Law & Legal & Attorney Family Law

International Marriage & Immigration Law

    Spouses Defined

    • A spouse is defined by the United States Department of State as a “legally wedded husband or wife.” The marriage must be a legal marriage that is recognized both by the state/country that the marriage took place, but also the United States government. Although many marriages will be recognized by the United States government, some may not qualify, so please make sure to check with the United States embassy/consulate to see if your marriage qualifies as a legal marriage.

    Ineligible Couples

    • The United States does not recognize bigamy/polygamy, so any marriage other than the first marriage will not be considered by the United States government. If either spouse was married previously you will be required to submit documentation that the previous marriage is null and void, either with divorce papers, or a death certificate of the previous spouse. Co-inhabiting partners are not considered to be spouses and they are not eligible to immigrate to the United States though marriage immigration law. Some common-law marriages are valid. To check whether yours is valid or invalid please check with your local Untied States embassy/consulate.


    • People who wish to come to the United States as a fiance must first apply with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USICS). Fiances must be able to prove their relationship with their partner and verify that he/she will be getting married when they come to the United States. In order for people to come to the United States as a fiance they must have a sponsor. Their sponsor will be their soon to be spouse. The foreign national must marry their sponsor within 90 days of entering the United States. If the wedding does not take place within the first 90 days that the fiance is in the United States the foreign national can be subject to immediate deportation.


    • Foreign national spouses are eligible to apply to immigrate to the United States. He/she must complete a visa application with the USCIS. The visa that the spouse will receive is a K3 visa. Within three months, the K3 visa holder will be able to apply to become a permanent resident (green card holder) in the United States.


    • Due to the fact that there is such a quick transition from immigrant to green card holder, this visa is subject to a lot of fraud. Visa fraud can be reported to the Department of Homeland Security, division of Immigration and Citizenship Enforcement (ICE). ICE will investigate visa fraud and take all appropriate legal steps to enforce the United States immigration law.

      To report visa fraud, you can contact 1-866-DHS-2-ICE (1-866-347-2423).

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