What is Marriage Fraud?

Many people want to get a Green Card in the US, and they go to great lengths to do so. This often includes getting into a sham marriage, or, as it is known in legal terms, committing marriage fraud. While it seems like an easy way to get a Green Card, it can land both parties in hot water, as USICS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) officials have ample experience to know which marriages are real and which are fraud. Some of the factors that indicate that a marriage might be fraud in the eyes of USICS are:

  • The couple does not intend to stay together after marriage
  • The marriage has been kept a secret from family and friends
  • Either spouse has a criminal or fraudulent history
  • A difference in language, age, and cultural backgrounds

Things to Know About a Marriage Fraud Interview

If a couple is suspected of marriage fraud, the immigration officer will conduct an interview where both members are interviewed separately and asked various details about their marriage. Many times, people who are genuinely married can get nervous and forget important details in the interview room. If you and your spouse are called for such an interview, it is important that you have your immigration attorney in the interview room with you. Some advantages of hiring an immigration attorney are:

  • The attorney can re-word any questions that you might have trouble understanding
  • The attorney will note down important facts in case of a future appeal
  • The attorney will prepare the documentation for maximum positive impact
  • The presence of an immigration attorney can be a big confidence booster

The Risks Associated with Marriage Fraud

Marriage fraud is illegal, and there can be severe repercussion for both the parties involved if the examiner believes the marriage is fraudulent. Many people get married just for the sake of getting a Green Card, but they don’t realize the problems they’ll have to face if they are not able to prove that the marriage is real in front of an immigration officer. Some of the legal ramifications of a marriage fraud are:

  • Imprisonment of more than 5 years, fine of $250,000 or both
  • Immigrants can be deported and not allowed in the US even after a real marriage
  • Your temporary visa can be revoked and fraud would remain on your record
  • It will be virtually impossible to get a Green Card or a U.S. visa in the future

The U.S. Immigration office handles many cases of marriage fraud on a daily basis, and they can sometime tell when a marriage is fraudulent. If you’re looking to get a Green Card through marriage, it is always best to consult an immigration lawyer who can inform and educate you on how to legally do so.