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“Sham” marriages and Immigration

If you are considering entering into a “sham”marriage with a non-US citizen, you need to read this.. First, understand that it is illegal and if you are caught, you will be prosecuted like this man recently in Worcester, MA.

Massachusetts man pleads guilty to 6 sham marriages

There are many different things that USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) evaluates when deciding whether a marriage is “real” or not. They will look at whether you are sharing an address; they may ask for mail such as utility bills in both party’s names. They can ask for copies of the rental agrement or the lease for the martial address. They may ask for bank statements to determine whether parties are sharing a bank account. Separate bank accounts are not necessarily proof of fraud. Many couples have their own accounts. However, USCIS investigators may examine the charges in each party’s bank accounts to see if there is anything to indicate that the party’s are not a legitimate “couple”. They may ask for photos of the wedding celebration. Was it held at the town hall by a Justice of the Peace with no family present or was it a big family celebration? They will look at how taxes are filed; they may search social media. In short, USCIS will do their homework.

I am aware that these “sham” marriages occur all the time. After all, it can be very lucrative. But please make sure you do your homework and know the risks before you go down this road.

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