United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) investigates anytime a U.S. citizen marries a non-citizen to ensure no signs of marriage fraud exist. A USCIS official might request an interview if your spouse requests a green card, which provides them with permanent residency.
If convicted of marriage fraud, you can face serious fines and even jail time, so you should seek help from an attorney to help you fight your case. A Flower Mound marriage fraud lawyer from our criminal defense team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can help you seek the justice you deserve.
Marriage Fraud Defined
Non-citizens receive a two-year conditional permanent residency when they either marry a U.S. citizen or are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, according to the Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments of 1986. Fraud occurs when a non-citizen marries a citizen just to get a green card.
During the interview process, officials will take note of any suspicious circumstances that may indicate marriage fraud. For example, if you don’t live with your spouse or don’t speak the same language, USCIS could see those as red flags.
If you hope to prove your marriage is legitimate, our Flower Mound marriage fraud lawyers at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can help defend you throughout the process.
Penalties for Committing Marriage Fraud
If convicted of marriage fraud, you could face serious penalties, such as up to $250,000 in fines and/or five years imprisonment, per 8 USC §1325. The non-citizen can also face deportation and be permanently barred from becoming a permanent U.S. resident.
USCIS may press other charges, as well, such as falsification of documents and visa fraud. Due to the harsh penalties associated with a conviction, we recommend hiring a Flower Mound marriage fraud defense attorney from the start to protect yourself from prosecution.
How Can a Marriage Fraud Lawyer Help You Prove Your Marriage Is Legitimate?
While people get married for various reasons and no two marriages are exactly alike, virtually all legitimate marriages happen between two people who love each other and want to share their lives together. To prove that your marriage is legitimate and not one entered for the sole purpose of obtaining a green card, you must show that this is the case with you and your spouse.
In most cases, an official from USCIS will interview you both as a couple and individually to decide whether your marriage is legitimate. You can count on your Flower Mound marriage fraud defense lawyer to help you throughout this process.
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can guide you throughout the process and help you provide the evidence needed to prove your marriage is legitimate. Let’s review some of the factors USCIS officials will consider when deciding if a marriage is genuine:
- Living at the same residence
- Speaking the same language
- Similar religious or moral beliefs
- Wanting to have children
- Similar friend group
- Similar hobbies and activities
- Joint bank accounts
If your Flower Mound marriage fraud lawyer can prove that your marriage has some or all of these elements, it will greatly help your case.
Flower Mound Marriage Fraud Lawyer Near Me (214) 696-9253
How USCIS Detects Marriage Fraud
There are two main parts of a USCIS marriage fraud investigation: documentation and interviews.
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Providing adequate documentation is the first crucial step toward winning your case. You will need to provide USCIS with various documents, such as:
- Your marriage license
- Joint bank statements
- Work history
- Mortgage documents or utility bills to provide evidence of cohabitation
- Photographs with both individuals present
- Letters from family or friends verifying the relationship
Documents such as these are one of the critical elements USCIS will use in making their ruling. Having the proper documentation and evidence can help you win your case and alleviate stress for you and your spouse.
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USCIS will also conduct interviews to authenticate the marriage. You will likely be interviewed both individually and together. Before the interviews, the USCIS official will review the documents you have provided and use them to see if your answers to their questions are consistent. The USCIS interviewer will ask many personal questions, and you should always answer honestly.
Your Flower Mound marriage fraud attorney at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can help you prepare the documentation and coach you through the interview process, so you know what to expect.
Your Flower Mound Marriage Fraud Lawyer Can Help You Appeal a Green Card Denial
Suppose you have an authentic relationship with your spouse, but you do not have the documentation to back it up, or USCIS is suspicious of your intentions following your interviews. In this case, you may be charged with marriage fraud, and the non-U.S. citizen in your marriage will be denied a green card.
If this happens to you, your lawyer can help you file an appeal. Generally, you have only 30 days to appeal a green card denial. If you miss this deadline, the decision will be final, so you should start the process as soon as possible.
Hire Your Flower Mound Marriage Fraud Lawyer Today
If USCIS is investigating your marriage, get in touch with your Flower Mound marriage fraud lawyer immediately. Our professionals at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg are experienced in all kinds of criminal defense cases, including marriage fraud, and we always strive for the best possible outcome for our clients.
Attorney Randall B. Isenberg is a former senior chief felony prosecutor and state district trial judge with over 30 years of experience. He and the rest of our team are here to help you in your time of need, so please contact us today to get started on your case.