Nathan Christensen, an immigration lawyer in the Dallas TX area, has helped many families reunite and stay together in the United States. Some of the most memorable cases may have been husbands and wives who were separated but then were able to reunite and live their lives the way most married couples do. And although marriage is one of the most popular and effective methods for couples by which to come and live together in the states, it is also one of the most closely scrutinized.
The Definition of a “Fake Marriage”
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) conducted a study in the 1980s, and determined that about 30 percent of marriages between aliens and US citizens were suspected of being “fake.” False marriages are those that are used to get around immigration laws. This means that the couple is only getting married in order to receive citizenship; that they are not actually in love, not really a couple, and don’t wish to engage in common activities that typical married couples do.
The Marriage Screening Process
Nathan Christensen, an immigration lawyer in the Dallas TX area, has helped many couples enter the country and bring their lives through citizenship. But because so many people have attempted to fake marriages in order to grant citizenship to other people, the USCIS has become much more rigid and thorough when evaluating marriages between citizens and aliens. For instance, the interview and screening processes are quite rigorous and have exposed many fraudulent marriages.
Immigration authorities require an abundant amount of proof in order to deem that marriages are authentic. In fact, it asks for more documentation for marriages than it does for any other family-based immigration applicants. Additionally, marriage-based immigrants endure longer and more detailed personal interviews than other applicants experience, as well as two-year testing periods for couples who have been married for less than two years when their green cards are approved, or when they come into the states on their immigrant visas.
Although immigration officers don’t typically follow around couples who are applying for citizenship through marriage, they do have the power to do so if they suspect a sham marriage is taking place. Department of Homeland Security can visit your home and also ask your friends, family, and neighbors questions about you.
The Punishment for Fraudulent Marriages
The USCIS is extremely effective in determining whether or not marriages are authentic. If it believes that a union is, in fact, a sham, those involved in the fraudulent union can face up to five years in jail and pay fines up to $250,000, or both.
We Want to Help You
Call the Law Office of Nathan Christensen PC at (972) 497-1017 to speak with an immigration lawyer in the Dallas TX area about your case and to answer any questions you have regarding immigration.