Skip to Main Content
Services Talent Knowledge
Site Search
Menu

News

September 22, 2021

Rosanna Berardi Quoted in New York Times Article on Virtual Weddings

Rosanna Berardi, immigration counsel, was quoted in the New York Times article “Utah Is a Destination Wedding Hot Spot, No Travel Required” about how, since May 2020, the Utah County clerk and auditor’s office in Provo, Utah, has performed virtual weddings for more than 3,500 international couples. The wedding ceremonies, which are performed via Zoom, give couples who’ve been separated due to COVID-19 travel restrictions the ability to reunite. 

“Couples have been separated going on two years,” Rosanna said. She described the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions on immigration as the cause of “the biggest disaster I’ve seen in my career.” 

The article highlights one of the incentives driving international couples to marry—the ability to bypass travel restrictions. A marriage certificate is the gateway to a visa application and crossing borders even when they’re closed to most visitors. Word about the Utah County clerk and auditor’s office performing virtual weddings spread quickly, and clients from all over the world were directed there. 

While most countries around the world recognize marriages performed abroad as legal, some international couples using Utah County’s virtual marriage system have experienced challenges. Despite being married and having a visa, some individuals are have been turned away by immigration officers at the airport due to not consummating the marriage. 

In the United States, the Immigration and Nationality Act (a federal law, not a state law) considers virtual marriages like those performed in Utah County to be proxy marriages, which are not considered legitimate until they are consummated. This makes it difficult for couples who have virtual weddings, as it means they cannot legally travel to consummate their marriage. “They would have to find a location that allows both Americans and foreign nationals to enter unrestricted,” said Rosanna. After that, “the couple needs to prepare an affidavit stating the date and location of the consummation.”

The criteria immigration officials use to challenge the legitimacy of a relationship are subject to change and are often quite nuanced. This presents additional challenges for same-sex couples. However, the Utah County clerk and auditor doesn’t anticipate this being a deterrent. 

Subscribe

Click here to sign up for alerts, blog posts, and firm news.

Featured Media

Alerts

The New York FY 2025 Budget – CDPAP FIs Under Threat

Alerts

Website Accessibility Lawsuits: Several "Tester" Plaintiffs—Anderson, Beauchamp, Murray, Angeles, Monegro, and Bullock—Targeting Businesses in Recent Flurry of Lawsuits

Alerts

Updated Bulletin on Tracking Technologies in the Health Care Industry

Alerts

NYS Board of Regents Adopts Regulations on the Mental Health Diagnostic Privilege

Alerts

First Department Clarifies Pleading Requirements Under NYS Child Victims Act

Alerts

Beneficial Ownership Reporting Requirements Under the CTA: Quarterly Reminder

We're Growing in DC!

We’re excited to announce Barclay Damon’s combination with Washington DC–based Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram. SLS’s 10 lawyers, three paralegals, and four administrative staff will join Barclay Damon while maintaining their current office in DC’s central business district. Our clients will benefit from SLS’s corporate, real estate, finance, and construction litigation experience and national energy-industry profile, and their clients from our full range of services.

Read More

This site uses cookies to give you the best experience possible on our site and in some cases direct advertisements to you based upon your use of our site.

By clicking [I agree], you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For information on what cookies we use and how to manage our use of cookies, please visit our Privacy Statement.

I AgreeOpt-Out