I plan on living abroad for 3-5 more years before moving back to the States. I will not be pursuing a green card/residency for my fiance at this time.

If I get married abroad, then have it recognized in the US - may I do so on a visitor visa?



  • 4
    It's not clear to me why you believe that you need to actually do anything to have your marriage recognized in the USA, or why you or your spouse would need to travel to the USA to do so.
    – brhans
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 15:38
  • 2
    Get married abroad on a visitor visa, or have it recognised in the US on a visitor visa? It would help to know the citizenships concerned, and where you plan to marry. In many countries marriage while on a visitor visa (‘tourist’ visa, or visa-free entry) is not allowed.
    – Traveller
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 15:41
  • @brhans So if I get married in Asia the Federal Government of the United States (Or, ahem, since its a state thing, my home state) just magically recognizes my marriage? Or is there an International Marriage Registry? Haha.
    – Jeremy H
    Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 4:47
  • @JeremyH No actually, all passports are infused with love-related magic. As soon as you are married, whether it be in the USA, Russia, or central africa, your passport knows yours heart, and therefore changes to the correct status within 24-48 hours. Convenient, yes?
    – Jeremy H
    Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 4:49
  • 3
    @JeremyH So if I get married in Asia the Federal Government of the United States (Or, ahem, since its a state thing, my home state) just magically recognizes my marriage? Yes. There isn't any central registry of marriages in the US. If you are asked whether you're married, you can say yes, and your foreign marriage certificate proof of this.
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 7:09

1 Answer 1


There is no US Federal marriage registry, nor (to the best of my knowledge) are there any state-level ones for marriages which did not take place in that state.
There is no requirement for you to 'register' a foreign marriage in the USA, and it's simply not possible to do so since there is no register of local marriages either outside of the state where the marriage took place.

The only thing you might want to do, particularly if your foreign marriage certificate is not in English, is to get a translation and/or apostille (neither of which requires your presence in the USA).

If you're in the USA and need to prove that you're married, you show your marriage certificate (and possibly the translation and/or apostille).

  • genwed.com
    – Jeremy H
    Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 12:01
  • georgia.gov/popular-topic/marriage-licenses
    – Jeremy H
    Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 12:07
  • 2
    @JeremyH - Neither of those links is relevant to your situation. A marriage license is what you get before getting married in a US state, not what happens after you're married. The registry of marriage records you've linked to shows a registry of marriages which have taken place in the state, and does not reflect marriages of residents of the state which took place elsewhere.
    – brhans
    Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 12:21
  • There's probably nothing to prevent you from getting re-married in the US, and having that new marriage registered in the state where it took place, but it's not necessary (and maybe not technically legal?).
    – brhans
    Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 12:23

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