The HMA Law FirM


Does fake marriage forgiveness exist? 

There are different ways to obtain a Permanent Residency in the U.S. Of these, the most common is through a spouse. According to 2007 stats, 1 in 4 green cards are granted this way. Although most of these marriages are bona fide, there are so-called “fake marriages.”  What is this? It is a type of marriage between a U.S. citizen and a foreign national to evade immigration laws. Yet, you might ask, is there such a thing as fake marriage forgiveness? Can people apply for migration benefits after such an offense?

Marriage fraud is a grave federal crime. Both the citizen and his or her false spouse can be convicted. The penalty can involve up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Why is this being done?

Current law allows citizens and residents to apply for green cards for their spouses. Immigration fraud commonly occurs when a foreigner marries a citizen.

This type of marriage offers a major advantage over marriages to residents. Why? Simple, the application is processed more quickly. Yet, if the situation is discovered,  fake marriage forgiveness is not a possibility.

What are the consequences of a fake marriage?

There are other effects other than a conviction. First, USCIS will deny the family petition. The foreigner will even be denied a future family petition after the fraud.

Although the punishment applies to both spouses, the foreigner receives a greater penalty. The foreigner may be deported and have his or her residency or even citizenship revoked. The other spouse could could face substantial fines and even jail time.

If it is discovered after 5 years, there will be no consequences for the citizen. That is, they will not receive any sanction for the fraud.

In those cases where the foreigner had applied for citizenship, denaturalization can happen. This process is not very frequent, but it is possible.

And how is the existence of a false marriage determined?

Upon suspicion, the USCIS Fraud Detection Unit may start an investigation. It looks for evidence of cohabitation in your home. These checks are random and are can be conducted during the early morning.

You have a constitutional right to refuse officers entry into the home. Yet, this would increase suspicion. Plus, they could apply to a judge for a warrant, and the checks would still occur.

Several factors can increase the suspicions. For example, a significant difference in age and different addresses.

Is fake marriage forgiveness possible?

No. There is no possibility for fake marriage forgiveness. They are treated harshly by immigration authorities.

There are only a few instances that may serve as a “hail Mary.” First, if you show extreme hardship to your U.S. citizen parent or spouse in another application. Second, if you have a valid asylum case. A past marriage fraud might decrease your chances of receiving asylum. Still, it’s a possibility.  Finally, VAWA protections may still be available.

 Even real marriages can fall under suspicion of fraud if they are not properly proven. Thus, you need to have legal help on your side.

Although there is forgiveness for other types of fraud, there is no fake marriage forgiveness. What does this mean? It means that if you are found guilty you will likely not be eligible for permanent residency in the US. Plus, of course, it might lead to several years in prison and large fines. Therefore, it is necessary to avoid a charge of this nature.

There are many cases of true marriages, which have been labeled as fraudulent. Thus, it is vital to prove a genuine relationship. Further, it is essential to tell the truth in your application. To do otherwise can get you into trouble. Yet, don’t worry.  At HMA Law Firm, we have the most skilled professionals in this area. We will fight for you until the end.

Do not hesitate to contact us!