What Is Marriage Immigration Fraud?


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There are incidents of United States citizens selling their marriage rights to foreign nationals for a visa, so they may remain in the country or immigrate. When these actions occur, and the couple is not truly together, this is considered marriage immigration fraud and could lead to penalties, deportation and fines.

There are thousands of foreign nationals that are attempting to enter the United States through various means. Many of these individuals contact citizens of the United States to make a deal where they are given funding for the transaction similar to a business deal. They may take a year out of their lives to pretend they have become a spouse in the marriage. Then, they try to deceive the Immigration offices that the relationship is real. After so much time, some couples will divorce if the visa may remain active. In certain situations, an Immigration agent discovers the scam and may deport the immigrant.

The Investigation

When there is suspicion that the immigrant is not marrying someone legitimately, an investigation initiates. The agent will discuss the matter with both spouses together and separately. He or she will search through the house, speak to family and friends and attempt to determine if any fraud has occurred. The green card supplied is often revoked when the crime has been discovered through the investigation. Sometimes, an examination will commence before the immigrant moves to the United States. If there is any clue that he or she has committed fraud, penalties charged against the offender may increase or decreased based on the factors involved.

Marriage fraud discovered through an investigation may stop a green card from processing. These foreign nationals attempt to evade the immigration laws, and when agents discover this, the visa process halts. Because marriage fraud is a serious crime, deportation and other penalties such as jail or prison sentences often arise. There are different forms of marriage fraud, and the agent assigned to the case will attempt to determine if any exist in the relationship. The procedure usually starts with a thorough analysis of the foreign national before he or she has moved to the United States.

Forms Marriage Fraud Takes

Some United States citizens are given payment by a foreign national for marriage in exchange for the green card. Others enter into these situations as a favor. Some immigrants trick the native citizen into the marriage, and the foreign person leads him or her to believe the marriage is legitimate when it is not. Other situations involve mail-order brides or husbands. These are invalid forms of relationships with both the United States citizen and the foreign national. Others include visa lottery factors. It is crucial to avoid accusations of marriage fraud so that the investigation does not commence.

Avoiding the Accusation

Proving a marriage is legitimate is necessary to keep accusations at bay. Preparation and knowledge of each spouse is critical if an agent from immigration arrives. These officers will meet with each party or with the couple to ascertain if the marriage is valid and real. Any suspicion that it is marriage fraud could lead to further action. The United States citizen may face criminal charges, and the foreign national may face deportation even if the relationship is legitimate. The marriage-based interview’s success is essential to pass suspicion and keep further accusations from arising. Often, a lawyer’s assistance is necessary to protect the rights of both spouses.

Success in the first meeting often leads to a second interview with each spouse separated. Very personal questions are part of this process, and the answers are compared with the details supplied by the other person. It is crucial to follow various tips in avoiding accusations of fraud during these processes. This requires each party to dress and arrive on time. Honest answers are necessary without any guesses. Evidence of the relationship helps the process. This includes paperwork, video and photo proof. Additional support is found through sample questions and interviews online. If all else fails, it is important to hire an immigration lawyer. A consultation into the matter may help in determining if the case needs legal support.

The Lawyer in Marriage Immigration Fraud

There are many situations where an immigration officer suspects a couple of marriage immigration fraud when the spouses are in a legitimate relationship. During these and similar circumstances, it is necessary and essential to hire an immigration lawyer. He or she will work diligently to protect each party from consequences in the matter.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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