Is it a problem when applying for a spouse visa if you got married in the U.S while in the country on a tourist visa and went back home?

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Is it a problem when applying for a spouse visa if you got married in the U.S while in the country on a tourist visa and went back home?

I recently married my wife in NY, who was here on a tourist visa, but has since then returned back to her country. Will that be a problem when trying to get her a spouse visa? And before starting the whole spouse visa process, can she come vist me for 1-2 weeks using her tourist visa to enter the country without any problems? It is not a fraudulent marriage We see each other every 2-3 months when one of us comes to visits the other in their country. Last month when she came to NY and we got married, it happened unexpectedly. Suddenly, we realized we wanted to get married and so we did.

Asked on November 17, 2011 under Immigration Law, New York

Answers:

SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If she has since left and gone back to her home country, after the marriage, it will not have any negative impact on her case since one is permitted to get married while in the US (people do it all the time).  Now that she is outside the US, however, and married to a US citizen, you will need to petition for her immigrant visa so that she can immigrate to the US.  While this process is pending, she may not be permitted to enter the US as a visitor since the filing of that petition will show immigrant intent on her part.  If you want to have her stay with you for a while during the course of this petition, she can try to enter the US and then you petition for her.  The process will take about 9-12 months and she will need to go back to her home country for the consular interview.


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