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What to do if you’re accused of immigration-related marriage fraud

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Immigration

Marriage fraud is a serious crime involving misrepresentation or deceit to obtain immigration benefits through marriage. It occurs when potential immigrants get a sham marriage with a U.S. citizen or green card holder for the purpose of getting permanent residence.

Sometimes, immigrants may find themselves wrongly accused of marriage fraud. These allegations set in motion events that can have serious legal, financial and personal consequences. If you’ve been wrongly accused of marriage fraud, it is crucial to take immediate action to protect your rights and defend yourself against the accusations.

Produce documentation

Documentation bearing both spouses’ names can help prove to USCIS that you entered the marriage in good faith. These may include your marriage certificate, joint bank account statements, utility bills, lease agreements, insurance policies or any other official documents that demonstrate a shared life together. Also, providing evidence of joint activities, such as photographs of vacations, family gatherings or shared purchases, can further support your case. The goal is to show a pattern of genuine cohabitation and shared responsibilities, which is indicative of a bona fide marriage.

Cooperate with investigations

If you are facing accusations of marriage fraud, it is essential to cooperate with any investigations conducted by immigration authorities. This includes attending interviews, providing requested documentation and answering questions truthfully.

Prepare for interviews

Immigration authorities may conduct interviews to assess the validity of your marriage. Practice answering questions about your relationship, living arrangements, daily routines and future plans together. Be honest and consistent in your responses, and provide any supporting evidence as requested.

If you believe that you have been wrongly accused of marriage fraud, you have the right to challenge these allegations. Seeking legal guidance can help you understand your rights and respond appropriately to these accusations while avoiding self-incrimination.