Proxy marriage in Kansas, USA – only one spouse’s presence required
Civil marriage in the US in the presence of only one spouse (Proxy Marriage)
Proxy marriage in Kansas is the solution for citizens of the United States, or those who have a right to enter the United States, who cannot marry in Israel. Kansas is one of the US states that allow a marriage ceremony in the presence of only one spouse (Also known as a “proxy” marriage), as long as the spouse present in Kansas holds the other spouse’s power of attorney. The law firm of Decker, Pex, Levi, Rosenberg specializes in immigration to Israel. One of our areas of expertise is helping clients who can’t marry in Israel, especially in situations where one of the spouses cannot leave Israel for one reason or another. Advocate Michael Decker, a partner at the firm, will explain the procedure of Proxy marriage in Kansas. This article will examine the advantages and disadvantages of traveling to the United States for the purposes of conducting a marriage.
Why would an Israeli resident want to marry in the US?
The State of Israel does not have a civil marriage institute, and members of different religious communities cannot marry within Israel. This is the main limitation of marriage in a religious ceremony – an Israeli citizen can only marry a spouse from the same religious community. Of course, there are other limitations. For example, those classified as “religion-less” in the Population registry can not marry members of the various religions in Israel. Same-sex couples cannot marry each other. Jews with surname Levy or Cohen can not marry a divorcee or a “Mamzer“. However, the State of Israel and the Ministry of Interior recognize marriages that have been lawfully arranged outside the borders of the Israel, provided the couple presents documents confirming the marriage was conducted legally.
Why marry in Kansas, USA?
Many Israelis who want to marry in a non-religious ceremony travel to Cyprus, Prague or other destinations mainly in Europe that allow civil marriage for foreigners. Flights are relatively cheap, and these are the “traditional” destinations for marriage outside Israeli borders. However, border control officials at Ben Gurion Airport or other border crossings are familiar with this phenomenon, and therefore may refuse the entry of newly-wedded spouses, one of whom is an Israeli citizen and the other a foreign citizen. The Israeli Ministry of Interior has an official procedure for inviting foreign spouses of Israeli citizens into the country. If an Israeli citizen is suspected of traveling abroad in order to marry a foreign citizen, border control agents may investigate, arrest, and deport the foreign spouse to the country of origin. As we mentioned elsewhere, border control representatives do not have to prove their suspicions in order to prevent the entry into of non-citizens Israel. Any suspicion of “illegal settlement” in Israel may lead to refusal of entry.
In addition, our office often handles cases where one spouse cannot leave the country to conduct the marriage ceremony. The reasons may include health issues, an exit delay order, one spouse being an asylum seeker, whose return to Israel after the departure would be automatically refused, and more. It is important to know that even if one of the spouses cannot attend the ceremony, there are several countries in the world that allow the other spouse to perform the wedding ceremony in their absence (a so-called “proxy marriage”. The most popular options are Paraguay and El Salvador, but several states in the United States also allow proxy marriages.
What are the pros and cons of a proxy marriage in Kansas?
The biggest drawback to traveling to Kansas to get married is the need for an entry visa to the United States. Despite the warm relations between the two countries, it is unlikely that Israeli citizens will able to enter the United States without a visa any time soon. The process of obtaining a US visa takes time, costs money, and there is no absolute certainty that the applicant will actually receive the visa.
On the other hand, if one of the spouses is a US citizen, or has an existing visa that allows entry into the United States, the benefits of proxy marriage in Kansas are significant. The process is short and simple (the spouse must stay in Kansas for 3 days in order to obtain permission to conduct the marriage within the country) and ends in less than a week – an instant, compared to the weeks or months that a proxy marriage in El-Salvador without the presence of either spouse may take. In addition, if problems or questions arise, it is easier to resolve them in an English-speaking environment. Our office cooperates with an Hebrew-speaking representative in Kansas who will be happy to help Israeli customers get through the process quickly and easily.
Contact our law firm in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv for legal assistance in matters of immigration to Israel and making valid marriages abroad.