Red Flags that Make USCIS Suspicious of Marriage Fraud

One of the ways an individual can qualify for a green card is through marriage with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. However, that can bring up questions from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officials, since “fake marriages” are quite commonly used to get around U.S. immigration laws.

While your marriage may be lawful, officials will look for red flags when they receive a marriage-based immigration petition. If the USCIS feels that further investigation is needed, they will contact you and your spouse for a marriage fraud interview.

Common Red Flags

Let’s identify a few common red flags that may raise suspicions during your initial interview:

  • No shared language – If a couple cannot speak the same language, how did they fall in love and build a life together?
  • Substantial difference in age – While a sizable age difference isn’t uncommon, it can raise concerns when combined with other red flags.
  • Difference in social class or culture – A difference in wealth or cultural background is nothing crazy, but it could cause an USCIS official to dig deeper.
  • Different religions – Religion plays an important role in how children are raised, what a family eats and how they spend their holidays. A couple with two different religions can be seen as a red flag.
  • Different living situations – Most married couples live together. If there are different addresses, you should have a good explanation as to why. Finishing school and the inability to leave a job would qualify.
  • Manufacturing evidence of shared life right before interview – A burst of interaction—such as moving in together or going on vacation—between a married couple in the weeks before an USCIS interview is highly suspicious.
  • No children – Children are a good indicator that a couple plans on staying married.
  • Secret marriage – A marriage is typically a family affair and USCIS will be wondering why your friends and family didn’t know about it. Perhaps because you plan on ending it after one of you gets the green card?
  • Convenient timing – A marriage after a removal proceeding or an expired visa will bring up questions.
  • Marriage soon after you met – Is the reason you got married so soon because of a whirlwind romance or something else?
  • History of criminal activity, fraud or lies – Anyone who has a history of fraud may be looked at as more likely to commit marriage fraud.
  • Unusual marriage history – A background filled with unusual marriages, such as back-to-back, marriage-based immigration petitions, will be scrutinized.

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Get help obtaining permanent residency for you or your spouse today! Our immigration lawyers at Sintsirmas & Mueller Co. L.P.A. have a proven track record when it comes to immigration issues in the Cleveland area. We offer personalized, dedicated attention to your case in order to help you obtain your desired results.

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