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Legal » Immigration » Marry-an-american-050902
Wanna marry an American?

Sudhir Shah Sudhir Shah
A Member of American Immigration Lawyers Association of USA and a practicing Lawyer of Mumbai. He is an expert on USA Immigration Laws. He provides guidance on how to prepare, apply and obtain a visa to travel to the USA upon marrying someone residing there.

To marry, you only have to nod your head and say, "I do". If both are Hindus, you may undergo the rituals and if professing different religions and thus marrying under the Special Marriage Act, all that you need to do is, sign a register in the presence of three witnesses. But if you marry someone residing in USA and intend to travel to USA thereafter, your ordeal will start after marriage. Marriages are made in heaven but visas are issued at the Consulate. And they are not easy to get.

The IRC connection
If you marry a USA citizen, you fall under the Immediate Relative Category. Your American spouse can sponsor you for Green Card by filing Form I-130 with the USICS Service Centre in USA. If your American spouse is ready, willing and able to spare two months in staying with you in India, it may be possible to file that petition at the USA Embassy in New Delhi. Issuing of immigrant visas pursuant to such petitions are not restricted by any yearly quota so you do not have to stand in queue and wait for five years for the quota to become available as in the case of a Green Card Holder. But yet the Immigration officers take time, which could be two to six months or more, to process your petition and then you have to schedule an appointment for spouse visa interview at the Consulate.

The K-1 factor
If you are planning to marry a US citizen, whom you have personally met during the last two years, you are permitted to travel to USA and get married in USA within 90 days from your arrival in US. However, your USA citizen fiancé is required to file petition for your fiancé (K-1) visa by submitting Form no.I-129F That too takes few months for processing and, even to receive K-1 visa, you have to undergo the ordeal of a personal interview at the Consulate in India.


Lucky yuppy
Indians in America on non-immigrant visas such as Student F-1 or M-1, H-1B workers and Intra Company Transferee L-1 visa holders are more fortunate. They can invite their spouse in USA and applications made by them for dependent visas are immediately entertained. But they too have to appear for the personal interview.

Some suspects
The Officers at the USA Consulates normally presume that marriages of all Indians, who thereafter apply for USA visas, are not genuine. It may be usual for an American to marry more than once but when an Indian in America marries for a second time and his / her spouse applies for a visa, the Officers invariably suspect the bona fide of the marriage.

Still wanna marry an American?
Then before tying the nuptial knot know the requirements of USA Consular Officers.

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