Does a proxy marriage make me eligible to apply for spouse visa?
A proxy marriage, is a ceremony that unites two people in marriage, while at least one of them is physically absent
from the proceedings. So instead of both of the intending couple being physically present, at least one of them,
and in some cases both are absent, and instead a proxy representative attends on his or her behalf.
It is often used for those in military service, imprisonment, or facing travel restrictions; or when it is difficult to
legally marry where one or the other lives..
Military personnel regularly avail themselves of proxy weddings, as it allows them to immediately access enhanced financial benefits
such as family medical, dental and vision insurance as well as increased basic housing allowances.
Now under Covid, with travel restrictions, and quarantines. As you are unable to keep to plans made before the pandemic happened,
you might be considering a proxy marriage.
The good news is that you can wed, right away. And you enjoy that pleasure of being married. You skip the long flights, quarantines,
health risks, and avoid the sometimes lengthy and rigorous formalities needed to get married outside the USA.
The bad news is that, for US immigration purposes, having that piece of paper showing you are now legally married, is not enough.
There is one more condition that must be met in order to be able to apply for immigration for your new spouse.
The condition is: that you must have “consummated” the marriage. That means, now or later, finally, getting on the plane and meeting
in-person.before you can apply for immigration.
So to clarify: The proxy marriage does work as a shortcut so you can be married right away. You can apply for some married benefits
right away, avoid the complexity of foreign marriage formalities, update your facebook profile.
But to accomplish the ultimate goal of immigration to the USA, you will still need to make that journey to spend time together in-person.
Once you are legally married, and “consummated” your marriage can the your application for spouse visa be submitted.