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.)



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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.