Fiance Visa Fraud
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What Is Fiance Visa Fraud?
Fiance visa fraud involves any use of deceit or misrepresentation in an attempt to secure a fiancé visa. Obtaining a K-1 fiance visa is one way for non-citizen aliens to gain certain immigration statuses, such as lawful permanent residence leading up to citizenship. The fiancé visa immigration path often involves shorter wait times than other immigration routes such as family visas. Thus, applicants can sometimes abuse the immigration system in attempts to secure a fiancé visa for themselves or for a loved one.
What Are Common Examples of Fiance Visa Fraud?
Perhaps the most common example of fiancé visa fraud is where a non-citizen pays a citizen to pretend that they are romantically involved with the non-citizen in order to allow the non-citizen to apply for a fiance visa. In such cases, the American citizen may be approached by a foreign national and solicited regarding the fake relationship proposal.
This solicitation can often happen while the person is abroad, or through a third party that specializes in creating such fraudulent arrangements. The citizen might then agree to make it look like they have a relationship with the person in exchange for money, with the goal being to deceive immigration officials in order to obtain a fiancé visa.
Other examples of fiancé visa fraud include:
- Providing false information on an immigration application
- Providing fake or staged evidence “proving” that the couple has a true relationship
- Falsifying an immigration document, or using fake documents or identification cards
- Testifying falsely on behalf of a couple
In order to obtain a fiancé visa, the couple needs to show that they are involved in a real relationship, and are not simply “posing” as a couple in order to gain an immigration advantage. If they are unable to supply evidence of their relationship, such as travel stubs from joint vacations or pictures together, they may be investigated for fraud.
Are There Any Legal Penalties for Fiancé Visa Fraud?
Fiancé visa fraud is one of the more common forms of immigration fraud. It is often somewhat easier to demonstrate an engagement relationship when compared to other relationships, such as employment-employee or family member relationships. As such, fiancé and marriage fraud are strongly regulated under immigration laws, and instances of fraud are often met with harsh punishments. These can include:
- For the non-citizen alien: Removal/deportation from the U.S., denial of entry to the U.S., a bar on re-entry into the U.S. (such as for 5 years, or 10 years), or loss of opportunity for naturalization or adjustment of immigration status
- For the citizen petitioner and other parties assisting the fraud: Various criminal consequences, including fines and possible jail time
Thus, fiancé visa applications should always be completed in a manner that is honest, forthcoming, and void of any ambiguous statements. Failure to provide the required materials can hinder a person’s chances of being approved for a visa.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Fiancé Visa Fraud Issues?
Visa applications generally require the submission of many different forms and documents. This is especially true of fiancé visas, which may also involve interviews and other requirements. You may need to hire an immigration law attorney in your area if you need assistance with a fiancé visa. Your lawyer can provide you with guidance during the process and can review your applications for accuracy. If you need to appear before an immigration panel, your lawyer can provide you with representation during such times as well.
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Last Modified: 08-24-2015 02:49 PM PDT
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