Does anyone know if a Russian woman could marry an American man when she is in the United States on a tourist visa? My former girlfriend (who I am very good friends with still) wants to come over and visit me again for the fourth time. We met a few years ago and had a lot in common but not enough for a marriage. My very close friend and her became very close and now he has said that he would be interested in marrying her. They both want to get to know each other a little better before they actually get married though. She is coming over in January on a tourist visa and the both of them might get married while she is here. If they did get married would it be legal? Would Russia recognize the marriage? Please let me know if you have any comments on this. Thank you, Jack
I am no expert on this, but I believe it would depend on where they get married and the laws imposed by that state. In general, I believe that civil marriages require some kind of ID check and since the lady is just here on a tourist visa with no documentation of being a resident or citizen of the USA, I don't think any state will sanction that marriage. As for the other country will recognize the marriage, I think they would. My local county office said that if I married overseas, they would recognize it.
I am absolutely not expert on this, but I have made some study to try to understand the rules for these things. Based on my limited understanding:
(1) I'm confident that they can marry. The laws will vary from state to state, but I'm sure there are many places where people can legally marry in the US without needing to show that they are citizens. However, she will need to present her birth certificate -- and perhaps some other basic documents -- in order to get a marriage license. She has to make sure that she has enough documents with her, and I suppose some special procedures will be needed because they are in Russian language.
But if they want to live in the US, the deeper questions have to do with her immigration status.
(1) People certainly do this (marry when the alien is in the US on a visitor visa), and get away with it.
(2) However, the US State Department, as a matter of official policy, doesn't like this practice. If she applies for permanent residency, the State Dept. could (at their discretion) throw her out of the US and ban her from returning for 5 years -- visitor visas are issued for specific purposes, NOT including marriage. In any case, they would look at her application with skepticism and careful scrutiny: they will assume immigration fraud, until she (and her new husband) prove otherwise to their satisfaction.
(3) Probably, Russia would recognize the marriage after a mind-shattering process involving countless documents, translations thereof, apostilles, circular stamps on documents in blue ink, etc. etc. Unless he wants to establish residency in Russia, why would they care about Russian recognition of the marriage?
Also, I have read that even if you are married to a Russian citizen, establishing residency there is a long, slow process.
here is the process in a nut shell for more information try visajourney if she comes on a fiance visa it takes about 6 months for her visa to be approved then after marriage apply for temporary green card (good for 3 years). if they get married it will take about 2 years and she will get a permanent green card (good for 10 years) when she arrives or i should say they will send a letter saying it is being printed. as it is being processed she will have to remain in her home country to wait for the embassy to ask for and process her documents.
As I believe, Durak is right that they could legally be married here. Girl would only need an adjustment in her status. I don't believe you need any documents. If you do have documents, doesn't it seem that there was some intent to come here to marry???
I did look this up a few years ago!