If you are married to a U.S. national or permanent resident, there’s some good news — you may join them in the United States through a marriage-based green card. Unfortunately, marriage fraud cases are not uncommon, and the immigration authorities can sometimes wrongly suspect people who did indeed marry for the right reasons. If found guilty of it, the consequences can be severe, to say the least.
Thus, if you find yourself in a situation where you are accused of marriage fraud, then you need to figure out how to get ahead of the accusation.
But first, exactly when can your marriage be deemed fraudulent?
A marriage is considered fraudulent if it is entered into for the sole purpose of bringing a foreign national into the U.S. Here are common examples of fraudulent unions:
- When a U.S. permanent resident or citizen is bribed to marry a foreign national
- When a U.S. permanent citizen or resident marries a foreign national as a favor
- When a foreign national tricks a U.S. permanent resident or citizen into a false marriage so they can come into the country.
Being found guilty of these actions can land you in serious trouble with the law. This may include up to a $250,000 fine and/or up to 5 years in jail. You may also be deported from the country. And if you are a U.S. national, you may be charged with hosting an alien, committing or conspiring to commit a visa-related crime.
So, how do you avoid marriage fraud accusations?
It’s not uncommon to be wrongly accused of marrying for a green card. Getting your marriage documentation in order can help you defend yourself against marriage fraud charges.
Most foreign nationals who marry U.S. citizens and permanent residents do so in good faith. Yet, you could still be accused of green card fraud. If this happens, you need to explore your legal options.