Legal Question in Immigration Law in Pennsylvania

Marriage to US citizen

I am a Canadian citizen engaged to a US citizen (PA). My question is, do I have to get a fiancee visa in order to cross the border to be married. Or can I simply go down for a visit and marry during this time period. We would like to do everything as legal as possible. But the fiancee visa seems like an uncessary headache. Especially when I know that after I marry, I can just apply for an adjustment of status. I cannot find any clear information on this subject. Is it illegal to enter the US with the intention of marriage without a visa? Its not as if this is a marriage of convenience and it has been planned for awhile.

During my last visit of several months, could I have simply gotten married and waited for the adjustment of status? I wish we had done this when I look at the ridiculous wait times for a fiancee visa. Please any suggestions and advice would be most welcome!

thank you!

Asked on 11/11/08, 2:24 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Roger Traversa Arjont Group (Law Office of Roger Traversa)

Re: Marriage to US citizen

You asked if you need to obtain a fiance Visa in order to travel to the U.S. to marry.

Yes. Absolutely. If you misstate the purpose of entry to the U.S. then you have committed a fraud. The ICE takes this very seriously and just because you're from our Northern neighbor does not make the unlawful entry any less forgiveable.

The law clearly requires that a visitor state the purposes of a visit and obtain the proper visa. Failure to do so could result in the denial of change of status, deportation, AND exclusion from the U.S. for a statutory period (it's either five or 10 years).

The process is bureaucratic, slow and expensive. But the reasoning and precedence provide that the ICE can and will win in a fight over the matter.

Hiring an attorney can make the process much more efficient and can often even save costs over doing the same process without guidance.

Good luck and regards,


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Answered on 11/12/08, 12:50 am

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