If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is duly married to a foreign national, you may sponsor your spouse to the U.S. through a marriage-based green card.
However, it is not uncommon for some people to attempt to cheat the system. Marriage fraud is quite real and the consequences can be severe.
But first, how does marriage fraud happen?
Basically, marriage is deemed fraudulent when it is solely intended to help a foreign national become a U.S. permanent resident or citizen. Here are common examples of marriage fraud:
- When a U.S. citizen or permanent resident is paid to marry a foreign national
- When a U.S. citizen or permanent resident marries a foreign national as a favor
- When a foreign national tricks a U.S. citizen or permanent to marry them for the sole purpose of moving into the country.
How to avoid marriage fraud
It is not uncommon for one party to believe the marriage they are entering into is legitimate. If the other party has sinister motivations, you might end up being charged with marriage fraud. Remember, it is not a fraud to want your spouse to join you in the U.S. after marriage. However, it is fraud if the primary goal of the marriage is to receive the immigration benefits that come with it. Taking time to know your spouse can give you the confidence that you are marrying for the right reasons.
Getting your marriage documents in order can also help you fight marriage fraud claims. For a marriage to be valid, it must be accompanied by a marriage certificate. A duly produced marriage certificate can help you prove your case and get out of trouble.
Yes, you can be wrongly accused of marriage fraud. If this happens, you need to know your defense options.