Mon. Jan 17th, 2022

Here’s another edition from “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at tech companies.

“Your questions are vital to the spread of knowledge that empowers people around the world to rise above the limits and pursue their dreams,” said Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you’re in people ops, a founder, or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I’d love to answer your questions in my next column.”

BestFitnessBands+ members get access to weekly “Dear Sophie” columns; Use promo code ALCORN to buy a one or two year subscription with 50% off.

Dear Sophie,

Great news! After a long COVID delay, my fiancé finally arrived in the US on her K visa.

We’re thinking of going to Las Vegas for a quick wedding so we can get started on her green card application. (In Silicon Valley, we’d have to wait a few months to get a marriage license.)

After signing up, we want to have a big wedding with her family and friends in her hometown in the spring and then go on a honeymoon after that. That’s allowed?

— Happy in Hayward

Dear Happy,

Congratulations on reuniting with your fiancé through the K-1 visa and your upcoming marriage! My legal partner, Anita Koumriqian, has been immersed in her own wedding planning for the past few months. So, in addition to being an expert on family immigration law, she is also very knowledgeable about all things marriage, including the local Silicon Valley jurisdictions that have residency requirements for a marriage license and generally how long it takes to get a marriage certificate. In our podcast, we talked about wedding planning, marriage permits, applying for a spouse’s green card once you’re married, and the dos and don’ts of proving to immigration that your marriage is legitimate.

Always consult an immigration attorney first and never rely solely on Googling through the green card process. To learn more, check out our past podcast, Engaged, Now What?

A composite image of immigration attorney Sophie Alcorn in front of a background with a BestFitnessBands logo.

Image Credits: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (Opens in a new window)

Vegas is still possible

Once you have your marriage certificate, you can apply for a green card for your wife. Locally, while Santa Clara and San Francisco counties are still lagging behind in issuing marriage licenses due to COVID, nearby Santa Cruz County is faster and you can get married in California.

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