Getting married to a United States citizen is a quick and easy way to get a green card, right? At least, that is often how the media portrays it. However, the reality can be far different. Contrary to popular belief, obtaining a green card through marriage is a challenging, multi-step process. Indeed, it is one that generally requires people to seek help from a qualified Los Angeles fiance visa lawyer.
To have your application approved, there are many different things that you will need to do. Most notably, United States immigration officials will make you prove that your marriage is legitimate. They will compel you to produce wide-ranging evidence that you and your partner are in a bona fide relationship. If your marriage is found to be a sham for the purposes of committing immigration fraud, the consequences will be severe.
What are the Consequences of Committing Marriage Fraud in the United States?
Under U.S. immigration law, marriage fraud is a serious federal crime. Both the immigrant and the American citizen are subject to stiff penalties under the law. Specifically, those penalties can include:
First, being found to have committed immigration-related marriage fraud opens you up to the possibility of being hit with a very large fine. Any individual who is found to have knowingly entered into a false marriage to evade U.S. immigration law is subject to a fine of up to $250,000. While a fine that high is reserved for particularly serious cases, the point is still clear: immigration enforcement takes the issue of fake weddings very seriously. You can expect a large fine if you participate in any type of marriage fraud.
Beyond losing a lot of money, you may also lose out on your freedom. Under current federal law, a marriage fraud offense is subject to a maximum punishment of five years in prison. Both the immigrant and the American citizen are potentially subject to jail time.
Finally, for the immigrant, marriage fraud is sure to get them removed from the United States. Any current visa or legal status will be immediately revoked. Just because you already received your green card does not mean you are in the clear. U.S. immigration officials can still look into your case and take action against you.
Beyond that, having a marriage fraud offense against you will almost certainly make it impossible for you to immigrate to the United States in the future. Not only will you not be able to come on another spousal visa, but other types of visa, including those for work and education, will be out of reach.
Get Immigration Help in Southern California
At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, our top-rated immigration attorney has extensive experience handling complex immigration cases and assisting immigrants in L.A. To learn more about what our law firm can do for you, please give us a call today at (213) 514-8870. From our office in Los Angeles, we represent clients throughout Southern California, including in Santa Ana, Anaheim and Fullerton.