Can You Get Married on US Tourist Visa?

I was recently reading a case of a European tourist who was denied status of adjustment after he got married in USA on a tourist visa. He ended up being sent back to his home country. When I researched further, I got know that while there are no rules against getting married America on a tourist visa, you will need to go through series of trials where you will have to prove that you didn’t have any pre-conceived intention of getting married and your love happened spontaneously.

Here is a list of things that you should consider before getting deciding to get married in the US on a tourist visa.

Marriage While on US Tourist Visa

Here are the things you should know about marriage on a tourist visa.

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The marriage must be in good faith

Your intent matters a lot while you appear with your case at the United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS). The success or failure of your immigration status largely depends on your intention of getting married. If you are unable to prove that you got married in good faith, it might lead to your deportation.

The 30/60 rule

The Department of State has developed a “30/60 day rule” to help consular officers determine if someone has committed visa fraud, says an article on VisaPro. According to this rule, a preconceived intention is assumed if a person has applied for a visa and then applied for status adjustment within 30 or 60 days of their arriving in the United States.

Timing the wedding

It is often advised not to get married too soon after arriving in the country. This could raise a red flag for immigration officers, when they examine your case. So, wait for at least 2 months before planning the wedding, since this will increase your chances of getting a status adjustment.

Denial of status adjustment

Getting married in the US while on a tourist visa is no guarantee that you will get a status adjustment, says an article on Pride Immigration. The possible reasons for the denial may include criminal record, health conditions, previous sanctions, etc. If the immigration officer believes that you had prior intention of getting married, they may deny your application. You can then apply for an immigrant visa through the US consulate or return to your homeland.

Be honest with the Border Protection Officers

When you enter USA, the Custom and Border Protection (CPP) officers will ask you for the reason for your visit. Be sure that you are always honest with them. If you state that you are in America on a holiday trip and then they find a bunch of wedding invitation cards in your luggage, get ready for some intense inspection. Moreover, if you can’t prove your intent to the Border Protection officials, you will on the next flight home.

So, the smart thing to do if you are planning to get married in USA on tourist visa is to first assess all the options to avoid any hassles after to arrive in the country.

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Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Ex “NRI” and Founder of the “Back to India” movement. I share my experience about immigrating to USA here.

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