Why is It Important to Prove Your Marriage is Real?

Strict USCIS rules against a fake (sham) marriage shows the importance of proving your marriage with a U.S. citizen

While a marriage is known as a common way for obtaining a green card in the U.S., it doesn't translate into the easy process approved by USCIS. The U.S. government has set a high bar in proving a real (bona fide) marriage between a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and a foreigner. In other words, USCIS is not really forgiving when it finds a fake (sham) marriage. That is why it is highly recommended that you prepare all the relevant documentation as airtight proof. Once you learn about a fake (sham) marriage and its ramification in this article, it would make more sense than before why you need to be attentive to prepping your marriage green card application. Also, if you've already applied for a marriage green card, your journey could be a lot easier with a USCIS & NVC tracking app that I'm going to introduce to you.

What is a Fake (Sham) Marriage?

A sham (fake) marriage is an illegal measure taken by a couple to get around the U.S. immigration laws. A marriage is not valid solely because the couple went through a required process to obtain a certificate of marriage. Rather, the couple must intend to actually spend the rest of their life together. Note that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) cannot approve an immigrant visa petition if the beneficiary previously entered, attempted, or conspired to enter into a fake (shame) marriage.

How does USCIS Evaluate the Legitimacy of Your Marriage?

USCIS has listed indicators of fraud (so called "fraud referral sheet") in interviews and submitted documents regarding the marriage including:

  • Extreme nervousness
  • Over interaction
  • Late for interview
  • Answers prompted by attorney
  • Lack of eye contact
  • Evasive or general answers
  • Answers interrupted by attorney or other person present
  • Attorney directs to distract or mislead
  • Over-submission of documents
  • Staged photographs of couple
  • Petition preparer suspected of fraud
  • Suspect documents
  • Documents issued immediately before or after the interview
  • Short time between entry and marriage
  • Unusual marriage history
  • Children born during marriage to a different parent
  • Divorce and new marriage date close together
  • Unusual or large age discrepancy between spouses
  • Unusual cultural differences between spouses
  • Previous marriages by U.S. citizen to foreign nationals

Why You Should Avoid a Sham Marriage at All Cost

A sham (fraud) marriage may result in the denial of an immigrant visa for the foreign spouse, their removal from the U.S., and possibly criminal penalties for the U.S. citizen.

Track Your Marriage Green Card Application

Regardless of a type of visa you apply for, you don't have to check on the USCIS or DOS website anymore in order to find your case status and predict the processing time of your case. Lawfully came up with a ground-breaking solution to help all immigrants and non-immigrants learn what is going on with their applications. That is why Lawfully has launched USCIS Case Tracker. Since then, we have tirelessly improved its features with a firm commitment to immigration equality.

With a very small fraction of cost and time it would have taken to struggle with immigration attorneys and USCIS, give yourself 3 minutes to fill in the information about your application. BOOM! You can check your case status along with an expected processing time and compare yours with other similar cases at your fingertips. No need to check in on the USCIS website anymore. Lawfully will deliver updates on your case status in real-time. And don't miss the new feature of NVC case tracking in order to embrace visa applicants outside the U.S.

If you want to get more insights from a certain visa type, try Case Analysis Pro, and among other features, see your ranking compared to others who registered their cases so that you get a sense of where you stand.

Download Lawfully Case Tracker now and stay up to date!