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USCIS announces updated guidance for adjudicating spousal petitions involving minors

  1. Date Announced

    Feb. 15, 2019

    USCIS is updating the Adjudicator's Field Manual to highlight the factors officers should consider when adjudicating a Form I-130 spousal petition that involves a minor at the time the marriage was celebrated. The new guidances states that: "a marriage that is valid in the place of celebration might not be recognized for immigration purposes if it offends the strong public policy of the United States or the state of residence." [ID #746]

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    Feb. 15, 2019
  3. Subsequent Action

    April 12, 2019

    USCIS updates guidance on adjudicating an I-130 where marriage to a minor is involved to provide more specifics, primarily that an interview on the I-130 should be held where either party is less than 16 years old, or where one party is at least 16 or 17 and there is 10 years or more difference between the ages of the spouses.

    USCIS Policy Alert (AFM-PA-2019-02): Marriage Involving Minor(s)
Status: Final/Actual
Type of Action: Agency Directive
Agencies Affected: USCIS

Prior Policies

  • The AFM Chapter 21.3 section on petitions for a spouse previously did not contain a subsection specifically addressing marriage involving minors and the INA does not set any minimum age requirements for the petitioner or beneficiary of a Form I-130 spousal petition. The legality of a marriage was generally governed by the law of the jurisdiction where the marriage was celebrated.

    AFM Chapter 21.3, Petition for a Spouse (August 2018)

Subsequent Action

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