California Proxy Marriage Law: Only Allowed In Limited Circumstances
As the California Department of Public Health explains, state law requires both parties, the officiant, and a witness to be physically present in the same place at the time of the marriage. Otherwise, the marriage cannot be finalized for the purposes of the law.
The limited exception is that California recognizes a right to a proxy marriage for members of the United States Armed Forces who are currently stationed overseas and are serving in a conflict zone. If the exception is satisfied, the couple may be eligible to obtain a marriage by proxy. Notably, double proxy marriages are not permitted in California. Even if both parties to the marriage are active duty military members, at least one of them must be physically present to get married in California. Currently, Montana is the only jurisdiction in the country that allows double proxy marriages.
Who Can I Consult About My Proxy Marriage Case
Our office has handled thousands of marriage green card cases, and we boast an incredibly high approval success rate. If you are unsure whether to go through with a proxy marriage or instead apply for a K1 fiance visa, our team can help! Give us a call to schedule a consultation, and we can explore your options together.
Are Proxy Marriages Recognized By The Military
A double proxy marriage is allowed if you or your fiance is an active member of the U.S. Armed Forces or you are a resident of Montana. If your fiance is a foreign national and you are an active service member or resident of Montana, you can still have a double proxy marriage. You do need an Apostille document if your spouse is a foreign national. This document is considered a form of authentification for the marriage.
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States Where Marriage By Proxy Is Legal
Here are some of the differences between what each state allows:
- California: Military personnel stationed overseas or in combat zones can have a single proxy marriage, according to state law. The stand-in must have the service members power of attorney.
- Colorado: A couple can have a single proxy marriage when one person is in jail or out of state, according to Colorados revised statutes. One person must also be Colorado resident. Colorado does not practice double proxy marriages.
- Kansas: Single proxy marriages are permitted, according to the Kansas Judicial branch.
- Montana: Single and double proxy marriages are practiced and legal in Montana, according to Montana state law. To have a double proxy marriage, one partner must be a Montana resident or a United States military member. Military members may have a double proxy marriage in Montana regardless of their state of residence.
- New Jersey: Single proxy marriages are allowed for military members, according to The New Jersey Revised Statutes.
- Texas: Single proxy marriages are allowed, according to chapter two of the Texas Family Code.
- Utah: Virtual weddings are allowed with no residency requirement, according to the Utah County Clerks Office.
Small details will differ between counties as well. So, it is best to contact the local government to get more information about proxy marriage requirements.
What Is A Proxy Marriage And Can It Be Filed With Uscis
With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing and having a profound impact on families being separated by travel restrictions, engaged couples from around the world are becoming more creative in solemnizing their marriage vows. What was once a little-known concept used more often by military couples while the U.S. citizen was deployed overseas, proxy marriages or online marriages are beginning to attract notice and gain acceptance as a legal way for a U.S. citizen to petition his or her foreign spouse to immigrate to the U.S. by filing an I-130 Petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services .
The term proxy marriage refers to the ceremony performed where one or both members of the party to the marriage are not physically present at the ceremony. Although unrecognized in most U.S. jurisdictions, some jurisdictions not only recognize online marriages but they have streamlined the process making it easy for couples separated across international borders.
Per U.S. immigration regulations, a proxy marriage that has been consummated is deemed to have occurred on the date of the marriage ceremony and not the date of consummation. Upon consummation, an I-130 Petition may be filed with USCIS. Unconsummated marriages filed with USCIS are ineligible for adjudication and subsequent immigrant visa issuance.
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How A Marriage By Proxy Works
Rules and regulations around marriage by proxy vary by state. To get married by proxy, one person normally needs to be present. A substitute can stand in for the party who isnt able to be there to exchange vows.
The absent party can join the ceremony by video teleconference. Ceremonies can be traditional and include guests, or a couple may opt for a simpler ceremony followed by a larger celebration when theyre no longer separated. These unions are not very common if the couple both live in the U.S. unless they are in the armed forces.
What You Need To Prepare For A Proxy Marriage
Heres what youll need to obtain a proxy marriage license, according to Boyd Law Firm and proxy wedding service Marriage by Proxy.
- Birth Certificate
- Social Security number
- Information about the bride and groom and their parents
After your marriage ceremony, youll need the following documents to validate your marriage, according to Boyd Law Firm.
- Affidavits or personal statements from the couple saying the marriage was consummated
- Hotel reservations or/and plane tickets
Each of these helps verify that the couple is in a relationship and that it is valid.
Once your application has been approved, you can schedule your proxy marriage ceremony with an officiant in a state where proxy marriages are legal. The absent partner can join the ceremony by video call while their stand-in exchanges their vows.
