Where should I get married?

Immigration Marriage Issues

Russian Marriage

When choosing where to marry your Russian bride or groom (or Ukrainian or Belarusian), there are three variables at stake: money, timing, and hassle. Here are your options:

Marry in the U.S.

Fiancée visa:

Money:

  • $340 for fiancée petition
  • $265 for visa processing fee
  • $1070 application for permanent residence

Time:
About three months for the fiancée petition, about two months for the consular process. Must marry within 90 days and apply for permanent residence. Applications for permanent residence can take between 3-9 months.

Hassle:
This is the maximum hassle because you have three different processes and 90 days is not long to get married. There’s even a television show about it! http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/90-day-fiance/

Tourist visa

Money:

  • $160 for tourist visa
  • $1490 for family petition and application for permanent residence

Timing:
Tourist visa issued within two weeks; family petition and application for permanent residence can take between 3-9 months.

Hassle:
Only two processes, so minimal hassle and your fiancée will not necessarily have to travel to Moscow. However, your Russian bride cannot plan to enter the United States and stay permanently. This option is only available to brides who come to the U.S. only to visit you and then change their minds and decide to stay. Before she can get a tourist visa your Russian bride must prove that she will return to Russia.


Marry in Russia (or Ukraine, or Belarus)

Of course, if you marry in Ukraine, you have to compete with these folks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ka7p4L8YyFY

Family visa

Money:

  • $420 for family petition
  • $325 for visa processing fee
  • $120 for affidavit of support

Timing:
Marriages can be performed within a week. About three months for the family petition, then about two months for the consular process.

Hassle:
Only two processes and no further process in the U.S. You Russian bride enters as a permanent resident. However, your Russian bride cannot enter the United States until this process is finished, which means that you can be separated for about five months.

This chart is just a summary. For more details about the paperwork, the following links can be helpful: