Featured News 2016 Marriage Fraud, an Immigration Scam

Marriage Fraud, an Immigration Scam

When people consider entering fake marriages as a way of getting a green card, they should know that what they are considering is illegal. A fake or "sham" marriage is one where two people get married for the sole purpose of getting around U.S. immigration laws.

A legal marriage involves more than a ceremony and a marriage license. A real marital relationship is one where the couple intends to establish a life together, and they usually do this by buying a house and car together, opening joint bank accounts, and being intimate and starting a family. If a married couple has no intention of establishing a life together, their marriage is a sham.

Marriage Fraud is a Top Priority for USCIS

USCIS does not tolerate marriage fraud and the agency considers it a top priority. Not only are the immigration authorities on the lookout for marriage fraud, they will investigate a couple thoroughly if they are suspicious.

The immigration authorities require more documentation to prove that a marriage is authentic, more than is required for other family-based applications. Marriage-based immigrants must:

  • Sit through a longer personal interview,
  • Have their dates and facts cross-checked, and
  • Be subjected to a two-year testing period when they come to the U.S. on an immigrant visa, or when their green card is approved.

The U.S. immigration authorities are familiar with marriage fraud, and therefore have developed clever ways to detect it. They're artful in looking at seemingly insignificant details of a couple's life to uncover the lies.

Immigrants who enter sham marriages often make the same mistakes during the standard process. In effect, USCIS catches people who don't realize how difficult it really is to pull off a fake marriage. Those who are caught will usually have their applications denied and they could face criminal prosecution.

If you are being accused of marriage fraud or need assistance with another immigration issue, scroll through our directory to find an immigration attorney near you!

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