Immigration Law

Marrying a Foreign Citizen? 4 Things You Should Know

Wedding Couple Sitting At Sunset

Sometimes ‘the one’ we decide to marry for life is worth crossing borders for. Sometimes, they feel the same way about you, and one day desire to come across the border and set up a life with you on your home turf. If this is you, congratulations! You’re likely to experience the best years of your romantic life ahead. However, you should also be aware of the requirements you must fulfill in order to make this dream a reality. Simply because you have chosen to marry, you aren’t entitled to any special considerations. You must prove yourself in the eyes of your local and federal authorities in order for your partner to successful cross the border as a resident.

This process is lengthy and can have many stages. For complex advice you should consider utilizing immigration help services. We have simply collated a list of important things to know, and attitudes to keep close. When you make it through the process well, you will be happy you made the effort.

Notify Immediately

The moment you decide to get married, you must inform your local immigration and government authorities immediately. Registering your interest, even before you draw up your full plans will give you time to figure out your next step. It will also help you declare to the border authorities the intention of your partners stay if they are coming to help plan the wedding. At the very least you will be given resources, and sent to the correct state department team to work through this application process.


This is not a fast process. It takes on average around 8 to 12 months to gain your immigrant visa after marrying a home national in the US, and that’s considered one of the more rapid methods to get one. It will take patience for you to wade through the paperwork, and patience to diligently search your files for the information they require.


It’s important to have the correct funds to facilitate this process. There many be application fees, or your finances may be checked. You may be subject to an income threshold. For example, those who earn less than $20,000 a year are likely to be rejected. Investigators are diligent in protecting against marriage fraud, and can sniff out any falseness very quickly. Be sure all of your accounts and books are in order if you hope for the process to transition smoothly.


It’s not a given that your potential spouse is completely aware of your country’s history, language, written and verbal communication. It’s important for your partner to understand some basic information about the country they hope to inhabit, as they are likely to be tested on this. If they are unable to, your spouse will not be suitable to live in that country until they do. You can help them with this information if you like, but they must know it and not simply repeat it to their examiners. Preferably they will have a competency in both written and spoken English.

With these tips, the transition process should be smoother, allowing you to marry your beloved.

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Paul Tomaszewski is a science & tech writer as well as a programmer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of CosmoBC. He has a degree in computer science from John Abbott College, a bachelor's degree in technology from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and completed some business and economics classes at Concordia University in Montreal. While in college he was the vice-president of the Astronomy Club. In his spare time he is an amateur astronomer and enjoys reading or watching science-fiction. You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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