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thomasarm

Marrying Turkish woman (American man)

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Hello all, 

Some may be familiar with my situation, some not--at any rate, I am living in Turkey right now working as an English teacher and wondering the best way to marry my Turkish girlfriend. 

I wonder if it's better to get married in America first or in Turkey, then America? 

The easy answer is to apply for a marriage visa in America, but I've heard that takes a long time to process and we are currently living in Turkey for the foreseeable future (this might cause some problems with the marriage visa, if we are not currently living in America?). 

We plan to move back to America for a period time in the future, but in order to live together in Turkey we need to be married, hence the urgency.  

Thanks to any one with previous experience who can provide any advice. 

-Thomas and Seda 

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First off, tebrikler/congrats!


I can tell you from experience...it is WAY easier to do this process IN Turkey.  However, its going to be costly (especially if you currently reside outside of major metro areas)...I lived in Izmir & had to go to Ankara (twice) once w/out the wife & once with.....if you live in Ankara or Istanbul the process will be easier.  Izmir has a consulate office, but iirc, the only do passport related stuff.  Bottom line, you will want to get married in country, if you don't you will have to apply for a K1 fiancé & depending on how long you stay in Turkey...she may have to stay behind.  If you get married in Turkey, you are 99% more likely to get a visa for her once you decide to leave.  That is the easiest part.


Next is the "establish residency"...you will want to get her a green card at some point...especially if she wants to become a citizen.  DHS/USCIS is your go-to source for all things immigration related.

I will tell you this as well...it isn't cheap.  The initial & the renewal is spaced JUST perfectly that once you do your green card renewal roughly a few months later you get the approval for citizenship...and that's a bundle of $ as well. 

I'm sure I'm forgetting some stuff...I got married to an Izmir'li back in May '08.  I had my wife's US visa by Oct/Nov '08 & we were stateside in Mar '09.

If you have any specific questions, just ask & I will help you as much as possible.

Hos cakal!

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Thank you Fener. Seda and I are weighing our options. Seda thinks if we get married in Turkey, it will restrict her from visiting America while she's applying for the American marriage visa (and this process can take years, she thinks). She currently has an extended visitors visa, which is good for at least 3 years. 

We really want to get married in Turkey so we can start living in together, but we don't want this to affect her ability to visit the states in the meantime. It all seems very complicated. 

I guess it's easier to get married in Turkey, but if that will complicate her visiting America, I don't know if it's the best idea. 

Maybe no one on here has any relevant experience, but it at least helps to sort out my thoughts :)

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I would suggest calling the consulate & asking that question directly...especially since it involves her current visa & potentially the future one as well.

Believe me...living together makes it WAY easier in the long run...when we got married my wife didn't have a visa...but the marriage visa was approved relatively quickly.

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