Marriages between U.S. and Moldovan Citizens

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  3. Marriages between U.S. and Moldovan Citizens

The specific requirements for marriage and immigration depend on whether the marriage occurs in Moldova or in the United States.

Marriage in the United States (using a K-1 Fiancé Visa):

If your fiancé(e) is not a citizen or legal permanent resident of the U.S. and you plan to get married and reside in the U.S., you must first file an I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé, on behalf of your fiancé(e) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Center having jurisdiction over your place of residence. If the petition is approved, your fiancé(e) must then obtain a nonimmigrant fiancé visa (K-1) at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.

The marriage must take place within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the U.S. If the marriage does not take place within 90 days, your fiancé(e) will be required to leave the U.S. It is not possible to obtain an extension of stay in this category.

Following your marriage, in order to continue to live and work in the U.S., your fiancé(e) must apply with USCIS to become a legal permanent resident. Please use this link to the USCIS website to access forms and more information about filling the I-129F petition.

Note: Your fiancé(e) may enter the U.S. only one time with a fiancé(e) visa. If your fiancé(e) leaves the country before you are married, your fiancé(e) will not be allowed back into the U.S. without a new visa.

Marriage in Moldova:

The Government of Moldova legally recognizes only civil marriage ceremonies that are performed in the City Hall in the area where the Moldovan citizen resides. Many couples also choose to hold a religious ceremony after the completion of the civil ceremony. The documents listed below are needed by the Mayor’s Office in Moldova to authorize marriage to a Moldovan citizen:

NOTE:  ALL public documents issued or obtained in the U.S. must be authenticated for use in Moldova with an Apostille certificate.  The Apostille must be affixed to the document by a competent U.S. authority.  Each state has a competent authority (generally it is the office of the Secretary of State in the state where the document was issued).  For additional information and a list of competent authorities, please use the following website of the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents link: http://www.hcch.net/en/states/authorities/details3/?aid=353.     

Documents required of a U.S. citizen for marriage to a Moldovan citizen in Moldova :

  • Original birth certificate or certified copy of the birth certificate. S. birth certificates, authenticated with an Apostille as shown above, and a Romanian translation of the birth certificate obtained from a Moldovan Notary Public’s office.
  • Notarized statement that the American citizen is free to marry. This statement can be obtained at the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau. Please complete the statement (Microsoft Word 19 KB) and bring it to your appointment. To make an appointment for a notarial service click here. The fee is 50.00 USD and the U.S. passport must be presented when signing the affidavit.
  • Proof of termination of any previous marriages. Original or certified copy, with a translation in Romanian (i.e. Divorce/Annulment Decree, Death Certificate).

How to Obtain an Immigrant Visa for Your New Spouse

In order to enter the U.S. to reside following a marriage in Moldova, your foreign spouse must obtain an immigrant visa.

You should first file an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of your spouse with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Center having jurisdiction over your place of residence. If the petition is approved, your spouse must then obtain an immigrant visa (IR-1 or CR-1) at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.

If you wish to file an I-130 petition for your spouse after marriage, please click here for the filing procedure.

Please visit the website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for the forms, required supporting documentation and information on where to file them. The processing time for these petitions varies among Service Centers and also can depend on the circumstances of the individual case. If you want your spouse to enter the United States before USCIS finishes processing the I-130 and an immigrant visa is issued, you may file an I-129F petition to enable your spouse to apply for a K-3 nonimmigrant visa. For information about K-3 visas please visit the USCIS website. It normally takes eight to twelve weeks from the time the petition is filed with USCIS until this Embassy receives notice of approval for a K-3 petition.