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Mike
Mike, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 573
Experience:  Family law experience and many years of legal analysis and research
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Can you get legally married over the phone?

Customer Question

Can you get legally married over the phone?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Mike replied 9 years ago.
The answe is yes! It is actually done more often then not. People sometimes in the military, get married via the internet, phone and video. It is done, it is not normal but it is done.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
how do i get information on how to do that because my boyfriend is in mexico right now and we want to get married but dont know how ?
Expert:  Mike replied 9 years ago.
Hmm, this is different.

Is he a Mexican National, or American National?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Mexican National
Expert:  Mike replied 9 years ago.
In order to have a valid marriage to a Citizen of a different nation, you would need to bring him over to this country, and before you can do this, would need to contact the immigration service and get him a visa, to come here and also start the process of becoming a resident alien. I know it is not what you wanted to hear, but there are rules and processes.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
what is a visa and if he is illegal how does he come here also how does he become a resident alien and what is a resident alien?
Expert:  Mike replied 9 years ago.
Here is some info:

This comes from the he immigration service

US citizen marrying a foreign national: Issues involved
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Each year, thousands of U.S. citizens marry foreign-born persons and file for their permanent residence process in the United States. The immigration process for green card through marriage depends upon whether you intend to marry the foreign national in the U.S. or outside the U.S. Each situation has its own distinct requirements and procedures and thus, requires different planning.

The K nonimmigrant visas, also called the hybrid visas, allow a fiancée or spouse of a U.S. citizen to enter into the U.S. and apply for permanent residence. Depending upon whether you intend to marry within the U.S. or outside the U.S., you may apply for a K-1 or a K-3 visa.


K-1 Visa: Marrying within the U.S.


The K-1 fiancée visa is available to foreign citizens who would like to marry American citizens and reside permanently in the U.S.

Requirements

The U.S. immigration law requires that you meet your foreign national fiancée personally within two years prior to filing the K-1 visa petition.

Before filing of the fiancée visa petition, both you and your foreign national fiancée must be eligible to marry and show proof of termination of prior marriages, if any. You must show your intention of marrying your fiancée upon his/her arrival in the U.S.

Duration & Extension of Stay

Your fiancée is allowed entry into the U.S. for 90 days on a K-1 single-entry visa and should marry you during that period. Your fiancée is not entitled to apply for Extension of Stay on K-1 visa. If the marriage does not occur within 90 days, the K-1 nonimmigrant must leave the U.S. or remain subject to removal.

Change of Status

Your fiancée is not entitled to change status to any other nonimmigrant visa category. Your fiancée should apply for Adjustment of Status to conditional permanent residence upon marriage.

Application Process

You must file the K-1 fiancée visa petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) service center that has jurisdiction over your place of residence. Once the USCIS approves the petition, it forwards it to the American Consulate where your fiancée will be applying for the K-1 visa. The petition is valid for a period of four months from the date of USCIS action, and may be revalidated by the consular officer. The American Consulate will notify your fiancée when the approved petition is received and provide him/her with the necessary forms and instructions to apply for a K-1 visa.

Benefits of K-1 visa

Applying for a K-1 visa for your foreign fiancée has the following benefits:
  • The K-1 fiancée visa generally has a shorter waiting period compared to marriage-based immigration visa petitions

  • Your fiancée can apply for a work permit by filing Form I-765 and engage in employment

  • Children of your foreign fiancée can come to the U.S. on the K-2 dependent visa as long as they are listed on the fiancée visa petition
K-3 Visa: Marrying outside U.S.

The K-3 spouse visa allows spouses of U.S. citizens to enter the U.S. in a nonimmigrant visa category while waiting abroad for an immigrant visa.

Requirements

To apply for K-3 visa the foreign national should be married to you (the U.S. citizen) and wanting to enter the U.S. to await the approval of immigrant petition.

You must have filed Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of your foreign national spouse with the USCIS for the purposes of an immigrant visa before filing for K-3 petition.

Duration & Extension of Stay

Your spouse will be admitted into the U.S. on K-3 visa for an initial period of two years. Your spouse can remain in the U.S. while waiting for the approval of the I-130 and is able to apply for lawful permanent residence status (adjustment of status), instead of having to wait outside the U.S. Your spouse may apply for Extension of Stay no more than 120 days prior to the expiration of the K-3 visa.

