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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawDiscussion of Marriage Fraud in an American Immigration Context

Discussion of Marriage Fraud in an American Immigration Context

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are going to be discussing marriage fraud specifically in the context of US Immigration, US Immigration benefits.

A brochure I got from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement is entitled: “Marriage Fraud is a Federal Crime” and it is regarding Homeland Security investigations. Quoting directly:

Types of marriage fraud: a US citizen is paid or asked to perform a favor to marry a foreign national already residing in the United States. Mail-order marriages where either the alien or the US citizen knows it is a fraud and a foreign National defrauds US citizen who believes the marriage is legitimate.

Penalties:  an individual will be charged with marriage fraud if they entered into a marriage for the purpose of evading US Immigration Laws. This felony offense carries a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000 and applies to both foreign nationals and US citizens who perpetrate this crime.

This is a brochure. Like I said it is called: “Marriage Fraud is a Crime” from US Immigration Customs Enforcement, it looks like it was published June, 2016. I am sure this can be found online and there is further information in there. 

The thing I want to go through on this is first of all it was noted that the types of marriage fraud. Secondly it was detailed in there the penalties of marriage fraud in an American Immigration context and they are significant to say the least; 5 years in prison is significant by anyone's measure.

So what is the point in all of this? Well, first of all this shouldn't be done. Don't use marriage just to get immigration benefits. It is never a good idea even in a non-fraudulent context where a couple is sort of trying to decide where they stand in a relationship and things, it is never a good idea to make decisions, again based on immigration benefits, that's the wrong reason for making decisions with respect to one's personal life just sort of not to give life advice but just for lack of a better term, just on a lifestyle level  it is just not a good idea to make a long-term commitment to somebody based on being able to get a green card and also it could be deemed fraudulent and depending on the context, if it is really over the top, like never seen each other before, and just enter into a contractual relationship to be married in order to get an immigration benefit, the immigration apparatus in the United States is getting very, very serious about going after these kinds of things. In fact they have even created a new investigations unit specifically tasked with denaturalizing and deporting people who it is clear only married and became naturalized US citizens, or only got married in order to become naturalized US citizens. Immigration so immigration officials are taking this increasingly seriously, especially under this Administration, and it seems fairly clear to me that while it wasn't ever a good idea to begin with and has always been illegal, now more than ever it is really perilous to even mess with this kind of thing so again immigration fraud is a serious crime. It is a felony with a lot of penalties associated with it and in the end it can also result in exactly the opposite of what the individual was seeking which is deportation and being barred from ever reentering the United States again.

So for that reason, I hope those who are watching this video take away the fact that marriage fraud is serious stuff and it is becoming increasingly clear that the administration is interested in enforcing the laws on it and the laws against such activities.