“Camp Marriages” Recognized Again

Effective immediately, USCIS officers will recognize a derivative refugee or asylee if there is evidence of an informal marriage where the spouses were unable to have their marriage legally recognized in the place of celebration because of their flight from persecution and circumstances beyond their control, or due to restrictive laws or practices in their country of origin or country of first asylum. The marriage must meet all other legal requirements, excepting the place of celebration rule, for the marriage to qualify for the benefit requested.

The above statement is contained in USCIS policy guidance that restores an historic exception to recognition of foreign marriages, normally required to be in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the marriage was performed.