As a Miami immigration lawyer and an Austin immigration lawyer, I represent many immigrants who are applying for their green cards based on a marriage to United States citizen. Every couple in which a U.S. citizen marries and sponsors a noncitizen for an immigrant visa or green card based on marriage can expect one thing: Their application will be carefully scrutinized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and also by the U.S. State Department (if the immigrant is applying from overseas, through a U.S. consulate). Below are some frequently asked questions.
What is marriage fraud?
Marriage fraud is the term used to describe when a foreign-born person marries a U.S. citizen or, less commonly, a lawful permanent resident, for the sole or primary purpose of getting a green card (U.S. lawful permanent residence). These marriages are the opposite of ones entered into for love or family purposes. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.
What is the U.S. government’s stance on marriage fraud?
The U.S. government tends to believe that a large number of the marriage-based immigration applications it receives are fraudulent or fake – that they’re just a means for the would-be immigrant to obtain U.S. residence. Nevertheless, the relevant immigration agencies will give some applications a closer look than others, particularly when it spots “red flags.” If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.
What types of “red flags” do the immigration authorities look for when considering petitions to adjust status based on marriage (I-130)?
The following types of personal characteristics or living situations raise questions in the eyes of USCIS or the consulate.
- No shared language
- Vast difference in age
- Difference in religion
- Different social class or cultural background
- Difference in race
- Unequal educational background
- Different addresses
- Same house, but no actual interaction
- Secret marriage
- All-too-convenient timing of marriage
- Attempts to manufacture evidence of shared life right before the interview
- Marriage soon after you met
- Marriage soon after a divorce
- History of U.S. petitioner sponsoring other spousal immigrants
- Noncitizen comes from a country with a history of immigration fraud
- No children if woman is of childbearing age
- Impoverished U.S. citizen or resident petitioner
- History of crimes, fraud, or lies by either spouse
If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.
I went for my first marriage interview, and have been called in for a second one. Why?
The first interview that you attended was the standard interview. However the examiner was not satisfied. Instead of denying the application on the spot, which they discretion to do, the immigration authorities can call you in for a for a second interview. This is the marriage fraud interview. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration attorney or an Austin immigration attorney.
What happens at the marriage fraud interview?
The marriage fraud interview is taped. The USCIS. official will thoroughly scrutinized the husband and wife in an attempt to arrive at the truth. All persons, including the attorney states his name and address the examiner asks whether any documents are being submitted in support of the petition.Once the documents are submitted, the actual interrogation of the couple really begins. First, one is taken into a room with only the examiner and lawyer present. The examiner begins by initially asking innocuous and simple questions. Eventually the questions become more detailed and more personal delving into all aspects of the couple’s relationship. When the inquisition is completed then the other spouse is questioned in the same fashion. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration attorney or an Austin immigration attorney.
What happens after the second spouse is questioned?
Both people are brought together. If there were discrepancies or inconsistencies in the individual answers the parties are asked to explain. If the examiner still believes that the couple only got married to get a green card they are sent home without an approval and will eventually get a notice of intent to deny in the mail. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.
If you would like more information on obtaining a green card via marriage to a United States citizen, deportation defense, obtaining U.S. citizenship, or obtaining a green card, please contact Miami immigration lawyer and Austin immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray, Esq. at (305) 895-2500 or visit our website at www.mmurraylaw.com.