If you suspect U.S. marriage fraud, you can report it to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Marriage fraud is considered a federal crime, according to ICE Anyone who commits marriage fraud could face felony charges. This comes with penalties such as a five-year prison sentence and up to $250,000 in fines.
Contacting the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division
If you are hoping to report marriage fraud, one of the first options is to contact the ICE hotline at 1-866-347-2423. Alternatively, you could visit your local ICE office and report your marriage fraud concerns in person to an ICE official.
When reporting marriage fraud to ICE, you can do so anonymously, but officials may be limited in their ability to actively investigate the case.
If you are currently married to someone who you believe committed marriage fraud, it may help your case to move out of your shared home immediately, or risk ICE officials bringing criminal charges for marriage fraud against you as well.
Contact United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Directly
You also have the option of contacting USCIS officials through their online form or by phone at 1-800-375-5283. When you call, you may be able to schedule an appointment with USCIS officials to discuss your concerns in person.
Do not be surprised if after reporting your suspicions to USCIS or ICE officials, they request you to sit down for an interview or request you provide them with additional evidence to support your suspicions. This may also be a good time to hire an attorney who can help you avoid the harsh criminal penalties associated with a marriage fraud conviction.
Getting a Divorce After Marriage Fraud
If your spouse committed marriage fraud, you could file a divorce and report the marriage fraud to the government. This could help separate you from the fraud and demonstrate that you did not willingly enter a marriage for the purpose of committing fraud.
If you committed marriage fraud, you could face felony charges. An attorney can help you through the divorce process by filing paperwork, collecting evidence, and representing you in court hearings.
You could also get an annulment to end your marriage. Your attorney will go over all of the circumstances of your case to ensure you meet the legal requirements necessary to obtain an annulment but will be prepared to move forward with a divorce if that is a better option.
As government officials investigate and move to bring charges for marriage fraud against your spouse, if you remain in compliance with their investigation and do what you can to show them that you had no knowledge of your spouse’s deceit, you may be able to avoid the fallout and potential criminal charges.
What You Can Do to Defend Yourself Against Marriage Fraud Allegations
If you face marriage fraud allegations, you can defend yourself by providing evidence that you did not get married for immigration reasons. Some examples of evidence you can use include:
- Documents that prove you and your spouse lived together for an extended period of time
- Photo and video evidence of shared family-related experiences, such as your wedding or any vacations you have taken together
- Income statements
- Certificates that prove you and your spouse had a child together or adopted a child together
- Statements from third parties who can confirm that your marriage is authentic
Our marriage fraud attorney can help you compile this evidence.
What Is Considered Marriage Fraud?
Marriage fraud occurs when:
- A U.S. citizen accepts money, or extends a favor, to marry a foreign national who is already living in the United States.
- A “mail order” marriage takes place where the U.S. citizen and the foreign national are aware that the marriage is fraudulent
- A foreign national convinces a U.S. citizen that their marriage is legitimate
Marriage fraud is considered a national security threat in the United States. Beyond felony charges, those who commit marriage fraud could face other charges such as visa fraud and making false statements. Our marriage fraud attorney can provide more information about what constitutes fraud.
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Reach Out to Our Marriage Fraud Attorney for Help
If you are looking for legal guidance because of marriage fraud, our team can help. At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we have more than 30 years of experience. We offer free case evaluations, so you can learn more information about how we can help your case at no charge.
Contact us today for your free case evaluation.