Change of status

Your spouse is not entitled to Change Status to any other nonimmigrant visa category. Your spouse should apply for Adjustment of Status to permanent residence upon the approval of immigrant petition.

Application Process

You must file I-130 immediate relative petition on behalf of your foreign national spouse with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) service center that has jurisdiction over your place of residence. You will then receive Form I-797, Notice of Action, indicating that the USCIS has received the Form I-130. You will then need to file the K-3 petition with a copy of this form I-797 along with a USCIS Form I-129F to the following address:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
P.O. Box 7218
Chicago, IL###-##-####

The USCIS after adjudicating the Form I-129F forwards it to the appropriate American Consulate so that your foreign national spouse can apply for the K-3 visa.

Benefits of K-3 visa
  • The K-3 visas generally have shorter waiting periods compared to marriage-based immigration visa petitions

  • Your spouse can apply for a work permit by filing Form I-765 and engage in employment

  • Children of your foreign national spouse can accompany your spouse to the U.S. on the K-4 dependent visa as long as they are listed in the visa petition and are under the age of 21 years.
The big question - Which route to take?

There are four options for your foreign national fiancée or spouse to enter the U.S.:

1. Fiancée enters the U.S. on B-2 visa

Your fiancée may enter into the U.S. on B-2 tourist visa, marry and following the wedding, file for Adjustment of Status. BUT, there exists a risk of being refused admission as an intending immigrant, when asked by a USCIS officer at the arrival airport about the purpose of the visit.

2. Marry abroad and spouse enters on an immigrant visa

You may marry abroad and file an immediate relative visa petition after returning to the U.S. Adjudication of the petition generally takes three to eight months and then, after it is approved, the processing of the immigrant visa application may take an additional five to eight months.

Note: You may also file the immediate relative petition with the U.S. embassy or consulate in your foreign spouse’s home country under certain circumstances, which is generally quicker than filing it in the U.S.

3. Marry abroad and spouse enters on K-3 visa

You may marry abroad and file an I-130 immediate relative petition after returning to the U.S. On receipt of Form I-797, you may file I-129F with the USCIS. Approval of a K-3 petition may take three to six months and then, after it is approved, the processing of the K-3 visa at the consulate may take an additional two to four months.

4. Fiancée can enter the U.S. on K-1 visa

You may file a K-1 visa petition for your fiancée to enter into the U.S. and marry within 90 days of his/her arrival. Pursuant to getting married you may file for Adjustment of Status for your fiancé. The advantages of the K-1 procedure are:
  • It is generally quicker than the marriage abroad and subsequent K-3 visa petition process which is often more time consuming

  • There exists no risk of being refused admission as an intending immigrant like there is in the B-2 entry and marriage, and subsequent Adjustment of Status process
Conclusion

Spouses of U.S. citizens are considered “immediate relatives” under the immigration laws, and thus, are exempt from any numerical quota restrictions. However, the decision on when and where to marry requires a careful analysis of all the above options, comparing the processing times of the USCIS for I-130 and I-129F petitions and the time taken by the consulate in issuing the different visas. With all the complexities involved in the immigration process, it is better to consult an immigration attorney for formulating the best strategy of bringing your fiancée or spouse to join you in the U.S. in the shortest possible time.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
ok so if he is illegal i can get him a visa to come here to marry me , and does that mean he has to stay here? does that make him legal when i marry him , would it cost a lot of money for him to come here on a visa?
Expert:  Mike replied 9 years ago.
It is only the start, and yes he would have to reside with you, or this marriage can be considered fraud, and you can get into trouble. It can cost a little bit of money from start to finish.

PLEASE CLICK ACCEPT
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
he cant come here and marry me and later we both move to mexico? would he be legal after marriage? the immigration can allow an illegal to come here and marry?
Expert:  Mike replied 9 years ago.
Once married would not automatically make him legal.

Please do click ACCEPT
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
what do you mean would he become legal at all later? immigration would allow an illegal to come to US and marry?
Expert:  Mike replied 9 years ago.
Read the info I provided, it has the requirements, rules and who can come, and how long they can stay.

CLICK ACCEPT
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Before i accept your answers i have one more question. what would happen if i went there to marry him in mexico? would i lose my citizenship?
Expert:  Mike replied 9 years ago.
Oh no, you would gain dual citizenship from US and Mexico.

In order for him to come here, he need to marry you, and gain a visa.