USCIS is publishing an updated guidance for its officers to consider when adjudicating Form I-130 petitions that involve a minor at the time the marriage was celebrated.
The legality of a marriage is generally governed by the laws of the jurisdiction where the marriage was celebrated. However, a marriage that is valid in the place of celebration might not be recognized for immigration purposes if it offends the strong public policy of the U.S. or the state of residence.
Under the updated guidance, USCIS will consider whether the age of the beneficiary or petitioner at the time the marriage was celebrated violates the law of the place of celebration or the public policy of the state where the couple resides or plans to reside.
The updated guidance stresses to adjudicators that marriages involving a minor warrant special attention and clarifies that they should evaluate:
- If marriage was lawful in the place it was celebrated;
- If the marriage is recognized as valid in the U.S. state where the couple currently resides or will reside;
- If the marriage violates such state’s public policy;
- If the marriage is bona fide, and occurred with the full, free, and informed consent of minors.
The guidance also reiterates that the petitioning sponsor who executes the Form I-864, Affidavit of Support must be at least 18 years of age.
If you have any questions regarding the Green Card through marriage process, or need help in filing a Form I-130, contact VisaPro. Our experienced Immigration Attorneys will be happy to assist you. Schedule a Free Visa Assessment today to discuss your specific situation.