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If I marry a foreign national on a tourist visa, what pitfalls should I be aware of?

Lompoc, CA |

I have been dating a women on line for about 2 years now, last year she came here on a tourist visa and we were together for about six months. It is now 9 months later and she is coming here again on a tourist visa. This time with her child. I am thinking of asking her to marry me when she is here but before I make up my mind I want my kids to meet her child and see if they get along and I want her to meet my family back east so she knows more about how I grew up. My question is if we get married while she is here, is the INS going to say the reason for her to come here was to get married and we are committing fraud and her application for US residency and citizenship be denied. Her stated reason to visit the US is to attend her sisters wedding in November.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Best answer

    An immigration officer can charge a foreign national with preconceived intent. It is the job of the foreign national and her spouse to prove that the marriage is valid and that their was no ill intent. To do this, many persons hire immigration attorneys who prepare the applications, prepare the clients for the interview, represent the clients at the interview, and deal with immigration issues as they arise.

    For these reasons, I strongly suggest you call and schedule a consultation with an immigration attorney.


  2. no the issue of preconceived intent almost never comes up. you are right to be careful as you are marrying the whole family to another whole family. i would check her immigration backiground as there are some things that result in permanent disqualifications that might be a hindrance. if all goes well and she is clean, she and the child will become conditional residents. at the end of 21 months she will have a 3 month window to file to remove the conditions. if she is using you, you do not have to sign. on the other hand, if you are using her, she might be able to immigrate as a victim. i hope that neither of the forgoing is your case and that you all live happily ever after. tom

    The advice that I give in each answer or legal is not intended to take the place of an in person consultation. A complete answer takes an in depth interview. After all, it is a life that is at stake. If you are in another city that I do not service ask me and I might be able to recommend you an attorney there. In general, in Houston, I recommend Adan Vega or Bruce Coane, Specialists. In Dallas I recommend Richard Fernandez or Yong Wood highly skilled and experienced.

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