Oct 2, 2009, 9:43 PM
Post #17 of 39
A foreigner being married to an American citizen does not confer the right to enter or live in the US. A foreign spouse must still meet all of the requirements and jump through all the hoops to get any type of temporary visa or permanent residency card (Green card).
The requirements of The INS change, but when my Mexican wife and I were married in Alaska, she was allowed to remain in The US while her green card was processed because she had entered The US legally with a legitimate visa. The INS examined the visa in her passport very carefully. They told me that if a foreign national had a visa on a separate card or paper, and not in their passport, they were always fake.
If she had entered The US illegally, she would have been required to return to her home country while her case was being processed. That can be very time consuming.
I will ad the tip that if a couple is married in a foreign country and moves to México, it is prudent to register the marriage with The Mexican Federal government. A certificate will be issued certifying that the marriage is legitimate. That eliminates the need to provide apostilled copies every year when renewing a FM3 visa. By law, the federal registration certificate must be returned to you, it may not be retained by any Mexican government agency.
Our lawyer registered ours for us in México City, he was going there anyway and as I remember the cost was only about $1,000 Pesos a few years ago, I did need to provide him with an apostilled copy of our marriage certificate. That has saved me a lot of money. The apostilled copies cost me about US $70 Dollars each, they were always retained, and another was required every year. I have no idea of which Mexican Government agency was used, our lawyer handled it all.
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo