06
Dec2017

Avoiding Determinations of Marriage Fraud

If you are considering a fake marriage in order to remain in the U.S. and obtain a green card, know that what you are doing is illegal.

A fake marriage has been defined by the courts as a marriage that may comply with all the formal requirements of the law, but was entered into in “bad faith,” which means that the parties had no intent to live together and was designed solely to obtain an immigration benefit. Fake marriages are not recognized for immigration purposes. For example, it is not enough to show that a couple had a real marriage ceremony and got all the right governmental stamps on their marriage certificate; the couple had to have intended to live in a real marital relationship and establish a life together, and prove such intent through their actions (e.g., buying property and opening joint accounts). If the couple did not intend to establish a life together, their marriage is considered a fraud.

Detecting fraud is a top priority for the government, so immigration authorities require a lot of proof that a marriage is not fake. The government thoroughly processes a marriage-based application by conducting detailed personal interviews, and, for couples married less than two years, imposing a two-year conditional approval.

The best way to handle a determination of marriage fraud is to avoid entering into a fraudulent marriage altogether. But, if you have been accused of marriage fraud in connection with an application you filed with the government, let us know so that we can assist you in this process.

DISCLOSURE: The information contained herein is for informational purposes only as a service to the public, and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel, nor does it constitute a solicitation.

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