Getting married for green card is known by another name: marriage fraud. This term is used to describe when someone born outside the U.S. marries a U.S. citizen solely for the purpose of obtaining a green card. And to say that the USCIS takes this type of fraud very seriously would be an understatement.
Penalties for Getting Married For Green Card or Marriage Fraud: The Immigrant
If found guilty, the individual attempting to immigrate to the U.S. would likely be deported immediately. In addition, any current visas they may hold, or which are currently in-process, would also be revoked. They are also permanently banned from obtaining any future U.S. visas or a green card. And that’s the just the start.
If you knowingly enter into a marriage for fraudulent reasons such as getting married for green card, aiming to evade or circumvent U.S. immigration laws, you can face up to five years in prison or a fine as high as $250,000. Or both.
Penalties for Marriage Fraud: The U.S. Citizen
The U.S. spouse also faces criminal charges when getting married for green card. Heavy fines, jail time, or some combination of both are quite common in these instances, although the steepest penalties are for those who engage in wider criminal conspiracy and criminal enterprises. In other words, if you’re found guilty of systematically arranging fraudulent marriages, you’ll get the maximum sentence. And, unless you are a U.S. citizen, you could face your own deportation as well.
How Marriage Fraud is Discovered
There are a variety of places where the government might discover your marriage is a sham. Because the process is long, involved, and often sees you interacting with different officers, there is ample opportunity to become tripped up throughout.
In addition, you’ll need to provide extensive proof your marriage is legitimate; something that might be difficult to do if you don’t really know the person. Proof can include (but is not limited to):
• Marriage certificates
• Wedding photos
• Wedding invites
• Love letters
• Testimony from friends and family
• Home inspections
• Employer interviews
• And more
You’ll also be interviewed extensively, both together and apart. Questions will be detailed, thorough, and very personal. Expect things like:
• Do you like your mother-in-law? Does your spouse know how you feel about her?
• What color toothbrush does your spouse have?
• What’s your favorite food?
• How did you meet? When did you know it was love?
• What color are the curtains in your family room?
• Does your spouse snore?
• What outfit does your spouse wear that you like the most?
While the questions seem a little crazy, they are designed to determine the level of intimacy and personal knowledge both have about each other and also to corroborate responses between both individuals. A little variance is normal, but if your answers are completely disparate, it will throw up a red flag.
In Need of Legal Help to File for a Green Card?
For a complimentary, confidential consultation about getting married for green card, call our Lee Law Firm team at (404) 892-8300 now.