Marrying in the US- visitors visa or fiance visa

My fiance and I are getting married next July in Hawaii.
He is an American citizen, I hold dual Taiwanese/Australian citizenship
We are currently living in Japan

We don’t intend on living in the US after we are married (not immediately anyway… perhaps a few years down the line)

My question is, should I enter the country next July on a visitors visa… or apply for a fiance visa?

Thanks in advance

Technically, it is not permitted to enter on a visitor visa with the intention to get married in the US. However, it is OK if you just so happen to decide to get married after you arrive. If you do decide to enter on a visitor visa, it is important that you consistently state that tourism is your purpose for visiting to any officials who ask.

Another issue is that a fiance visa while called a ‘nonimmigrant’ visa is considered to be a first step towards immigration. Once someone who has entered on a fiance visa is married to the sponsor of the visa, they are then considered an immigrant. As a result, getting a fiance visa is much more involved.

One thing I might suggest is looking into getting married in a brief civil procedure first, and then having the wedding in Hawaii be a ceremonial matter? That is one way often used to avoid the technicalities of which visa to use.

Thanks for your response.

Unfortunately having a civil procedure here in Japan would be difficult…

Re: finance visa… If I started the application process now, what are my chances of obtaining one by July 2007? (That is about eight months away … )
Also, am I able to apply for one from Japan?

Ugh… I hate dealing with customs and immigration ><

Actually, your fiance, the American citizen needs to start the application for a fiance visa. Next July should be possible. A lot of it depends on where his residence is in the US and what service center he will need to send the application to. It is a real pain, but I’m sure it will be worth it. Best of luck!

I would suggest getting married on a visitor’s visa. My husband is British and that’s what we did. We looked into the fiance visa, but we would have had to have stayed in our home countires while it was being processed, which I was told would take about a year. It was far more complicated. Although immigration won’t tell you that you can get married on a visitor’s visa, you can do it, it’s perfectly legal and hassle-free.

I’ve been hearing conflicting information about whether it is infact legal to be married on a Visitor’s Visa. We don’t want to risk it so we’re going to start the application process for a Fiance Visa …

Wish us luck!

[quote=“She”]I’ve been hearing conflicting information about whether it is infact legal to be married on a Visitor’s Visa. We don’t want to risk it so we’re going to start the application process for a Fiance Visa …

Wish us luck![/quote]
Of course it’s legal. It is just that the US is so worried about marriage visa scams … and with all those furriners trying to sneak into the US they’d prefer you didn’t.

As I said before, the only problem is entering on a visitor’s visa with the intent to marry. Really what they are worried about is if you marry and then file a change of immigration status. Since you aren’t going to do the latter then it shouldn’t be an issue. You just need to make sure that you do not state your intent to marry when applying for a visitor visa or entering the US. Since you are planning to go to Hawaii it should be quite believable that your purpose of visit is tourism. Plenty of posters here have married in the US while their spouse was on a visitor’s visa, including me.

PS- You may also be denied a fiance visa because you do not intend to immigrate. Once you have married the sponsor of a marriage visa you are immediately considered to be an immigrant. Since your intent is to marry and then leave, you may not qualify for a fiance visa.

I found this:

[quote]We only wish to travel to the U. S. for our wedding. We will return to Japan after marriage. Do we still need a fiancé(e) visa?

A person travelling to the U.S. to marry a U.S. citizen with the intention of returning to his/her place of permanent residence abroad may apply for a visitor (B-2) visa, or if eligible, travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program. Evidence of a residence abroad to which the B-2 visa holder or visa free traveller intends to return should be carried for presentation to an immigration inspector at the port of entry.
This is from the website of the US Embassy in Japan.

So … it looks like this problem is solved.

If you hold dual Taiwanese/Australian citizenship, do you qualify for visa free entry to the US using your Australian passport? If so, I’m confused about what this thread is asking.

I was originally asking whether I needed to apply for a K-1 Fiance Visa in order to get married in the US, or whether I would be okay with a visitors visa/no visa (VWP)

Problem has been solved now …