When a non-citizen marries an American citizen, the non-citizen could gain significant benefits that may cause them to enter a marriage for the wrong reasons. There are cases of non-citizens who marry American citizens solely for what they gain from the American system and not because they have true intentions to be with the person they married.
Because immigration fraud disrupts the legal immigration system, there are laws in place to discourage marriage fraud. In addition to possible deportation, both the citizen and non-citizen can face stiff criminal penalties. If you are facing marriage fraud charges, a Little Elm marriage fraud attorney may be able to help.
Understanding Immigration Law as It Pertains to Marriage to a U.S. Citizen
Many people want to come to the United States to experience all that the U.S. has to offer. But immigration laws can be complex, and not everyone is allowed to become a citizen or permanent resident easily. Some people try to cut corners because they think it’s an easier path toward staying in the U.S. Marriage fraud is one of the ways to try to cut corners.
But the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is aggressive in investigating and prosecuting marriage fraud cases because they hope to deter non-citizens from abusing the immigration system. They want non-citizens to apply for citizenship or residency in the right way.
The following is a list of some of the different types of marriage fraud:
- Paying a U.S. citizen to marry for immigration purposes
- When a U.S. citizen marries someone as a favor or for quid pro quo
- A foreign national deceives a U.S. citizen into believing the marriage is legitimate but is only marrying for immigration purposes
- Mail order marriages
- Visa lottery fraudulent marriages
If you have been accused of marriage fraud, you could face serious consequences. You could be under investigation and be forced to undergo an extensive investigation process in which you must reveal intimate details about your relationship with your spouse.
A Little Elm marriage fraud attorney can help you during this stressful time. They can help you face an investigation and can watch out for your best interests.
About the Immigration Marriage Fraud Investigation Process
When an immigrant applies for a visa based on their marriage, the USCIS carefully examines the application looking for signs of fraud. If they suspect that the marriage is a sham, they will further pursue the case by looking into the parties’ backgrounds.
You would need to provide evidence that the marriage is real and was not only for the purpose of immigration. You will need to provide more than a marriage certificate. The investigators will be gathering evidence of their own if they suspect that marriage fraud has occurred.
Here are some examples of what immigration officials will be looking for:
Significant Discrepancy in Age
People of varying ages do marry, but a large age gap can be a red flag for fraud investigators. They may suspect that the marriage is not legitimate if too large of an age gap exists between the parties.
Lack of Communication
One indication of a marriage for immigration purposes is the lack of a shared language. While it’s possible for a couple to communicate when they don’t share a language, it can be a sign of fraud. This could cause authorities to take a closer look at the marriage.
The Timing of the Marriage
If a marriage occurs suddenly after a couple meets or after a divorce, this could raise an alarm. Additionally, if a marriage takes place immediately before a temporary visa was about to expire, this could be a sign of fraud.
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Not Living Together
If a married couple has two different addresses, this would be cause for concern for investigators. Most married couples live together, so the investigators would likely be suspicious.
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Differences in Religious Beliefs or Backgrounds
If two people marry who have significant differences in religious beliefs, this could indicate that not everything is on the up and up. Additionally, when two people have very different educational or social backgrounds, this could also be a sign that the relationship is not legitimate.
Penalties for Marriage Fraud in Little Elm, Texas
For many immigrants, the thought of being deported is their worst nightmare. If you have entered this country with honest intentions, you would likely be devastated to be removed from it, separated from your spouse and family, and forced to live in a country not of your choosing.
If you are convicted of marriage fraud, you could lose your visa and face removal proceedings. Any future visa applications would likely be denied. Additionally, criminal penalties for marriage fraud do exist. The parties who committed fraud could face a lengthy prison term and hefty fines.
How Can a Marriage Fraud Lawyer in Little Elm Help?
If you are facing an interview with immigration authorities or you believe you will be soon, you can seek legal assistance with your case.
- A lawyer can help you by guiding you through the process of answering questions from immigration officials
- A lawyer can help you prepare for your interview and gather evidence that shows your marriage is not a sham
- Your lawyer can help you with the legal aspect of fighting a marriage fraud accusation or charge
- They protect your rights and help you understand all the options in front of you
Get Legal Help With a Marriage Fraud Case in Little Elm, TX
If your marriage is being invested by federal authorities, do not delay in taking action. You have the right to fight against accusations of fraud. You can’t be deported or convicted of a crime without evidence, and you can get help with your marriage fraud case. You don’t have to face down possible deportation or criminal charges without help.
A Little Elm marriage fraud lawyer with the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can look into your case to determine your options. They can help you gather evidence to support your case. Get in touch with our firm to get a free case evaluation.