Fun Facts About Double Proxy Marriage
- The only US state that can legally perform Double Proxy Marriage is the great state of MONTANA!
- Double Proxy Marriage is recognized by every branch of the US Military and every state in the union except the state of IOWA.
- To be eligible for a Double Proxy Marriage at least one person in the couple has to be a member of the US Military or a resident of Montana.
- Some people think that Double Proxy Marriage is a match making service. It is not. Ever.
- All the forms needed to make Double Proxy Marriage legal can be turned into us digitally . No postal mailing required.
- Double Proxy Marriage is ideal for couples who are separated geographically. Regardless of distance, you can marry your soulmate!
Proxy Marriages Are Our Specialty
S& B Professional Services Inc, specializes in arranging Legal Proxy Marriages for members of the US Military. Having arranged over 6,000 proxy marriages, were the most experienced name in the business. We are pleased to offer Military Discounts for active-duty members of the US Military. Please call us at for details.
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Foreign Resident Proxy Marriage
If you are a U.S. resident, actively serving in the U.S. Military, and want to marry a foreign resident we can help you obtain a legal U.S. marriage certificate without any travel or residency requirement. From the time you submit the completed forms and documentation it only takes 3 weeks to receive two certified copies of your official marriage certificate.
Will The Military Recognize Our Proxy Marriage
Before pursuing a proxy marriage, make sure it will be recognized in your home state and in the state where the service member is currently stationed. Each state has different laws about recognizing proxy marriages that were performed elsewhere. Some states will recognize them as full, legal marriages. In other cases, they will be treated as a common-law marriage. Its important for the service member to check with their chain of command for local rules and regulations.
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Military Weddings : A Guide To Proxy Marriage Double Proxy And Same
Friday, Apr. 16th, 2021
Military weddings sometimes need special planning. Take a look at marriage by proxy, double proxy marriage, same-day or last minute elopements, sequel weddings, vow renewals, and after parties to see what option works best for you.
If you or your soon-to-be-spouse serve in the military, you already know that planning a weekly video call can be difficult — let alone a wedding!
Long-distance date nights, time-zone headaches, frequent moves, sudden deployments, the list of potential complications goes on but its all worth it, we know!
To help you navigate the planning process and get on to the good stuff — the adventure of building your life together — weve put together some common definitions and ceremony options to inspire you.
If youve been asked to officiate a proxy or double proxy wedding, weve got you covered, too!
Well talk about any legal issues you should be aware of, which states allow these types of ceremonies, and how to work best with your couple.
What Is A Proxy Marriage
A proxy marriage is a wedding ceremony performed without the presence of both parties, according to Boyd Law Firm, which specializes in marriage and family law, among other areas. Instead, another person takes the place of the individual who cant physically be there and may even say their vows.
You might consider a proxy marriage if youre experiencing geographical separation due to military orders, immigration status problems, imprisonment or other general travel restrictions.
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Military Proxy Marriages Conclusion
While a proxy marriage may not be the most romantic option, is it a good way to commit to your partner. This can be a good option if they are unable to walk down the aisle in person. If your partner is killed during active service, you will then be able to receive full compensation.
Choosing this method of tying the knot also allows you to take advantage of a wide range of benefits. This can make passing the time until your partner returns easier and more comfortable. You can always arrange a special ceremony with family and friends when your partner returns from service.
Until next time, good luck and thanks for your service.
Double Proxy Weddings: Getting Hitched In Montana Without Being There
It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air, as evidenced by this intimate and informal wedding that took place just last week in Bigfork, Montana.
Tom Kennedy pronounced: “We are gathered here today “
But there’s just one thing. These two women exchanging vows aren’t the brides. They’re actually stand-ins for a real bride and groom who are thousands of miles away. How was this possible? Because of an obscure Montana law that permits “double proxy marriage” a legal wedding where neither person even sets foot in the state.
“Everywhere I go people just go, ‘Double proxy marriage? What’s that?'” said Peg Allison, who has been Flathead County Clerk of District Court since 1993, which means she oversees all legal marriages. It was about a decade into her tenure before she’d even heard about this law, thanks to a call from a lawyer looking for a creative way to marry a couple that was overseas.
“I think I literally said to him on the phone, ‘You’re kiddin’ me?'” Allison told correspondent Luke Burbank.
The law’s been on the books since Montana became a territory. It likely started to let young miners who’d come west for work marry their sweethearts back home. These days, at least one person getting married has to be a Montana resident, or an active member of the military.
Allison said, “It’s a completely bizarre piece of code, and as far as I know, there’s not a single other state in the Union that allows double proxy.”
