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So, you want to marry a foreign national but his/her visa, driver’s license and passport have all expired. And, you know that the registrar’s office requires a valid non-expired ID in order to issue a marriage license. What do you do? If you fiancée has overstayed his/her visa (technically, they have overstayed their I-94) s/he will not be able to get any U.S. identification. But will their consulate allow them to get one. The answer is usually yes. Your fiancée simply needs to apply for a renewal of his/her passport. Once they receive it then you can get your marriage license even though your fiance’s visa/I-94 has expired. All of this can usually be done without assistance from an attorney.

A recent client had an issue like this so we directed them to the websites:
http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/hzqz/ and

We also directed the client to the Orange County marriage license information:
http://goo.gl/VsZV6 And to the Las Vegas marriage license bureau http://goo.gl/Jnp5M where it appears it is okay to have an expired ID (unlike in Orange County).

Afterward, you can petition the United States government (USCIS) for a green card for your new spouse. Because they are “out of status” I would recommend that you use an attorney for this. Costs for the legal services to get the green card generally run about $2000 for this type of adjustment. My office run a special of $2400 that provides the legal services for both the green card and the naturalization two years and nine months later.

Wishing you both the best!

Scott McVarish, Lead Attorney at the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, is available for speaking engagements, interviews, seminars and trainings on this and many other immigration law topics. Providing pro bono (donated) legal services at such community education events are part of this law office’s “Giving Back” to the community philosophy.