What Happens If You Get Charged With Immigration Marriage Fraud?

 Posted on June 20, 2024 in Federal Crimes

Chicago immigration fraud lawyerImmigration marriage fraud is a serious offense that can lead to severe consequences for both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals. Entering into a marriage solely to obtain immigration benefits can lead to criminal charges and severe penalties for the couple involved. An Illinois lawyer can help you determine what constitutes immigration marriage fraud, the legal consequences, and how to protect yourself if you are facing such charges.

What Constitutes Immigration Marriage Fraud?

Immigration marriage fraud is when a U.S. citizen or permanent resident marries a foreign national solely to help gain legal status in the United States. This type of marriage is not based on a genuine relationship but rather on deception and the desire to circumvent immigration laws. Examples of immigration marriage fraud include:

  • Entering into a marriage exclusively for the purpose of immigration advantages
  • Paying someone to marry a foreign national for immigration purposes
  • Falsifying documents or making misrepresentations to immigration authorities

Legal Consequences of Immigration Marriage Fraud

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), immigration marriage fraud is a federal crime. If convicted, both the permanent resident or U.S. citizen and the foreign national may face severe penalties, including:

  • Imprisonment: Up to five years in federal prison
  • Fines: Up to $250,000
  • Deportation: The foreign national may be deported and barred from re-entering the United States
  • Loss of benefits: U.S. citizens or permanent residents may lose immigration benefits and encounter difficulties sponsoring family members later.

Proving a Bona Fide Marriage

To defend against immigration marriage fraud charges in Illinois, you must prove that your marriage is genuine and not solely for immigration benefits. Evidence that can help prove a bona fide marriage includes:

  • Joint financial accounts and assets
  • Cohabitation and shared living expenses
  • Birth certificates of children born to the couple
  • Affidavits from family and friends attesting to the legitimacy of the marriage
  • Photographs and other documentation of the couple‚Äôs relationship

Why You Should Seek Legal Assistance

If you are facing charges of immigration marriage fraud in Illinois, it is helpful to seek the guidance of an attorney. Your attorney can help you navigate the legal system, protect your rights, and build a strong defense against the charges.

Contact a Chicago, IL Immigration Fraud Attorney

Immigration marriage fraud is a major crime that can result in severe consequences for all parties involved. Having a Chicago, IL immigration fraud lawyer can help you know which step to take next. Call Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney at 312-629-0669 for a free consultation.

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