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What is green card marriage fraud?

On Behalf of | Nov 14, 2023 | Immigration

There are a few different ways that someone can get a green card, making them a permanent resident of the United States. This effort can be beneficial for someone who is here on a visa, which is subject to a time constraint. The visa will expire, but they can get a green card so that they do not have to leave the country prior to the visa’s expiration date.

One way that people can secure a green card is by getting married. When someone who isn’t a U.S. citizen marries someone who is, then they may be able to get a green card so that they can stay with their new spouse.

Green card marriage fraud is when people enter into a pretend relationship to secure a green card for a foreign national. For example, perhaps the two people involved in a fraudulent scheme are college roommates. They claim that they have fallen in love and gotten married, but they’re not actually in a romantic relationship. One person’s student visa is just expiring and this is their attempt to stay longer. That is the type of fraud that the government is trying to prevent.

Green card marriage interviews

One way that the government combats this type of fraud is by conducting green card marriage interviews. The interviewer talks to both people and compares their answers. They simply want to see if it seems like the relationship is real or if the couple is faking it.

The questions that people have to answer will generally relate to their daily life or their relationship. Examples include:

  1. When do you each get up in the morning?
  2. What are your evening rituals at the house?
  3. Which side of the bed do you sleep on?
  4. Where did you go on your first date?
  5. When did you meet each other‘s parents?

For a couple that is actually in a romantic relationship, it will usually be fairly easy to answer such mundane questions in a similar fashion. But if a couple is faking their relationship, then the interviewer may be able to detect significant inconsistencies. If one person says that they met each other’s extended families over the holidays and the other person says they’ve never met each other’s extended families, for example, that would be a red flag to the interviewer.

The legal process

The process of getting a green card can sometimes become fairly complicated, and people don’t want to make any mistakes that may prevent them from getting the status that they need. This is why it’s so important to understand what legal steps to take to meet one’s immigration goals. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to get started.