children on a single basis here.
As you can see, marrying while in the country on a travel visa, while legal, may end up causing nightmares for the couple involved. Before you even consider marrying a foreign citizen, you should check out all the laws so that you know exactly what you may be getting into.