Getting married on a tourist visa in order to get the residency in the United States is a common practice. However, it is really dangerous, because it may lead to many legal problems.

The tourist visa is a temporary permit to be stay in the U.S. for 3-6 months. During this time, the immigrant cannot work or enroll in university courses.

Although it is not prohibited to get married on a tourist visa, the migration authorities will certainly interview the individuals in question to verify that they are not carrying out a marriage of convenience. If that were the case, the consequences, legally speaking, would be severe.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) could even immediately deny the residency request if they find out that the person entered the U.S. with the intention of getting married. In this case, the immigrant would have to return to their country of origin, and request the permanent residency from there –which could take several months or years.

If the case is different, and the residency is approved, the latter will initially be valid for two years while they prove that the marriage was not of convenience.

If the USCIS proves the contrary, the residency will be cancelled, the applicant will have to pay a fine and he or she will be deported. The applicant

Problems at Customs?

It is possible that an immigration officer at the U.S. border (harbor, airport or land border) forbids a foreigner on a tourist visa to enter the country if the former suspects that the latter has the intention of getting married. When talking to an authority, do not lie or omit important information. You have to accept that these officers are allowed to open your baggage, and as a consequence, suspicious items (a wedding dress, gifts, etc.) may increase the officer’s mistrust toward you.

Immigration officers have legal authority in such cases to prevent you from entering the country even when you hold a visa.