What steps do we need to take in order for my wife to become a U.S. Citizen?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What steps do we need to take in order for my wife to become a U.S. Citizen?

My Wife Is from Pakistan, and Last year We got Married. We have never physically met in person before. In Pakistan its legal to get married through Skype, so we got married through skype. She is a Christian and in Pakistan ‘Religious Minorities’ don’t have to get their marriage certificate registered with the country of Pakistan but if it will be required in order for her to become a U.S. citizen, then we will do it in order for it to be a ‘Legal Marriage’. They just Need for the Local Church Leader to preform the marriage and fill out the marriage certificate, along with two witnesses, and the bride and groom. So we had our marriage ceremony through skype, and the Church Leader, the two witnesses, and my wife filled out and signed our marriage certificate on June 20th, 2015, then my wife sent the marriage certificate to me through the mail and I also signed my name. According to the Laws in Pakistan, we are legally married now, but we have never met in person before. My question is this, now what do we need to do, what steps physical and legal do we need to take now in order for my wife to get a Marriage visa, come to America, and become a U.S. Citizen? What is your advice and opinions for us according to the facts and information I gave you? I need some advice. Thank you

Asked on May 1, 2016 under Immigration Law, Indiana


SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

This type of marriage may be legal in Pakistan but it will be frowned upon by the US immigration because it sounds fraudulent and for immigration purposes only.  If you are really  married, I would understand that you may not have been able to go to the ceremony for whatever reason but it's been 9 months already since you are supposedly married and you still have not made the effort to meet your wife?  That sounds bizarre and I'm almost certain this type of application will meet iwth a lot of scrutiny if not outright denial.  i'd suggest that before you file anything you actually meet in person.

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