American marrying a Taiwanese


I know this has been posted many times before, but just in case immigrant laws have changed since older posts I’d like to know some up-to-date things.

First, I’ll tell you my plan. My Taiwanese fiancée and I plan to get married next week in Taiwan. We are travelling to the US next month where she’ll be using a travel visa. While there, we plan to apply for her green card. Then we’ll be coming back to Taiwan to wait out the green card process. After everything’s set and done, we’ll be moving back to the US where we’ll be residing and working.

Am I doing this right? Should I get married in the US instead? Are there other immigrant visas I should be applying for? Does my fiancée need any kind of visa before applying for a green card? Can we apply from Taiwan before even going to the US next month? Is there anything other than a green card my future wife could use to reside in the states if she’s not working?

I’m lost about all of this. Any ideas on what best steps should be taken would be greatly appreciated!


I think you’d best find a lawyer, first and foremost. According to what I’ve heard, though, if you’re already married and your wife tries to enter the US on a tourist visa, she very well might be turned away and even barred from the country for several years for trying to enter on false pretenses. If a foreigner is married to a US citizen, it’s automatically assumed that their purpose for entering the country is to stay there permanently.

Also I think you’re unclear in the bit about how you will return to Taiwan to “wait out the green card process.” A green card is a card granting permanent residence, which can easily be abandoned if someone leaves the country (just like PARCs here in Taiwan). And your wife’s “permanent residence” won’t even be permanent until you and she live together in the country for two solid continuous years and then together go into immigration HQ for an interview to confirm that your marriage is valid. (That’s where they separately ask you how many windows are in your house, which side of the bed you sleep on, what each other’s favorite flavor of ice cream is, etc.)

Things may have changed a bit, but I’d still strongly advise to educate yourself and find a lawyer if possible.


Why not just apply for the green card in Taiwan after you return from the US? The process takes a long time.

For the record, I’ve been married and living with my Taiwanese wife in Taiwan for well over 10 years, and she’s always entered the US as a tourist. However, like Lil’ Slugger said above, if you and your wife are going to be married when you enter the US, I would recommend her entering the US on an immigrant visa if her intention is to stay there after getting a green card. It can all be done while here in Taiwan, and I think that’s probably the proper way to do it.


I’m Taiwanese who got married in the States. I went to USA with a tourist visa and got married within 90 days after entering USA. I choose to stay in the States while waiting for my green card. The only documents that I had problems with is my birth certificate. Make sure to bring all important documents when you apply for green card. Vaccination records included. My hubby’s family helped a lot during the process. If you’re not familiar with the immigration process, hiring a lawyer could be helpful.


That is illegal if you had intent to marry when you entered. Depending on enforcement of immigration laws, you could be expelled for that if they decide you had intent to violate your visa.