Updated Guidance on Spousal Petitions Involving Minor Spouses

USCIS has updated its guidance identifying factors officers should consider when adjudicating a Form I-130 spousal petition involving a minor. Those factors include: (1) whether the marriage was lawful in the place it was celebrated; (2) if the couple resides outside the place of celebration, whether the marriage is recognized as valid in the U.S. state where the couple currently resides or will presumably reside and does not violate the state of residence’s public policy; (3) whether the marriage is bona fide; and (4) whether the minor provided full, free, and informed consent to enter into the marriage. Prior to this update, USCIS created a flagging system that sent an alert in the electronic system at the time of filing if a minor spouse or fiancé is detected. The guidance is expected to complement the flagging system currently in place. While there are no statutory age requirements to petition for a spouse or be sponsored as a spousal beneficiary, the updated guidance stresses to adjudicators that marriages involving a minor warrant special attention.


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