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i am a US citizen wanting to marry a non US citizen (Filipina). can we get married since shes here in the USA

she has a tourist visa, and shes allowed to stay for 6 months here, can we get married? if so, does she have to go back to the philippines?

Asked by:pseudonymph214

  • Chad posted: 13 Oct at 9:44 pm

    Yes you can get married, just obtain the paperwork required for your state then submit a change of visa for her from tourist to immigrant so she can stay permanently.

  • Louwho posted: 16 Oct at 1:46 am

    yes you can just take all the paperwork to prove your status and id’s and birth certificates.

  • paula d posted: 18 Oct at 2:22 am

    been there done that of course you can. right to marry anybody you please but now a days its so much harder to fix citizenship

  • Doodlestuff posted: 21 Oct at 6:25 am

    Yes, you can get married, but if her resident visa doesn’t come through before her tourist visa expires, she has to go back until her resident visa comes through. Happened to my aunt’s sister. The wait wasn’t that long.

  • ljwaks posted: 22 Oct at 2:52 am

    I married a non-national. While she was back in her home country she applied for an fiance visa. She came to the US and we got married a few months later and she got a green card right away, plus an expedited pathway to citizenship.

    I was advised to handle the matter that way rather than marry her while she was here on another kind of visa, or marry her in her home country.

    Your best bet (by far!) is to go to the library together, get a book called US Citizenship Made Simple, and study the alternative approaches to marrying a foreign national.. This book spells out all of the pros and cons of the different pathways to immigration, marriage and citizenship. If you do everything the book advises you will have as easy a time as we did.

    Great good luck with your marriage.

  • Sandy G posted: 25 Oct at 2:50 am

    Yes you can. But she must go thru due process to become a citizen. She cannot be used to apply for credit or anything like that. Also, tho you are married, the US will not recognize her as your legal spouse so if you should be injured in a life threatening way, they will completely ignore her wishes insofar as deciding your fate should you need emergency surgery. She will, in effect, be a non-entity until she is legal. Also, you will be unable to claim her on any income taxes, insurance claims, or other legal formalities. If you are serious, engage a lawyer immediately. Married or not, after 6 months, she will be here illegally. Good luck to you.

  • gary c posted: 25 Oct at 7:44 am

    I met my beautiful wife while working in Ukraine for 2 years and brought her here on a K-1, fiancee visa, so I am very familiar with this process.

    YES, you can get married. There are NO citizenship requirements to get married, the Supreme Court recently ruled that states CANNOT deny marriage because of immigration status. That said, your marriage will have NO affect or her visa or status in the USA. She does NOT become a citizen (or legal immigrant) because she marries you!

    You can get married and then file for a IR-1 (Immediate relative) visa for her. Since she IS legally here on a visa, she MAY be able to stay while the IR visa is processed. That I am not sure of but the good people at USCIS will tell you. At worst, she would have to leave when her visa expires and return when her IR visa is approved, but I think she would be able to stay. Unless there is some “liability” such as a criminal record, the IR visa WILL be approved, it may take up to a year. The other option is to file for a K-1 fiancee visa which gets processed MUCH faster (ours took 61 days) and THEN get married and she can definitely stay while you complete her adjustment of status (green card). I think your K-1 visa would be approved before her tourist visa expires.

    You DO NOT need an attorney. The USCIS forms are simple (but numerous) and the people there are very accomodating. It is absolutely NOT true that they see all these marriages as scams and try to delay them or discourage them. Attorneys which deal in this type of case ALWAYS say this and it is NOT true. They take a considerable amount of your money for doing very simple paperwork (most of which you will have to provide to them anyway) and they do NOT get anything processed faster.

    I can highly recommend the website “” to you. You can join as a member (it is free) and all the members have all gone through the same thing. The forums there are a great place for information and ALL the people are very nice, understanding and helpful.

    Good luck.

    Edit: Whenever someone asks these questions I am appalled at the answers! Really, people, if you do not know about it, don’t give bad advice!

    You DO NOT need an attorney. This woman is here legally, you are NOT breaking the law! The marriage is absolutely recognized, absolutely legal and binding in EVERY way, even if you do NOT apply for an IR-1 visa and she must return to her country you are STILL legally married! You CAN claim her on income tax, she CAN approve medical procedures, she CAn be the beneficiary of your will, insurance, ANYTHING. She is your WIFE! There is NO requirement that she become a citizen of the USA, EVER! She will receive a permanent residence status (unconditional) after 2 years and can stay here forever, go back and forth and she pleases, collect SS (if she is in SS for the minimum 40 quarters) etc., etc. She will have EVERY right and privilege of a US citizen, except voting. My wife has been here 8 years and is not a citizen, she does not need to be.

    The only question I have is whether she can stay after her visa expires and before the IR visa is approved. I did not get married that way, so I am not sure. But the good people at the USCIS can tell you and so can members at

  • Dana K posted: 25 Oct at 11:31 pm

    Go ahead and marry and watch them do the runner as soon as they are legal and don’t need you any more. I see this all the time with Philippines. There counrty is so very poor and they will need to send money home every month for their family. Sad, but all so true.

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