Marrying a native born or naturalized U.S. citizen in a marriage of convenience in order to quickly obtain U.S. citizenship or to get a fast green card is a risky plan that could have significantly adverse results.

Marrying a native born or naturalized U.S. citizen in a marriage of convenience in order to quickly obtain U.S. citizenship or to get a fast green card is a risky plan that could have significantly adverse results. The U.S. Department of Immigration does not recognize a "marriage of convenience" as a valid route to obtain any manner of U.S. citizenship rights. To form the basis of a valid request for immigration rights the petitioner must have entered into a valid marriage with the genuine intent of remaining permanently married to each other and producing the usual marital children or engaging in the usual family based tasks, responsibilities and physical relationships traditionally associated with a marital relationship. For example if a couple applying for citizenship were able to produce a biological child or children together then the Department of Immigration inquiry into the validity of the marital relationship would likely end on a permanent basis for the reason that the resultant marital/family based relationships irrefutably exist to validate the marriage on a permanent basis.

Marriage based applications for immigration rights are routinely scrutinized and heavily investigated by the Department of Immigration. If a fraudulent marriage is uncovered then the parties to that marriage based application or grant of marriage based immigration benefits and rights could be criminally prosecuted, risk high monetary penalties, deportation from the U.S., and subjection to a permanent bar from re-entry into the United States. The U.S. citizen convicted of being involved in this type of fraud scheme would risk being heavily fined or jailed for committing a federal crime.

There is a two year testing or marital petition investigation period imposed by the Department of Immigration prior to the issuance of a green card to an individual based on a marital relationship claim of entitlement. It is important to understand that the end of the two year investigative period does not end the Department of Immigration's review or investigation concerning any suspected fraudulent marriage based claim to immigration rights or entitlements. If the Department of Immigration at any time obtains credible evidence that it issued immigration rights or benefits based on a fraudulent or sham marriage claim then it can rescind the rights it allowed to the parties and begin criminal proceedings again the U.S. citizen and deportation proceedings against immigrant application regardless of whether or not that individual later became a U.S. citizen. Citizenship obtained based on this type of immigration fraud is readily and commonly rescinded.

Please feel free to set up a free initial consultation with Attorney Hendrik Pretorius today to consider your options.

Vaughan de Kirby
California Immigration Attorney

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