Sometimes people use marriage as a way to defraud the U.S. Department of Homeland Security — a U.S. citizen will marry a foreign national in return for cash or favors so that the foreign national can get Lawful Permanent Resident status much more quickly and easily than they would be able to otherwise.
Marriage fraud is a serious crime, both for the U.S. citizen and the foreign national, and can result in steep fines or even imprisonment. It can also make it extremely hard for the foreign national to ever get a green card in the future!
But what if you are legitimately married and something you say in your immigration interview leads the immigration officer to believe you are committing marriage fraud? How do you avoid these allegations?
At Heitz Immigration Law, we hear about this happening a lot. Often, one spouse will forget the other’s birthday or their anniversary — an annoying but not uncommon mistake — or perhaps the couple got separated at the interview and their answers didn’t quite match up. Discrepancies can cause the interviewing officer to feel like the couple do not know enough about one another, and they could receive a denial or request for more evidence.
We have counseled many couples who’ve been denied a green card based on marriage fraud allegations when there was truly no marriage fraud committed, and we fight to help them clear their names and restart the green card process. However, when couples come to us earlier in the process, we can help them prevent this misunderstanding from ever arising to begin with.
When your interview is approaching, an experienced immigration law attorney can help you:
- Know what questions to anticipate during your interview. Interviewers can ask a wide range of questions. They may ask you what food you served at your wedding celebration, or they could ask you to describe the furniture in the bedroom you share with your spouse.
- Prepare the necessary documents to take to your interview. This includes not only official forms, but also things like joint bank statements and copies of shared utility bills.
- Resolve any issues that could raise red flags to your interviewer.
In truth, it is essential to have an immigration lawyer’s guidance throughout the entire immigration process, not just the interview. Recent crackdowns leave little room for mistakes. Even small errors can result in being turned down for a green card. An attorney can help you make sure all of your documentation is filed on time and without errors.
Whether you are facing marriage fraud accusations now or want to be proactive and ensure your case doesn’t result in any misunderstandings, contact Heitz Immigration Law today. We have extensive experience helping clients navigate this complex process to prove that their marriages are bona fide so that they can move on with their life together in the United States. Give us a call at (561) 290-0101.