Congratulations on meeting that special someone! But there is one little problem – the love of your life is a foreign national. Can you bring them to the U.S.? Fortunately, yes! If you are a U.S. citizen or a green card holder, U.S. laws allow you to marry and bring a foreign national into the country provided that you follow the due process.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for some people to abuse this provision and marry for a green card. This amounts to marriage fraud, and it is a serious offense as far as the U.S. law is concerned. This is an outright affront to the country’s immigration laws.
But what exactly is marriage fraud?
Basically, marriage fraud happens when a foreign national marries and U.S. citizen or permanent resident for the sole purpose of obtaining a marriage-based visa. This is a serious offense with severe penalties for both parties if convicted per the Immigration and Nationality Act 275(c). For the immigrant, the penalties can include fines, jail time and removal from the country. And for the U.S. citizen involved in the sham marriage, penalties can include fines and jail time.
Challenging marriage fraud allegations
If you have been wrongly charged with marriage fraud, you can fight the charges in court. To do so, however, it helps to start by understanding the root cause of the charge.
Sometimes, a couple can be charged with marriage fraud because they either didn’t answer the visa interview questions correctly or did not provide sufficient evidence to prove the validity of their marriage. If you have proof of your relationship and consequent marriage, be sure to provide them in court during your trial.
Being charged with marriage fraud is a big deal. Find out how you can defend yourself and safeguard your rights and interests when charged with marriage fraud.