Are you among the “I Think My Husband Married Me For A Green Card” crowd”? Marriage fraud, specifically when an individual enters into a marriage solely to obtain a green card or immigration benefits, is a serious issue that affects both the immigration system and the lives of those involved.
It is essential to address this topic comprehensively to provide a better understanding of the implications and potential consequences associated with fraudulent marriages.
I Think My Husband Married Me For A Green Card: 6 Things To Do
Suppose your husband files a citizenship application and does not include you as one of his dependents on his application. In that case, he may be able to use this as evidence that he’s only marrying you because it will help him become a citizen (which would allow him to work).
Here are some things to do:
1. Involve The Appropriate Authorities
Engaging in fraudulent or sham marriages to bypass immigration laws and obtain a green card can have serious consequences. It is essential to understand that both the foreign spouse and the U.S. citizen or permanent resident involved can face removal, deportation, and potential criminal prosecution.
The Department of Homeland Security, particularly the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau (ICE), is committed to investigating reports of fraudulent marriages.
To evade immigration laws, individuals resorting to sham marriages risk being permanently barred from returning to the United States or obtaining future visas. It is crucial to note that the punishment for participating in such fraudulent marriages is severe, with potential penalties including up to five years of imprisonment and a substantial fine of up to $25,000.
The Department of Homeland Security may conduct investigations before or after a marriage-based green card’s initial two-year conditional period, involving inquiries, document requests, and interviews with various sources such as friends, family members, and neighbors.
2. Understand The Motivations Behind Marriage Fraud
Several factors can motivate individuals to engage in marriage fraud, a deceptive practice where individuals enter into a marriage solely to obtain legal status in a foreign country, such as obtaining a green card in the United States. Understanding these motivations provides insight into the complex dynamics surrounding marriage fraud.
- The Desire for Legal Status
One of the primary motivations behind marriage fraud is the desire to gain legal status in a foreign country. This could be driven by the hope of obtaining long-term residency, work permits, or access to social benefits and healthcare systems. By marrying a citizen or permanent resident of the country, individuals may believe they can secure legal status more easily and avoid the complexities and uncertainties of other immigration routes.
- Financial Incentives
Financial considerations can play a significant role in driving individuals to engage in marriage fraud. The opportunity to gain financial stability, access to better job prospects, and increased earning potential can be compelling reasons to enter into a fraudulent marriage. Financial security and the potential for upward mobility are powerful motivators for those seeking to improve their economic circumstances through fraud.
- Access to Job Opportunities
For individuals facing limited employment prospects in their home country, a fraudulent marriage may provide access to a wider range of job opportunities and higher wages in the foreign country. By marrying a citizen or resident, they hope to secure work permits or gain preferential treatment in the job market, which can significantly impact their career prospects and earning potential.
- Social Benefits and Support Systems
Access to social benefits, welfare programs, and support systems can also motivate individuals to engage in marriage fraud. By marrying a citizen or permanent resident, they may gain eligibility for various government-funded programs, including healthcare, education, housing assistance, and social welfare. These benefits can provide a safety net and improve their overall quality of life.
- Reuniting with Family
Another factor that drives individuals to pursue fraudulent marriages is the desire to reunite with family members already residing in a foreign country. By obtaining legal status through marriage, they hope to secure a pathway for their immediate family members to join them, fostering family unity and providing opportunities for a better future together.
3. Legal Consequences for Marriage Fraud
Engaging in marriage fraud can have severe legal consequences for all parties involved. In the United States, marriage fraud is considered a federal crime under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). If convicted, the U.S. citizen, permanent resident, and foreign national can face criminal charges, including imprisonment and fines. Additionally, they may be subject to removal or deportation from the country, and future immigration applications may be denied.
4. Detection and Investigation of Marriage Fraud
Government agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), actively investigate suspected marriage fraud cases.
These investigations thoroughly scrutinize the marital relationship, interview the spouses, and examine supporting evidence, such as joint finances, shared assets, and cohabitation arrangements. Authorities may also gather information from third-party sources, including family members, friends, and neighbors.
5. Reporting Suspected Marriage Fraud
Suppose you suspect your marriage is fraudulent or have evidence suggesting that your spouse married you solely for immigration purposes. In that case, reporting your concerns to the appropriate authorities is crucial.
Contacting the Department of Homeland Security or submitting a tip to ICE can initiate an investigation into the suspected fraud. Providing detailed information and any supporting evidence will aid the authorities in their inquiry.
6. Seeking Legal Counsel
If you find yourself in a situation where you suspect that your spouse married you for a green card, it is crucial to seek legal counsel from an experienced immigration attorney.
They can guide you through the legal process, help protect your rights and interests, and advise you on the best course of action based on your circumstances.
If it can be proven that one party entered into the marriage solely to obtain a green card, severe consequences may apply as outlined above. It is important to note that investigations into the legitimacy of a marriage can occur even after a green card has been issued.
If you have concerns about your marriage and its potential immigration implications, seeking legal advice from professionals like LaMonaca Law can guide and assist in navigating these complex issues.
How do I know if someone is marrying me for a green card?
These documents serve as evidence to convince the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that the marriage is not a sham but a legitimate union. Here are some examples of the types of documents commonly used to establish the bona fides of a marriage:
- Joint Bank Statements: Providing copies of joint bank statements can be strong evidence to demonstrate financial interdependence and the merging of resources between spouses.
- Leases and Mortgages: Submitting copies of jointly held leases or mortgage agreements can help establish a shared residence and a commitment to living together as a married couple.
- Children’s Birth Certificates: If the couple has children together, presenting copies of their birth certificates is compelling evidence of a genuine marital relationship.
- Photos and Social Events: Including photographs of the couple together at various social events, family gatherings, vacations, or celebrations can provide visual proof of their shared experiences and a genuine emotional connection.
- Affidavits from Family and Friends: Sworn affidavits from family members, close friends, or other individuals who can attest to the authenticity of the marriage can be valuable supporting evidence.
- Joint Tax Returns: Furnishing copies of jointly filed tax returns further strengthens the case for a real marriage.
How can I prove my husband married me for a green card?
The above-listed documents can prove that your husband married you for a green card.