Congratulations! You’ve met the love of your life…and she just happens to be from a different country! If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already planning on making the move to the States so you can be together. But what about getting married? How does that work when your significant other is a foreigner? Luckily, the process isn’t as complicated as you might think. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to tie the knot with your foreign girlfriend in America.
1. Check visa requirements.
The first thing you’ll need to do is make sure your girlfriend (now fiancée) is able to come to the United States on a visa. The best way to do this is to consult an immigration lawyer who can advise you on which type of visa would be best for her, as well as help with any paperwork or applications that need to be filled out. Depending on her citizenship and where you want to get married (more on that later), she may need a tourist visa, fiancé visa, or even an advance parole document.
2. Choose your state wisely.
In order for your marriage to be legally recognized in the United States, it must take place in one of the 50 states or Washington D.C.—sorry, getting hitched in a foreign country doesn’t count! You’ll also want to take into account things like whether you have family or friends living nearby who can help with wedding plans, as well as any state-specific requirements that need to be met (e.g., waiting periods, blood tests, etc.).
3. Get all the necessary documents in order.
Once you’ve decided on a state, you’ll need to gather all of the required documents for both you and your fiancée. This will generally include things like birth certificates, passports, proof of residency, and more. Again, an immigration lawyer can help ensure that everything is in order and help with any applications that need to be filed.
4. Apply for a marriage license.
In most states, you’ll need to apply for a marriage license at least a few weeks before the big day (although some states have shorter waiting periods). This usually involves filling out an application and paying a small fee; once approved, the license will be valid for a set period of time (usually 30-90 days).
5. Walk down the aisle!
The final step is actually getting married! This can be done by either having a civil ceremony at your local courthouse or arranging for a religious ceremony at your place of worship—it’s entirely up to you and your fiancée. Once the ceremony is complete, don’t forget to sign and file your marriage certificate so it can be officially recorded; this will likely need to be done within 30 days of getting married.
Getting married is a big deal no matter who you are or where you come from—but it’s especially complicated when one half of the equation is a foreigner who needs to obtain a visa before even setting foot on American soil! While it may seem daunting at first, following these simple steps should make things go smoothly and before you know it, you’ll be man and wife without any legal hiccups along the way!
Kyle Murphy is a the dating expert and founder of email2femail, who helped countless people find love and lasting relationships online. In a world where the options for finding a partner seem endless, Murphy’s advice is invaluable. He has a gift for helping people navigate the often-intimidating world of online dating, and his insights have helped many find the happiness they’re looking for.