Cities and Towns in the United States > Vitalrecords > Marrying Abroad and Validating a Marriage in the US


Can you get married in another country? The short answer is yes. Love knows no boundaries, and many Americans have found it outside their nation’s borders. Legally, you can marry anyone you wish to, regardless of your partner’s nationality.

Marrying within the country and abroad is different, considering the difference in legal requirements in other parts of the world regarding marriage.

If you choose to do it abroad, you should consolidate with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Here’s everything you need to learn about marrying abroad if you’re a citizen of the USA.

How to marry a u.s citizen

Marrying abroad? Why?

Marrying abroad is the process of a US citizen and a citizen of another nation deciding to solemnize their union outside the US, which in most cases is the non-US partner’s country of origin. The US consulate can’t perform marriage ceremonies outside the US, thanks to the varying legal requirements.

Couples may marry abroad if they prefer a different ambiance than what the US offers, scale down the budget, or the marriage laws of the non-citizen’s origin are more flexible regarding allowing international weddings.

Nevertheless, anyone can marry abroad as long as they have a passport, residency status, and visa, allowing them entry into the foreign country. You should also not be accused of crimes against humanity in a foreign nation for you to access the foreign land for nuptial purposes.

What to Consider Before Getting Married in Another Country

If you’re planning to have an overseas wedding, it’s vital to consider particular things that may affect the success of your event. These include the following:

  • • The weather

  • • Budgetary concerns

  • • Residence status if you need to have stayed there for some time before the wedding date

  • • Cultural differences

  • • Legal age to marry

  • • The local cuisine

  • • Order proceeding for weddings

  • • Location accessibility

  • • Travel Insurance.

You may need to add more considerations to your list depending on the laws and cultural requirements when planning and having a wedding in various countries.

Requirements And Documentation Needed

Considering the implications of getting married abroad, you must give specific proof to ascertain that the relationship is legitimate and that you have attained the requirements before tying the knot. These include the following:

  • • Proof of residency

  • • Age requirements or parental consent for persons aged 16 – 17

  • Death or divorce certificates for previous partners and relationships

  • • Affidavit of marriage eligibility

  • Passport, visa, and identification documents

  • • Blood tests

  • • A copy of the Certificate of witness to marry abroad

  • • Application fees.

These are the minimum requirements to have the wedding performed in a foreign country. Consequently, you should check with the embassy or the bureau responsible for such information in the foreign country for other specifics you must have to allow the union to proceed.

Where And How to Apply

You can apply for this service online, in person, or via mail. The option you choose depends on your location and available resources. If you’ve traveled abroad to the country you intend to marry, you can check out their local law courts, the US embassy, or any other bureau in charge of such processes.

If you are in the US, visit the country’s website for intel or its embassy in the US. USCIS can also offer in-depth information regarding what you need to have before proceeding to marry abroad. You can also mail the embassy or corresponding entity for help and directions on what you need to do to make the affair successful.

Attach the required documents with your identification documents and drop them off at the government’s entity responsible for foreign marriages. You will have to pay application fees to process this request.

What To Do to Validate Your Marriage in The Us

Once you have solemnized your union abroad, you must register or validate the marriage in the US for it to be recognized as legal and valid on US soil. The office of the attorney general is responsible for this procedure.

You should contact this entity to determine if your marriage is valid in the US, or you may have to validate it. Some individuals only have to translate the foreign marriage certificate to US English, and they’re good to go. Carry a copy of your marriage certificate if married abroad and follow the validation procedure in the US. Nevertheless, you must sign up for a US passport and visa for your spouse to allow them entry into the US.

Cost, Validity, and Processing Time

The time it takes to process a request to marry abroad varies from country to country. However, it may take about a few weeks to three months to process the request, depending on the circumstances revolving around your application.

The embassy or court may require additional information before approving your request. Once you marry abroad, the union is valid until you opt to divorce or if one of you dies. Additionally, you will pay application fees to validate your requests, which vary depending on the country and its legal requirements.

Wrap Up

International marriages are legal and permitted in almost every country around the globe. You should find out with your partner the legal requirements to marry in their nation before you start planning. After completing the marriage process abroad, ensure you validate the union in the US to obtain a US marriage certificate.