Coming to America - Love, Marriage and Immigration

June 1, 2016

The Tax Stringer - NYSSCPA's Online Tax Publication

By: Carole M. Bass and Rebecca A. Provder

In the 1988 hit comedy, Coming to America, Prince Akeem, heir to the throne of Zamunda, flees his home country to escape an arranged marriage. He comes to the United States to find his queen, a woman who will love him in spite of his vast wealth and title. Sure enough, he finds Lisa McDowell, heir to the McDowell’s Restaurant fortune.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people immigrate to the United States and, like Prince Akeem, many find a spouse while in the country. In fact, family-based sponsorship, especially through marriage to a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder, is the most popular way of obtaining lawful permanent residency in the United States. 

Couples about to walk down the aisle are often starry-eyed in love, and divorce is nowhere on their radar. Marriage, however, comes with certain rights and obligations. Additional concerns may arise when a U.S. citizen marries a noncitizen. This article will highlight some points to keep in mind when you or your client is marrying a noncitizen.

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