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Immigration Issues/US Citizen to marry a UK Citizen


I was born and raised in the US - my girlfriend has dual citizenship between England and Belgium.  We plan on marrying and would like to reside in the US.  She would also like to get a job here at some point (maybe teaching or translating as she has a college degree in languages and is fluent in English, French, and mostly fluent in Italian).  What process should we follow to make this as quick and painless as possible?  Should she come here on a visitor's visa and then we get married while she's legally here on the visitor's visa?  If so, what would our next step(s) be to make her eligibility to live (and eventually work) here?  Or is there another route which would be more so advised?  Any help you can offer is GREATLY appreciated!

PS - the American-based company I work for has an office in the UK - and there are talks of having me work out of the UK office for up to 2 years.  Would this be advisable?  The thought was that it might make it easier for us to be together there in the UK and would give us the 2 years to get the necessary paperwork sorted out.  Again - any & all advice is MOST GREATLY appreciated!

Thank you!

Well you asked me two questions, one of which I cannot answer. I cannot tell you where to work or why. I can barely figure that one out for myself.

However, if you are in the USA, and you want to get married and live in the USA with your future wife, the best thing to do will be to have her come to the US on a visitors visa or waiver visa. It is very important that SHE DOES NOT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT GETTING MARRIED to Immigration. If she does she will be excluded and deported as entering the country under false pretenses. Now if she is allowed into the USA, she will then have absolutely no problem with the false pretense thing. That is just a barrier to entry. Once it is passed, it is over. You then go and get married and apply for her visa here in the USA. At the same time you apply for an adjustment of status, and a temporary work authorization. This will take a long time so while you are both waiting she will be able to work. If you know that she is going to need to travel while she is waiting, then she will need to obtain an advanced parole re-entry permit so that she can re-enter the US.

If you intend to live in the UK it would be better to go there and get married and then process the visa through the US Consulate.

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Alexander J. Hay


I am a U.S. lawyer with offices in Houston, Texas and in Belize. I can answer questions on U.S. Immigration, U.S. corporate law, and Offshore Tax and Asset Planning.
If you are on an H or L visa I am NOT GOING TO ANSWER your questions since they are usually highly fact oriented, and also you have a company attorney handling the whole thing. Call your own attorney please! If you disregard this request, don't be surprised if I answer with "homework question".


I am a U.S. attorney with offices in the United States and Belize. I have experience helping to protect assets, reduce taxes, and improve investment performance by utilizing global investment techniques.

Harvard University, A.B. degree; University of Houston Law Center, J.D. Degree; Fulbright Scholar

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