Can I marry if I am on an F-1 visa?


Quick Answer

Duke University informs international students an F-1 visa allows them to marry, provided both individuals meet the qualifications for marriage. Once married, the holder of the F-1 visa is able to file for permanent residence using Form I-130.

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Full Answer

While each state sets its own marriage laws in the United States, in order to marry, one cannot be a partner in another legal marriage. If legally married, the individual must file for divorce and wait until the divorce finalizes before applying for a license, according to Duke University. In addition, both individuals must meet the state's minimum age requirements. Finally, the couple should have a marriage license issued by the appropriate authority where the wedding is taking place.

The University of Washington reminds students that marriage alone does not give them permission to remain in the United States. Immigration lawyers help the student to apply for permanent residency, which allows them to remain in the country legally.

As of July 2013, the Department of Homeland Security allows foreign nationals in legally recognized same-sex marriages to apply for permanent residence under the same rules as individuals in an opposite-sex marriage. Even if the couple is currently living in a state that does not recognize their union, Homeland Security recognizes same-sex marriages that are celebrated in locations where they are legal.

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