Immigration Marriage Fraud is Serious Business

matrimonialverification May 11, 2012 10

By Rhodora Derpo

What is immigration marriage fraud?  Under the Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments Act of 1986, marriage fraud occurs when an individual “knowingly enters into a marriage for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws.”  Here are some typical fact patterns:

1) Lucy, a United States citizen, and Rudy, a noncitizen who has overstayed his visa, get married and they fulfill all the legal requirements for a legal marriage.  However, Lucy and Rudy never intended to live as husband and wife.

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2) Cliff, a non-citizen whose work visa is about to expire, pays Samantha, a lawful permanent resident/green-card holder, to marry him so that he can obtain status as a permanent resident in the United States.

3) Reggie, a United States citizen, was not paid to marry Linda, a non-citizen, but there was an agreement between them that the marriage was created solely to enable Linda to obtain immigration benefits.

As seen in the examples above, marriage fraud occurs if the petitioner and beneficiary enter into marriage to evade immigration laws.  While a non-citizen can absolutely marry a United States citizen/green-card holder knowing that he or she will obtain an immigration benefit, he or she must not enter into marriage solely or primarily just to receive an immigration benefit.  The marriage must be based on the couple’s intention to spend their lives together as husband and wife.

Conduct of the parties

How is the government regulating fraudulent marriages?  United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has dedicated a substantial amount of resources to stop fraudulently married non-citizens from obtaining immigration benefits.  Each marriage-based green-card application is reviewed with scrutiny in order for USCIS to make a determination that a marriage is bona fide and legitimate for immigration purposes.

The examining officer may look at the conduct of the parties after the marriage to determine their intent at the time of marriage.  During the marriage interview, the examining officer may ask the couple, for example: whether they jointly own property; whether they are living together; and, whether they are conducting themselves as husband and wife.  Some officers also use visual clues and examine the parties’ body language and whether either one is wearing a wedding ring.

Sham marriage

What results if the marriage is a fraud?  If there is evidence of a fraudulent marriage, USCIS will deny immigration petitions and applications for adjustment of status.  Moreover, if a noncitizen is charged with marriage fraud, he or she will be barred from obtaining an immigration benefit under Section 204(c) Immigration and Nationality Act as amended.  A 204(c) finding has steep immigration consequences.  The noncitizen has a slim chance of obtaining permanent resident status in the United States.  Once a denial order is issued based on a 204(c) finding, the applicant is ineligible to receive an immigration benefit from any subsequent petition filed on his or her behalf.  The only exception is where a second petition is filed and approved based on the same marriage.

Furthermore, individuals charged with entering into a marriage to evade immigration laws face sentences of up to 5 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.  A noncitizen who enters into a sham marriage will also become subject to removal (or deportation).

What is the role of immigration attorneys?  Attorneys hold positions of public trust.  We are officers of the court and must inquire into the merits of every case.  We have a duty to get to know our clients and our case.  If something looks odd to us, we must perform due diligence.  We should not be facilitating or helping our clients to violate the law for our own personal profit.  Immigration attorneys must not present materially false documentation with the intention of defrauding the legal immigration systemImmigration marriage fraud is serious business. •

Source : pinoynewsmagazine

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  1. John Brookes May 19, 2013 at 6:36 am - Reply

    In 2000 I met what I truly believed to be my soul mate. A woman from the Philippines, a devote Christian, with a firm belief in family values. She was my ideal. Although there is so much to tell I will keep it brief and to the main points. In 2002 we married there, in Davao City. After several visits and getting to know each other well. In 2004 she came to this country, we settled in to our new home there was love and laughter cuddles and conversation, and in 2005 we had a son John Michael, he was my greatest wish come true, and the biggest thrill in my life, I could not envisage a single day without him, and every day I could not wait to get home to be with him. From the first month we started sending money to the Philippines to support her family and invest in a future for ourselves, (A Palm Tree Plantation) this was the agreed deal that we will eventually go back there as a family to live. And that is a very good future for us. But all this went sour not long after she gained her UK citizenship, she became demanding, threatening and even aggressive, and by using our son to manipulate me into sending increasing amounts of money to the Philippines, the arguments escalated to a point where I could no longer cope with the distress, it effected my job my life and my purpose. In February of 2011 she left the marital home and moved in with a black guy. Since then I have not seen my son due to her false allegations of unreasonable behaviour. I have recently gone through a PSYCHOLOGICAL THERAPY COURSE FOR MENTAL CRUELTY. I no longer see my son, and this hurts too much every day is the same I wake up crying I go to sleep crying. I know she never intended to stay married. Now all I do is grieve. I am 56 years old now. And although when we first met my age did not matter. But now she refers to me as THE GULLIBLE OLD GIT.
    The real purpose of this is for her to keep my investment in the land in the Philippines. And of course the benefit of her family. And by using false allegations of domestic violence.

    • Ron Kazmierczak May 19, 2013 at 6:41 am - Reply

      her family should have paid you,but don't feel to bad i am american and married an american woman who did the same to me after i was seriously injured

    • Ron Kazmierczak May 19, 2013 at 6:42 am - Reply

      i could tell you some horror stories

    • Lilia Languita Hernandez May 20, 2013 at 7:00 pm - Reply

      bull shit this woman .Im from Philippines too I have no heart to hurt my husband better hurt me. im a shame for here. Why you not report to the immegration to put her on the jail. why she take your son.The African people lazy and scammer.

    • Lilia Languita Hernandez May 20, 2013 at 7:00 pm - Reply

      Im happy maried

    • Shir Leen May 20, 2013 at 10:15 pm - Reply

      agree with you lilia..its so shameful of her to that some woman are greedy thats why

    • Jody Buell May 21, 2013 at 2:40 am - Reply

      Ron, Go to and join the yahoo group. There are over 19,000 current members, all of whom have been scammed. You will find information, support and healing there. It's one of the top listed sites on the web today.

    • Jody Buell May 21, 2013 at 2:40 am - Reply

      Woops, I apologize. I meant John.

    • Lilia Languita Hernandez May 21, 2013 at 3:30 pm - Reply

      Im married in 1985 have same man.

    • Anatol Jr Krot May 23, 2013 at 7:53 am - Reply

      She falsely accused me of abuse. What a character she is?

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