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Can I marry my boyfriend (US citizen) when I am visiting on a tourist visa and can he then file the paperwork so I can stay?

Boston, MA |

My boyfriend and I have been dating while I was an Au Pair. Now I am planning on visiting him in September and we were planning on getting married then. Is that possible. Can we get married during my visit and can he then file the paperwork for me so I can stay with him?? I have read a lot of things that you are not allowed to get married while visiting as a tourist or you can go to jail. Please help me.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. When you enter the US on a tourist visa you cannot have the intent to immigrate. If you enter knowing you are going to marry and remain in the US, you have an intent to immigrate. If you tell an officer at the port of entry that you will remain you will be denied entry. If you lie and the lie is revealed you could be charged with misrepresentation. There is a 30/60 day rule on immigrant intent you should discuss with immIgration counsel who will be able to give you all of your options.

  2. There is no law that says that a foreign national who is in the U.S. on a tourist visa (B-2) cannot marry a U.S. citizen and then file for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residency while remaining in the U.S. However, the B-2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa which means that when a foreign national is approved for this visa, the consular official believed that you did not intend to permanently immigrate to the U.S. and planned to return to your home country. Entering the U.S. under a tourist visa and then attempting to stay in the country will arouse suspicion that the only reason he/she came to the U.S. was to get married, and even if the marriage is bona fide and not just for purposes of immigration, the immigrant intent of the foreign national will prevent the adjustment of status petition from being approved.
    The applicable law in this area, though, states that in the absence of other adverse factors, an application for adjustment of status as an immediate relative should generally be granted in the exercise of discretion notwithstanding the fact that the applicant entered the U.S. as a nonimmigrant with a preconceived intention to remain. Matter of Cavazos, Int. Dec. 2750 (BIA 1980) clarified and reaffirmed. Matter of Ibrahim, Int. Dec. 2866 (BIA 1981). Therefore, if no other adverse factors are present, meaning no other factors that would make a foreign national inadmissible or blatant misrepresentations on the nonimmigrant visa application other than intent, then the adjustment of status should be approved.
    Note: Some practitioners use a 30/60 day rule for situations such as this. This means that if someone were to enter the country on a tourist visa and then get married and apply for adjustment of status based on the marriage after only 30 days in the U.S., the suspicion of DHS that there was immigrant intent is stronger than if the foreign national was in the U.S. for 60 days before the marriage. However, under Ibrahim and Cavazos, the same analysis should apply after 30 days the same as after 60 days and merely possessing immigrant intent should not bar the adjustment of status.

    Neil I Fleischer (513) 977-4209 Note: Neil Fleischer is an attorney licensed in the State of Ohio The below answer is provided for informational use only. One should not act or refrain to act solely based on the information provided. No attorney/client relationship is created unless an Agreement is signed by the attorney and the client. Best regards, Neil Neil I Fleischer The Fleischer Law Firm, LLC 917 Main Street Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-1314 Direct telephone: 513 977 4209 Enjoy our Blog at

  3. Yes you can marry but it is probably best if you return home for the processing of the paperwork. Otherwise he can file a fiance visa request for you. My firm handles marriage based immigration cases.
    Nick Misiti
    Misiti Global
    212 537 4407

    Legal disclaimer: The statement above is general in nature, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.

  4. What you're talking about is called Dual Intent. Don't use a tourist visa to immigrate to the USA. You should simply apply for a fiancee visa. It wont be approved by September, they generally take 5 months or more.

    Attorney Sheehan and do not acknowledge any Attorney-Client relationship here on These answers are general and for reference purposes only.