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12 Red Flags for Marriage Fraud, Part II

12 Red Flags for Marriage Fraud, Part II

In our last blog, we detailed four common red flags that US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) looks for when they receive a marriage-based immigration petition that could indicate the marriage is a fraudulent attempt to help someone obtain a green card in the US.

Click here to check out that blog and learn more information regarding things like the penalties associated with marriage fraud.

In Part II, we will share eight more red flags. These red flags, in and of themselves, will not necessarily trigger further investigation or an assumption of fraud. However, these are all factors that officials will weigh, and a combination of several of them will certainly seem suspicious.

Keep in mind, the burden of proof to show that a marriage is legitimate rests on the couple petitioning, so please contact Landerholm Immigration for help with your application so we can fight for the rights of you and your spouse.

5) Keeping the marriage a secret from friends and family If it is clear that you have not shared your marriage with loved ones, immigration officials will wonder whether you intend to end the marriage soon after the foreign national spouse receives legal permanent resident (LPR) status. Common practice would be to openly share and celebrate your marriage with loved ones, and if you keep the marriage a secret, you will raise some red flags. 6) Disparity of age It is very possible for two people of drastically different ages to enter into a legitimate marriage, but it is far less common than two people of similar age getting married. As with the differences in background we mentioned in Part I of this blog, statistics will cause USCIS officials to question the legitimacy of a petition where one spouse is much older than the other. 7) Convenient timing Officials will look closely at the timing of your marriage. Does the marriage happen to coincide with something such as one of the spouse's visa expiring? If the timing of the marriage seems to be TOO convenient, it may be a red flag. 8) Unusual marriage history If the US citizen or current LPR has numerous divorces or numerous marriage-based immigration petitions in his or her history, officials will likely suspect some sort of fraudulent activity simply because this is out of the ordinary. 9) History of fraud It will be difficult, if not impossible, to avoid serious scrutiny of the one spouse has been involved in a marriage fraud case in the past. If there is a history of fraud in either spouse's history, officials will have no reason to believe this marriage is any different. 10) Brief courtship How long did you actually know your spouse before you got married? If the period of courtship was very brief, such as only a couple days, weeks, or even months, this will raise red flags that the marriage is not legitimate. 11) Current US citizen or LPR is impoverished If the current US citizen or LPR petitioner is impoverished, officials may assume that the marriage is part of a deal where he or she will be paid to marry someone from another country in order to help them obtain a green card. Remember that the petitioner must also be a sponsor, and so must show tax and financial information to the USCIS. As such, be aware that this could lead to further questions during your interview! 12) Manufacturing evidence of shared life right before interview If there is a no history of interaction, followed by a flurry of interaction between a married couple just before they are to be interviewed by USCIS, officials may suspect fraud. For example, if the couple did not live together or ever see one another, and then suddenly moved in and began doing things together like going on vacation, just before it is time to prove the legitimacy of the marriage, this can look suspicious. Proving the legitimacy of a marriage for the purpose of obtaining a green card can be highly challenging and emotional. For dedicated help and advocacy for your marriage-based immigration petition, please contact Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. today.

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