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Q: Marriage to a South African woman ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Marriage to a South African woman
Category: Family and Home > Relationships
Asked by: uaeguy-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 27 May 2006 10:50 PDT
Expires: 26 Jun 2006 10:50 PDT
Question ID: 732864
I am a US citizen working in the UAE . A South African woman and I
plan to marry in SA . We will re-locate after marrying to the UAE. I also want to
know about her eventually getting a US passport. So what do we need to do to 
marry in SA so its recognised by the US , UAE recognition and Visa's I know
Subject: Re: Marriage to a South African woman
Answered By: hummer-ga on 27 May 2006 12:50 PDT
Hi uaeguy,

The law of the land where the marriage takes place is what determines
the validity of a marriage certificate. In other words, as long as
everything is done properly in South Africa, your marriage certificate
will be recognized in the United States. It would be a good idea to
visit the American Consulate in South Africa after the wedding to
authenticate the documents.

Validity of Marriages Abroad
"In general, marriages which are legally performed and valid abroad
are also legally valid in the United States. Inquiries regarding the
validity of a marriage abroad should be directed to the attorney
general of the state in the United States where the parties to the
marriage live."
"As a rule, marriages are not performed on the premises of an American
embassy or consulate. The validity of marriages abroad is not
dependent upon the presence of an American diplomatic or consular
officer, but upon adherence to the laws of the country where the
marriage is performed. Consular officers may authenticate foreign
marriage documents. The fee for authentication of a document is

Contact Information American Consulates


In regards to a U.S. passport for your wife, it is a little more
complicated because only U.S. citizens are granted passports and in
order to become a U.S. citizen, she will need to reside in the U.S. as
a permanent resident for at least 3 years.

New Application for a U.S. Passport
"To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to go in person to
one of  7,000 passport acceptance facilities located throughout the
United States with two photographs of yourself, proof of U.S.
citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as a
driver?s license."

Naturalization Eligibility Worksheet


Step One: Petition for Alien Relative
"You must first file an immigrant Petition for Alien Relative, form
I-130 for your spouse with the BCIS Office that serves the area where
you live. The BCIS will send you a Notice of Action (Form I-797)
receipt notice. This notice tells you that the BCIS has received the
You next file Petition for Alien FiancÚ(e), form I-129F for your
spouse and children. Send the I-129F petition, supporting documents
and a copy of the Form I-797 receipt notice to this Department of
Homeland Security BCIS Address on their web site. "
National Visa Center (NVC) Sends Petition To Post
"After the BCIS approves the I-129F, it sends it to the National Visa
Center (NVC). The NVC sends the petition electronically to the embassy
or consulate in the country where the marriage took place. If your
marriage took place in the United States, the NVC sends the petition
to the embassy or consulate that issues visas in the country of your
spouse's nationality."


Step Two: Apply for a Visa in South Africa
Nonimmigrant Visa for a Spouse (K-3):

How Do I Become a K-Nonimmigrant as the Spouse or Child of a U.S. Citizen?


Step Three: Enter the U.S. with the K-3 


Step Four:  Register for Permanent Residency

How Do I Change My Fiance(e)?s Status to Lawful Permanent Resident?

"After marriage, your spouse must file Form I-485 Application to
Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status with the BCIS office
that serves the area where you live in the United States.."


Step Five:  Citizenship and Passport
Residence and Physical Presence
An applicant is eligible to file if, immediately preceding the filing
of the application, he or she:
 * has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (see preceding section);
 * has resided continuously as a lawful permanent resident in the U.S.
for at least 5 years [3 years for a spouse] prior to filing with no
single absence from the United States of more than one year;
 * has been physically present in the United States for at least 30
months out of the previous five years (absences of more than six
months but less than one year shall disrupt the applicant's continuity
of residence unless the applicant can establish that he or she did not
abandon his or her residence during such period)
 * has resided within a state or district for at least three months

*If You Have Been Married to a U.S. Citizen for at Least 3 Years:
3 years as a Permanent Resident without leaving the United States for
trips of 6 months or longer

I hope that isn't too daunting! If you have any questions, please post
a clarification request and wait for me to respond before
closing/rating my answer.

Thank you,
There are no comments at this time.

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