Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’

28th April 2023

With the end of the Emergency Decree in Thailand and the resumption of standard Thai Immigration protocols there have been a number of situations arising wherein foreign nationals are having an increasingly difficult time extending their Thai visa status. Those eligible opt to utilize the Thai O marriage visa as a method of maintaining status. One of the downsides of this type of Thai visa is the heightened scrutiny associated with this category as Thai Immigration officers are keen to expose “sham marriages” whenever and wherever possible.

Another issue, is the increasing difficulty associated with marriage registration in Thailand. It seems that post-COVID the process of registering a marriage between a foreign national and a Thai, or two foreign nationals for that matter, has become increasingly cumbersome. Furthermore, the overall time frame associated with processing registration of such marriages has increased rather dramatically. This is causing frustration for many foreigners seeking to marry a Thai and this is compounded by the complex nature of Thai O visa issuance associated therewith.

Meanwhile, these developments have ramifications for American Immigration as well. AS discussed many times on this blog, the process of obtaining an American tourist visa for a Thai national is nearly impossible due to the provisions of section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Application of this statute requires that consular officers be convinced that the applicant has demonstrated “strong ties” to Thailand, or another country which is not the USA, and “weak ties” to the USA. For many, this is not possible, especially in light of the doctrine of “Consular Absolutism” or “Consular Non-Reviewability“. An upshot to this is that many Americans opt to seek either a fiancee or marriage visa to the USA. In the past, the K-1 visa (the categorical designation for a fiance visa) was the fastest option to bring a Thai fiance to the USA. Since the end of the governmentally implemented lockdowns within the American immigration apparatus the fiance visa’s processing time has slowed substantially. This has lead many to seek lawful status via either the CR-1 visa or the IR-1 visa. It should be noted that while the K-3 visa remains a theoretical option for those seeking a visa for a spouse, as a practical matter this visa is not being issued with regularity. However, the issue with the CR-1 nd IR-1 categories is the fact that a couple must be married in order to be eligible for the benefit and with Thai marriage processing becoming more cumbersome, this method is not presently the most optimal. There may be options with regard to so-called “proxy marriage” in the USA, but this method presents its own set of problems as jurisdictional issues, timing, and consummation can prove nettlesome. It remains to be seen whether or not this situation becomes more tenable as the months progress. We will keep you updated on this blog as the situation evolves.

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16th June 2009

The whole point of obtaining a K1 visa is to allow the Thai fiancee a 90 day visit after traveling to the United States in order to ultimately get married. Should the couple opt not to marry, then the Thai fiancee will need to depart the country before the 90 day visa validity expires.

For those couples applying for an Immigrant Spouse Visa (CR-1 or IR-1) or a K-3 Visa, the marriage should already have taken place as the legal marriage acts as the foundation upon which the visa application is based.

That being stated, unlike Thailand, where marriage registration is a uniform process that essentially involves a trip to the local Amphur office for execution, in America the marriage procedures differ depending upon the state. Also, some states require the couple obtain a marriage license and wait a statutorily prescribed period before marriage. For the convenience of those reading this blog, here is a state by state list of rules regarding US marriage.

Blood Test and Marriage License Requirements by State

State Blood tests required Waiting period between applying for and receiving license How soon you can marry after receiving license When license expires
Alabama No None Immediately 30 days
Alaska No 3 days Immediately 3 months
Arizona No None Immediately 1 year
Arkansas No None Immediately No provision
California No None Immediately 90 days
Colorado No None Immediately 30 days
Connecticut Yes None Immediately 65 days
Delaware No None 24 hours; 96 hours if both spouses are nonresidents 30 days
District of Columbia Yes 3 days Immediately No provision
Florida No 3 days unless couple attends marriage preparation class Immediately 60 days
Georgia No None Immediately No provision
Hawaii No None Immediately 30 days
Idaho No None Immediately No provision
Illinois No None 1 day 60 days
Indiana Yes None Immediately 60 days
Iowa No 3 days Immediately No provision
Kansas No 3 days Immediately 6 months
Kentucky No None Immediately 30 days
Louisiana No None 3 days 30 days
Maine No 3 days Immediately 90 days
Maryland No None 2 days 6 months
Massachusetts Yes 3 days Immediately 60 days
Michigan No 3 days Immediately 33 days
Minnesota No 5 days Immediately 6 months
Mississippi Yes 3 days Immediately No provision
Missouri No 3 days Immediately 30 days
Montana Yes None Immediately 180 days
Nebraska No None Immediately 1 year
Nevada No None Immediately 1 year
New Hampshire No 3 days Immediately 90 days
New Jersey No 72 hours Immediately 30 days
New Mexico No None Immediately No provision
New York No None 24 hours 60 days
North Carolina No None Immediately 60 days
North Dakota No None Immediately 60 days
Ohio No None Immediately 60 days
Oklahoma Yes None Immediately 30 days
Oregon No 3 days Immediately 60 days
Pennsylvania No 3 days Immediately 60 days
Rhode Island No None Immediately 3 months
South Carolina No 24 hours Immediately No provision
South Dakota No None Immediately 20 days
Tennessee No None Immediately 30 days
Texas No None 3 days 31 days
Utah No None Immediately 30 days
Vermont No None Immediately 60 days
Virginia No None Immediately 60 days
Washington No 3 days Immediately 60 days
West Virginia No None Immediately 60 days
Wisconsin No 5 days Immediately 30 days
Wyoming No None Immediately No provision

One should bear in mind that upon marriage in the USA, the US Citizen should petition for adjustment of status for his new Thai wife.

For more about the above chart please click here

Please be advised that the above is an improper substitute for personal one-to-one legal advice from an attorney. No attorney client relationship is formed between the reader and the author.

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