What are the procedures to marry a foreigner?

UPDATED: Jan 25, 2011

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What are the procedures to marry a foreigner?

I am a U.S. citizen engaged to be married to a man from Africa. I would like to know what the procedures are to be married in here in Columbus, OH. Should we obtain an immigration law attorney?

Asked on January 25, 2011 under Family Law, Ohio


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

US citizens and non-citizens (including temporary visitors; legal and illegal immigrants) have the right to get married in this country. There are no limitations for foreigners to get married. There are several steps, however, that must be followed in order for the marriage to be valid.  One of the most important is the residency requirement, as some states require U.S. residency and others do not.  Other factors that must be taken into consideration include other requirements that can vary depending on the state such as blood tests, Identification documentation, types of legal marriages, and age restrictions. 

Since requirements for marriage can differ substantially from state-to-state, you would be well advised to seek legal counsel in your area before attempting to marry.  Unless all necessary requirements are met, the marriage will be invalid. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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