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Proving Consummation Of A Proxy Marriage For Immigration
Proving consummation of the marriage is typically done by affidavit, or a sworn personal statement, affirming the relationship was consummated. The affidavit is submitted with evidence of time spent together after the marriage, like on a honeymoon trip, proof of a pre-existing relationship, and photographs, documents, hotel bills, or other materials to show the relationship is not fraudulent.
Having a child together helps establish a pre-existing relationship. However, a couple must still provide evidence to satisfy the requirement of the consummation of the marriage after the proxy ceremony. The U.S. requires that both members of a married party submit proof of consummation before a green card will be issued.
How Do I Prove To Immigration That A Proxy Marriage Occurred
You would need a valid Marriage Certificate. In the case of Montana Proxy Marriage, the Montana Marriage Certificate would be required.
The couple should attest in the immigration petition and application that the proxy marriage is a recognized marriage in Montana for immigration purposes, and evidence of Consummation should also be provided. Consummation is important and more information found here.
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What Is A Double Proxy Marriage
A double proxy wedding is just like a regular proxy wedding, but neither individual is able to be physically present to exchange vows. In this case, the officiant or person legally authorized to perform marriage ceremonies is the only one that needs to be there. However, double proxy marriages are only legal in Montana. Single proxy marriages are more common.
Why Choose A Military Marriage
A proxy marriage is a quick way to extend benefits and security to your fiancée and family while you are serving in the Military. The U.S. government provides substantial benefits to its active duty military personnel. Being legally married allows you to share those benefits with your fiancée and his or her children. If your fiancée is pregnant, sharing your health benefits with her ensures that shell have access to the best pre-natal care.
Many of our clients choose proxy marriages to make sure that their spouses and children will be taken care of should something happen to them during their military service.
For more information on the benefits for military proxy marriage please read our Proxy Marriage Military Benefits page for more information.
To start the process, please visit our Forms & Fees page.
We are pleased to offer military discounts for active-duty members of the U.S. Military. Please contact us for details.
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Cases That Are Not Valid
Even if you live in a state where this type of union is permitted, you may not qualify for certain reasons. Both you and your partner have to be citizens of the United States to apply for the union.
This type of union is not recognized by immigration. So, it will not make you or your partner a citizen of the United States.
Conducting The Marriage Ceremony
Texas law does not provide many details about the actual marriage ceremony and how it may be conducted. Instead of regulating what is said or done in a ceremony, the law focuses on time periods within which certain things must be done.
Once a couple obtains a , the law says the following about the ceremony itself:
- There is a 72-hour waiting period between the issuance of a marriage license and the ceremony, with certain exceptions. Section 2.204.
- A marriage license expires if a ceremony isn’t conducted before the 90th day after the license was issued. Section 2.201.
- The officiant must determine whether the license has expired and is prohibited from conducting a ceremony if it is expired. Section 2.207.
- an officer of a religious organization authorized to conduct marriage ceremonies
- justices/judges/magistrates/associate judges of:
- federal courts located in Texas
- the Texas Supreme Court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Texas Courts of Appeals
- Texas district, county, probate, and justice of the peace courts
- Texas municipal courts
As per the Department of State Health Services’ guide linked above, there is no official registration for persons authorized to conduct a marriage ceremony. If they review the law, and believe they can perform the marriage ceremony, then they can perform the ceremony.
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Rules And Limitations For Proxy Marriage
While marriage by proxy can make a wedding possible for geographically separated military couples, some rules and limitations apply. Couples must abide by the laws in the jurisdiction they plan to get married.
Any marriage by proxy intended solely for immigration purposes is not valid under federal law.
Proxy marriage does not validate polygamous, underage or incestuous marriages or any other marriage that violates state or federal laws.
Federal and state governments require couples to consummate proxy marriages to validate them. Couples can prove consummation with an affidavit, airline tickets, hotel bills or other documentation that shows they were in the same location at the same time. .
What Do Immigration Laws Say About Proxy Marriages
Immigration laws dictate how a person from abroad may qualify for a visa, and under what circumstances they may be deported from the United States. Those who are already in the United States must also adhere to immigration laws, and must avoid participating in any activities that could result in deportation.
refers to when a non-U.S. citizen marries an American citizen who is living in the United States. If the non-citizen spouse wants to obtain a visa in order to live and work permanently in the U.S., they may do so either on a fiancé or marriage visa.
This is absolutely a legal way in which to obtain a visa if eligibility requirements are met, and the non-U.S. citizen does not take actions that are considered to be marriage fraud. Participating in marriage fraud is a form of immigration fraud, and could render the immigration illegal.
In terms of what immigration laws say about proxy marriages, United States immigration law will not recognize a proxy marriage unless the marriage was later consummated. This means that the United States used to not accept the marriage unless the two spouses engaged in sexual relations with each other. This remains true even if the proxy marriage is considered legally valid in the place in which the marriage occurred.
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