Green Card Marriage Fraud

The United States allows foreigners to immigrate to the United States and become permanent residents of the country. But, obtaining an immigrant visa to immigrate to the United States is not as easy as we think. Many of us have a notion that it is easy to get a U.S. Green Card by getting married to a U.S. citizen.

That is because a foreign national who gets married to a US citizen will become eligible for a conditional Green Card based on marriage. Through this process, the US citizen’s spouse need not wait for a visa number to become available and will get an opportunity to get an immigrant visa sooner. But this method does not apply to other categories of relatives, as they may apply for immigrant visas only after visa numbers become available. 

However, the applicant who seeks to immigrate to the United States will have to undergo rigorous background checks and Green Cards will be issued only after a strict screening process. U.S. immigration officers have identified numerous fraudulent marriages where foreign nationals get married to U.S. citizens for immigration purposes. The United States does not encourage such marriages and USCIS, which oversees lawful immigration, penalizes people who involve in such marriages. 

Such marriages are, however, not uncommon these days and hence people who seek to immigrate based on marriages are required to appear for interviews and required to undergo background checks. To determine whether the marriage is genuine, the US citizen and the spouse will be required to appear for interviews.

Through these interview rounds, the US immigration officers will decide on the cases and they will grant an immigrant visa to the foreign national whose relationship with the U.S. citizen is considered to be legitimate. 

These interviews also help the US immigration officers to identify fraudulent couples. The US citizen and the spouse will be required to answer a variety of questions during the interview. The relationship between the couple will be ascertained by the way they answer and hence the interview plays an important part.

The couple may be asked individually where they first met their spouse and a lot of such information, which may seem trivial but which gives credibility to a marriage. The couple needs to know each other very well to get through the interview. They may be referred to the fraud unit if the immigration officer doubts that their marriage is not authentic.

Through the Green Card interview, the U.S. immigration officers will be able to make sure that a marriage is bonafide. If the applicant and the sponsor’s answers during the interview are not satisfactory and if the immigration officers determine that the marriage is not genuine, the applicant may be barred from entering the country and criminal charges may be brought against them.

If one engages in marriage fraud and if they try to dupe the US immigration officers, the interview will not be an easy one. An applicant for a Green Card through marriage may be successful in immigrating to the United States if he or she answers honestly during the green card interview.