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What documents are needed for a US citizen and a foreigner to marry?

Cedar Rapids, IA |

My fiancee is currently a Dutch citizen. He will be coming to the US in a couple of months for a long visit. We were thinking of eloping in that time. Would it be possible for us to elope in the US? Ultimately, he will be moving to the US to join me. What documents would he need to provide? Thank you for your time and any advice or information!

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Attorney answers 1


Marriage requirements, including necessary documents, vary from state to state and are not a matter of immigraiton law. Entering the U.S. with the intention of marrying, however, is an important immigration legal matter.

If your fiancee is entering the U.S. on a visitor's visa, he must have the intention to enter the U.S. to stay temporarily and then return abroad. If he entered on a visitor's visa and promptly married a U.S. Citizen with the intention of remaining in the U.S., then he will face the risk of being deemed to have entered the U.S. fraudulently. If indeed he is entering the U.S. with the intention of marrying, then it would be wise for him to apply for a fiance visa which would allow him to enter the U.S. and then marry. Alternatively, if no decision has been made about getting married and he genuinely has an intention to return home, then he may enter the U.S. with a visitor's visa, and if he (and you) later decide to marry, the marriage should be scheduled more than 60 days after he enters the U.S. and he should be prepared to demonstrate that upon entering the U.S. he genuinely intended to stay only temporarily. Evidence of his intention might include, for example, having a leased or owned residence abroad, having employment abroad, maintaining financial relationships abroad, etc.

[Note: Consistent with Avvo policy, this communication is intended as general information and not as specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.]

David N. Soloway
Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, PC
1800 Century Place, Suite 100
Atlanta, Georgia 30345
404-320-7000 * 1-877-232-5352 *