Law Offices of Stuart J. Reich, PLLC

Practice Limited to Immigration & Nationality Law

11 Broadway, Suite 615
New York, NY 10004

(212) 430-6582 phone
(212) 430-6583 facsimile

Is a big wedding ceremony and reception needed to get a marriage-based green card?

Q: Do we need to have a large ceremony with lots of people and have lots of pictures of the wedding for a marriage-based green card case to be approved?

A: Not necessarily. While you would certainly want to have documentation (many photos, samples of the “save the date” card and wedding invitation, etc.) if you did have a large wedding ceremony and reception, there is no requirement that the event be large or that a full album with hundreds of pictures be presented. It can certainly be helpful evidence, but isn’t required evidence.

However, there should be at least a few photos of whatever wedding was conducted (even if a small civil ceremony with just the couple and witnesses). These should be accompanied by a far greater number of photos spanning the entire course of the relationship – from early on up to immediately before the final interview – and other documentation of the bona fide [real] nature of the relationship.

Q: Can we do a simply “City Hall” wedding ceremony and plan to have a big wedding later - even after the expected green card interview?

A: Absolutely. The same advice as above applies with regard to documenting the smaller, earlier, legal wedding. But there’s nothing wrong with informing an interviewing officer that a later, larger reception is planned for family members and documenting plans (contracts with a reception hall, caterer and other vendors, invitations, etc.)

Contact us here to arrange a consultation, to inquire about retaining us to handle your immigration matter, or simply to suggest topics you would like to see covered on our site.

The above is presented for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship with our firm. The information provided should not be used as guidance in pursuing an immigration matter absent consultation with a qualified immigration attorney.