Marrying a Foreign National and Immigration Fraud Charges

Posted on in Federal Crimes

chicago federal immigration fraud lawyerWe have all seen movies that show the lead characters from different parts of the world falling in love with one another and finding their proverbial “happily ever after.” Even in real life, there is often something very appealing about a foreign accent and the customs of another country. While we cannot control who we fall for, there are some things you should know about marrying a foreign national who is not a lawful permanent resident of the United States so that you can avoid the possibility of federal immigration fraud charges.

Non-Immigrant Visas

Each year, thousands of foreign nationals come to the United States on temporary, non-immigrant visas for a variety of reasons. Some are students in international study programs, and others come for work-related or business purposes. There are specific visas available for each of these situations. For those who simply wish to visit the United States, there are tourist visas available as well.

These visas are categorized as “non-immigrant” visas because they are intended to be used for a short time. They are not meant as a pathway for visitors to obtain lawful permanent resident status—commonly referred to as a “Green Card”—or eventual citizenship. A non-immigrant visa has a set date on which it will expire, after which it cannot be used to enter or remain in the United States legally.

Love, Marriage, and Immigration Concerns

If you fall in love with someone who is in the United States on any type of temporary visa and you want to get married, you need to be very careful. There are processes in place for those who wish to marry foreign nationals, and they can be complicated. However, you must follow them to the letter, or you could risk facing charges related to immigration fraud.

If your romantic partner is here on a student visa or work-related visa, you are probably not going to face much in the way of an investigation by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), as long as you go through the appropriate channels to seek an Adjustment of Status for your spouse-to-be.

If your partner is in the country on a tourist visa, however, be prepared for additional scrutiny by USCIS. Unfortunately, it is not unheard of for a person to request a tourist visa when their real reason for wanting to come to the United States is to get married and obtain a Green Card. It is a serious offense to misrepresent one’s reasons for wishing to enter the U.S., and if your fiancé(e) has done so, he or she could be deported, and criminal charges are possible.

Call a Chicago Immigration Fraud Defense Lawyer

For more information about defending against charges related to immigration fraud, contact a Chicago federal criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney. Our team has many years of experience in handling such cases, and we will work hard to ensure your best interests are fully protected. Call 312-629-0669 for a free consultation and case review today.



Back to Top