Experienced. Skilled. Compassionate.

Marriage fraud in the United States

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2023 | Deportation & Removal, Family-Based Immigration, Green Cards, U.S. Citizenship |

Marriage is a sacred institution that binds two individuals together to create a marital relationship. People commit marriage fraud, a crime in the United States, for various reasons.

To combat and avoid marriage fraud in the United States, it is important to know its different forms.

Green Card marriages

This type of marriage fraud happens when someone marries a U.S. citizen just to get a green card, with no intentions of being in a genuine marriage. These individuals enter these marriages for immigration benefits.

Fake or sham marriages

Fake or sham marriages, also known as marriages of convenience, involve individuals who enter marriage for immigration purposes only. One person is a U.S. citizen or green card holder, and the other is a foreign national seeking legal residency.

The sole purpose of these marriages is to deceive immigration authorities and get immigration benefits.

Business arrangement marriages

This type of marriage fraud occurs when people get into fake marriages for business purposes, financial benefits, or to avoid taxes and legal obligations.

Polygamous marriages

Polygamy is illegal in the United States, so a person cannot be married to more than one person at any one time, including individuals in other countries.

Marrying someone without divorcing their previous spouse is considered marriage fraud. Even if a couple is very much in love, if one or both are not divorced from their previous spouse, they are committing marriage fraud if they marry.

Mail-order marriages

The rise of technology has facilitated another type of marriage fraud. This type of fraud targets vulnerable foreign nationals seeking love and companionship by offering them fake marriage arrangements.

The main reason for these marriages is for the fraudster, usually a U.S. citizen, to gain services from the foreign national in exchange for financial benefits or legal immigration status.

Consequences of marriage fraud

Marriage fraud is a serious crime in the US, with severe penalties including imprisonment, fines, deportation and bans from entering the country.

U.S. citizens who take part in marriage fraud are also subject to criminal charges related to criminal conspiracy, aiding, or abetting.

Marriage fraud is a serious crime. The U.S. government has strict measures and screening processes in place to identify fraudulent marriages. Educating people about the risks associated with marriage fraud is important, so the public can know the dangers that come with committing this type of crime.