[Jeannie Joung, Immigration Lawyer, 엘에이 이민법 변호사] Seriousness of Marriage Fraud
Don't do it!
Marriage fraud cases come in different shapes and forms; two complete strangers introduced by a middle person to enter into a sham marriage for money; close friends getting married to "help" a friend in need; the immigrant spouse marrying a U.S. citizen solely for green card all the while knowing that he/she will file for divorce once the green card is issued. Whatever it is, my response is simple: Don't do it.
The consequence of marriage fraud is severe. There are Immigration and Criminal consequences as follows:
Any individual who knowingly enters into a marriage for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or fined not more than $250,000, or both. (Immigration and Nationality Act § 275(c); 8 U.S. Code § 1325(c)).
If that doesn't scare you from entering into a fraudulent marriage, then you should know that after you serve your time in prison and/or pay the fine, you will also be deported. Thereafter, even if you enter into a true marriage, your previous marriage fraud will prevent you from obtaining legal status.
Now, there is a difference between fraudulent marriages and real marriages with insufficient evidence. There are true marriages that can be found to have been fraudulent due to lack of documents or miscommunication at the interview. For cases like these, it is essential that you get the record straight to not have the finding of a marriage fraud in your record. Instead of a finding of fraudulent marriage, you can simply have a decision that is denied based on insufficient evidence. There are ways to overturn a decision or even better, provide convincing evidence to prevent finding of fraud.
Our office consults with many couples who receive a Request for Further Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) after an interview gone horribly wrong. There are also cases where RFE or NOID is issued after site inspection because the USCIS officer suspects of marriage fraud. Whether you receive the RFE or NOID after the interview or after the site inspection, you are in a danger zone. You must thoroughly evaluate your case and consider whether to go forward or just withdraw your case before a derogatory decision is made. After the decision is made, your options become very limited.
For questions regarding Marriage Fraud or ways to prove that your marriage is a bona-fide marriage, please contact our office for FREE legal consultation today!