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Tying the knot in 90 days with a foreign spouse

While some weddings may take over a year to plan, Georgia residents who want to marry someone from another country are on a 90-day timeline. Unlike those with Green Cards, foreign visa rules are different during the marital process.

The first step is to secure a foreign visa by applying for a Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). The eligibility requirements in order to get a foreign visa for marriage include legally terminating any previous marriages or annulments; proving that the couple physically visited with each other at least one within two years of filing for a foreign visa petition or, if necessary, proving any long-established cultural beliefs that would prove why the couple had not been physically in each other's company for the past two years.

After the foreign visa is issued, the couple has 90 days to perform a marriage ceremony. After a legitimate marital license has been signed and the marriage is official, the foreign spouse can apply for permanent residence in the United States while the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services processes the application. If the foreign spouse has a child or children under the age of 21 who are unmarried, a K-2 nonimmigrant visa can be made available for the children to move to the United States as well. The names of any children must be mentioned on the I-129F form beforehand.

Couples who are concerned about risking the 90-day timeline may want to consult an attorney. In general, the fiancee's U.S. status will expire after a 90-day turnaround, and the engaged party will be immediately deported. A lawyer may be able to answer concerns about immigration status and marital rights to help the process along.

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