Requirements to marry an American citizen: Everything you need to know

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There should be no doubt about the love that two people who decide to take the most important step of their lives should profess when they decide to join in marriage. Keep reading!

What are the options for marrying an American citizen

When they decide to go to live in the United States After marriage, it is extremely important for the US citizen to petition for their spouse.

As well as, if what you want is to get married in the United States I could ask for a fiancé visa. Whatever your case, we recommend that you carefully analyze both options.

If it is said that love is essential to marry, It is no less true that getting married requires certain claims that show that you can legally carry out this process.

And even more so when the fiancé or the fiancée is a foreigner since when processing you must comply with immigration procedures.

Average visa application

If the decision is already made, and they want to give themselves the yes in US territory, the main requirement in this case, to marry an American citizen is to apply for a K-1 visa.

This visa allows to foreigners to travel and marry in a period no longer than three months.

Then the fiancé can request an adjustment of status to resident To process the residence, for this we summarize the procedure below:

1.- The American citizen must make the request together with the I-129F form to the immigration agency closest to your address.

After be approved the request, you will be notified of the case number and the data will be sent to the embassy of the country where the fiancé is.

2.- After, the foreigner must prepare for the interview, take your proper documentation with you. They can be: photos, valid passport, letter of singleness, Form DS-160, letter of good conduct, among others.

3.- The applicant must demonstrate that they have the resources necessary to cover the economic expenses of the couple through an affidavit evidencing financial sponsorship.

4.- Documentary or other evidence that maintains that there is a relationship with a partner for at least the last two years.

5.- Post interviewIf this was approved, you will be given the K-1 visa in your passport, as well as an envelope that must be delivered to the immigration officer when you enter the United States.

6.- Payment of all the procedures that this entails.

Permanent residence by marriage

If this is the case and they decide to marry abroad and return to live in the United States, the spouse, already married, can present the I-130 form combined with the K-3 visa application through the I-129 form in order to process legal residency.

Request is, to be done in different steps:

Residence application

It must be recorded signed and completed form I-130 correctly and completely. In addition to this, it should go with the following:

  • Photos white background, passport type, both.
  • Document from Civil marriage.
  • Check immigration status through the American passport, naturalization certificate.

This procedure, mandatory start when the American citizen lives within the country.

To authenticate this action, You need an affidavit of financial sponsorship and be of legal age.

Documents for the visa application

Once the request is made Before migration and this is approved, the information is sent to the official visa body and then it is reported to the embassy of the country of the foreign spouse.

It is also important to perform the cancellation of all fees application for the service, in addition to this, the foreign spouse must meet the following:

  • Have a valid passport.
  • Fill out form DS-260 duly and sign it.
  • Passport-style photos, with a white background, where the face can be seen very clearly.
  • Birth certificates, marriage certificate in case you have been married before, proof of divorce, among others.
  • Medical examination certified by the qualified doctor of the North American embassy.

Note: The documents must be translated by an entity in charge of it, in turn they must be brought in original and copy.


Must be bring all documents in order On the day of the interview, if any document is missing, they will not be able to continue with it.

Try to arrive before the scheduled time For the interview, include among the documents the letter delivered by migration indicating the time of the interview.

You should remember to make all relevant payments, At the time of the interview, you will receive many questions as soon as the consular officer begins to review the documents.

For this it is of utmost importance discover that marriage is for convenience or is it a fraud.

After the interview

At the end of the interview, You will automatically be notified of the decision If it was approved or denied, if it is the former, the original documents and the passport with the visa will be delivered. Added to an envelope since it is only for official use, the information contained therein.

Initially if the couple has been married for less than two years, the state will provide a conditional residence, which will be revoked three months before expiration.

It is important to him american state family union and for this reason it has predisposed some measures to achieve reunification, in this case it is only in demonstrating to the applicants that the relationship is legitimate.

Requirements to marry an American citizen

As it is well known, the requirements for marrying an American citizen, They vary from where the marriage takes place, whether in the United States or abroad.

As well as where they will live. Most of the time when the marriage is celebrated abroad, the American state guarantees this union even if it happened in another country.

So that this union or marriage is required comply with the necessary aspects:

1.- It is governed by local laws

For a marriage to be valid, it is necessary to adhere to the laws where it was made, to comply with the parameters of the country. For example: if it is with a minor, you must have the permission of your parents.

2.- The necessary documentation

Papers necessary to get married are:

  • Identification document of both; documents that have the data and a photo.
  • Proof of birth of both.
  • Single letter, issued by a notary.
  • Depending on the country, you can request an affidavit to be able to marry.
  • The foreigner must prove his immigration status.
  • It is not common but you have to show a medical certificate with laboratory tests that indicate the blood type of both grooms.
  • Marriage application form.
  • Documentation of two witnesses.
  • Payment for the cost of the service.

3.- Authenticate the marriage certificate

After the wedding, heor what is sought is to grant legality to the marriage certificate, so it is required to authenticate the document with the Hague seal or with a certificate of legality.

4.- Where are they going to live

Be that the foreign spouse requests the visa to enter the United States and the residence, or vice versa, the American spouse wishes to stay in the country where he / she got married, he / she must also process the residence document.

What is recommended is that whatever the decision they must initiate their procedures with time.

5.- Good marriage faith

For migration consideration In the United States, all parties must prove that the marriage that has been consummated is in good faith, that is, it is legitimate.

Fraud is punishable by law on American soil.

Get married with a tourist visa

Doing so can be done, But the ideal would be to consult with an immigration lawyer and make sure about the steps you must take to do things within the legal framework.

Even if you marry a tourist visa, You will not be able to stay longer than the regulation time, as this would cause a problem. And you will not be able to opt for a work or residence permit either.

So little before the expiration period expires the spouse must leave the United States even if they were married during this time.

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