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I have a J1 visa and 16 y.o. now. What can I do to marry a person who is 17 y.o. in America?

Grantsburg, WI |

She'll be 18 in August. My visa is over in this June. I'm thinking about K1 visa.

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Attorney answers 7


The minimum age to marry in Wisconsin and I'm assuming all other US states is 18. You would not be able to obtain a K1 fiancé visa until you are able to show you possess the legal capacity to get married within 90 days of travelling to the United States, and this would include satisfying the age requirements. I suggest contacting an immigration attorney for a more detailed discussion of your situation so that all available options can be fully explored.

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You can get married in Wisconsin at 16 or 17 with parental consent. If you're on the J1 and you're not subject to the two year foreign residency requirement, you'll be able to adjust status. Once you get married (with parental consent) you can apply for your green card without leaving the United States, as long as you're not subject to the two year foreign residency requirement. If you are, you can still file to adjust status, but you'll need a hardship waiver that shows extreme hardship to your citizen spouse.

Your case is full of issues, contact an attorney ASAP.


Yes, you can go home when your J expires and ... as long as you don't have a 2 year restriction, she can sponsor you for a K ... after she turns 18.

Talk to an attorney ... many of us use Skype.

PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.


Sounds like there may be a variety of options. Consult with an immigration attorney to figure out your best option.


Wait until you're both at least 18 or if possible in WI get parental approval provided J1 will not pose issues such as residency abroad requirement. Best to consult with attorney.

This advice does not form an attorney-client relationship and is merely informative. It should not by itself be relied upon to address a legal concern.


You will not be able to do anything until she turns 18, because while she can petition for a spouse at any age in which the marriage is legal, she cannot be a sponsor on an "affidavit of support" until she is 18. Also, if you marry her, the visa would be K-3, not K-1. K-1 is for a fiancee abroad, K-3 is for a spouse abroad. Both options require you to leave the U.S. when you authorized stay ends. Either route has additional steps that need to be followed, and an application involving such a young person would probably be scrutinized heavily - you would need very solid evidence that the purpose of the marriage is more than obtaining an immigration benefit (and probably evidence that everybody's parents are on board).

If your hope is that marriage will allow you to remain in the U.S. beyond June, you would need to consult an attorney directly to review all the details of your situation and advise whether you would be eligible to adjust your status through marriage, and if you would need a waiver - but if you remain in the U.S. beyond the expiration of your status, you will be here illegally. Good luck!

The information above is general in nature and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship between us. It is intended simply as background material, is current only as of its indicated date, and may not include important details and special rules that could be applicable to your case. You should consult an attorney directly before acting or refraining from action.


My colleagues have all given you scholarly answers. Consult with an experienced immigration attorney to discuss the options available to you.

The information provided is intended for informational purposes only and should not substitute for the advice and counsel of an attorney. This information does not constitute legal advice. We ask that you consult with a lawyer, as your facts are unique and because each situation requires analysis from many different perspectives. We cannot be responsible if you rely on information based on this website without the consultation of an attorney.

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