Immigration to the United States, while not at its peak levels currently,
is still prevalent. People from all over the world see our country as
a pathway to a better life for themselves and their families. There are
many routes a person can take to enter our country but their motivations
are more the most part similar.
Remaining in the country is a different subject, however. While many people
enter the country legally, some attempt to remain in the United States
by any means necessary. Marriage fraud is an example of the means some
people will utilize in order to keep from having to return to their country
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan has represented clients from around the world
whose situations are related to their immigration status. We would like
to share our thoughts on this subject with you in order to shed some light
on this subject.
At this point I will state that I, nor any attorney with the Law Office
of Bryan Fagan, am not an immigration attorney. If you have specific questions
about a legal matter that is related to immigration law my suggestion
is to contact an immigration lawyer to learn how that area of the law
specifically relates to you and your family.
Marriage Fraud is a Crime
Some people get so desperate as to consider immigration marriage fraud.
It is understandable to be concerned if your immigration status is up
in the air due to a visa or asylum application taking longer than previously
thought to be resolved. That being said, engaging in marriage fraud in
order to remain in the United States is a crime and carries penalties
if convicted of having engaged in it.
What are those penalties, you may be asking? Marriage Fraud brings with
it the possibility of having to spend up to five years in prison, a loss
of benefits (insurance, etc.) and up to $250,000 in fines. Marriage fraud
is a federal crime and is not taken lightly by the government. Any misrepresentation
made or an attempt to conceal facts that have to do with the ability of
a person to enter this country can be construed as marriage fraud. U.S.
citizens also have the potential to be punished under these laws if he
or she helps to facilitate a fraudulent marriage.
What are some examples of marriage fraud that occur?
Four of the most common examples of marriage fraud that occur in relation
to immigration are:
- Visa lottery fraudulent marriages
- “Mail Order” marriages that are either fraudulent for the U.S.
citizen, the non citizen or both
- A citizen of the U.S. is paid money to marriage the foreign citizen
- A foreign citizen fraudulently leads a U.S. citizen to believe that their
marriage is legitimate
Does Marriage Fraud truly offer a specific threat to the United States
and its citizens?
Whatever your perspective is on this subject, the federal government would
certainly answer this question with a big “Yes”. Marriage
fraud allows people entry into this country without being of lawful status.
People from other countries who are in the United States lawfully are
either here for a short period of time or have been vetted in order to
remain her for an extended period of time. Those people who have committed
marriage fraud have bypassed the apparatus that is place to verify the
identity of those who enter the United States. It is not uncommon for
people with bad intentions to utilize citizens of the U.S. to gain entry
to the country under the guise of a legitimate marriage.
For U.S. citizens, even if you did not know that you were taking part in
a fraudulent marriage, you can still be prosecuted for having committed
this crime. As the Department of Homeland Security will tell you, those
who engage in marriage fraud- knowingly or unknowingly- will be held accountable
for their actions.
Ways to Identify Marriage Fraud
To identify a “fake” marriage, it is essential to know how
to identify a “real marriage”. Real marriages typically exhibit
a few characteristics beyond the ceremony and the filing of paperwork
with the county clerk. Spouses in a real marriage must typically show
that they intend to live in a marriage relationship together and must
prove their intention to do so with action. Immigration officials will
interview people that are in questionable situations, conduct home visits
and even interview friends and relatives in order to determine the legitimacy
of a marriage.
A legitimate marriage has certain characteristics just as an illegitimate
marriage does. Legitimate marriages typically involve spouses who share
a language and religious belief. Married people will more often than not
live together and engage intimately with one another and have children.
Shared ownership of property including a family home, bank account and
automobile are further evidence of a legitimate marriage.
Marriage fraud is something that has been in the news increasingly often
in recent years. A simple Google search will reveal instances where people
have been arrested and charged with marriage fraud in States across our
country, including Texas. If you live in the United States and your ability
to remain here depends on the status of your marriage then you will obviously
want to make sure that you would want to make sure that your attempt to
divorce your spouse, should that ever arise, would not have an impact on your immigration status.
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan offers free of charge consultations on family
divorce attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan thank you for having read this blog
post. If you or a member of your family have a question related to
divorce, marriage and how your immigration status can impact either, please do
not hesitate to contact our office. A licensed
family law attorney will be ready and willing to meet with you and answer any questions you
may have. We represent clients across southeast Texas and would be honored
to speak to you about your potential case.
If you want to know more about what you can do,
CLICK the button below to get your
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- The Effect of Divorcing a United States Citizen While a Non-U.S. Citizen
- I am Not a United States Citizen and Live in Spring, Texas Can I file for Divorce?
- The Dirty Trick of Filing for Divorce in Another City
- The Dirty Trick of Moving Out of State with the Kids
- Should I move out of the marital home during a divorce?
- Do I have to move out of the marital home during a divorce in Spring, Texas?
- Children's Passports and International Travel after Texas Divorce
- Can a Parent remove My Child from the state of Texas or from the County
or Country where I am living?
- Geographic Restrictions in Child Visitation Orders in Texas
- 6 things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring Divorce Lawyer
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children
and families. If you have questions regarding
divorce, it's important to speak with ar
Spring, TX Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.
divorce lawyer in Spring TX is skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing
a strategy to meet those goals.
Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online
form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles
Divorce cases in Spring, Texas,
Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including
Fort Bend County and