I would like to know if my fiancée can come to the U.S. to marry civilly without having to obtain a K1 visa?

UPDATED: Jan 22, 2015

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I would like to know if my fiancée can come to the U.S. to marry civilly without having to obtain a K1 visa?

I’m a US citizen marrying an Italian citizen. We intend to have a symbolic ceremony in Italy next year but marry civilly/legally in the U.S. first (before the symbolic/religious ceremony). My fiancée does not have intentions to live in the US right away because of his job and other responsibilities. So, a few months/year or so after our marriage, I plan to File the “I-130, Petition for Alien Relative” so that he can reside in the US. Whenever he travels to the US to visit me for 2 or 3 weeks, he always obtains an ESTA before flying (Italy is a VWP country). So, this is what he would do, then return immediately back to Italy.

Asked on January 22, 2015 under Immigration Law, Florida


SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if he plans to just come to the US to marry and then return to Italy, he does not need to have a K-1 visa to enter.� However, at the time of entry to the US using VWP he should not indicate that the reason for his trip is to get married as he will likely be refused entry.� He should simply indicate that he is coming to the US to visit.

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