Options for green card holders to marry overseas

A lot of immigrants want to marry someone in their native countries but generally speaking it is a bad idea, particularly if you are from a country for which the processing times for family visas can require waits of years.  So in general, my advice would be to wait for the five year option to naturalize (you can apply for naturalization earlier than that) and if your application is straightforward, you can take your oath within a matter of months.  After that, it is best to sponsor the spouse and then the process is faster and smoother.

However, if you still insist on marrying before becoming a US citizen, maybe you want to find a spouse who already has a US tourist visa (that way the spouse can visit you in the US and stay for a few months a year, though, it can not be used as a way to live with you because if she/he is asked at the immigration counter the purpose of her/his visit and the answer is to spend time with the spouse, the officer may deny entry, particularly the second or third time -- and remember that it is a crime to lie to the CBP officer) so that while the green card is being processed, it is possible to be together.

In case, the spouse does not have a US tourist visa before marriage and you still insist on getting married, be prepared for years of separation.  And contrary to what many people think, you cannot come to the United States on a tourist visa and file for green card because that would be a violation of the terms of the visa and the application can be denied.  This will only jeopardize your case and even when eligible, will take unnecessarily long time.

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