Green card fraud is a form of immigration fraud that involves the use of deceit or misrepresentation in relation to a green card (permanent visa) application. Immigration fraud is a serious issue, and immigration laws and statutes provide harsh penalties for those engaged in any type of visa fraud. Green card fraud is a common type of fraud, since obtaining a green card can bring many benefits and privileges for the card holder.

In particular, green card fraud is a common issue for cases where a non-national alien is looking to obtain U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status. It is often a more involved, detailed level of fraud when compared with other types of immigration fraud, such as visitor visa fraud. 

What Are Some Examples of Green Card Fraud?

One of the most common examples of green card fraud is where a couple fakes a marriage or engagement arrangement in order to obtain a marriage green card or fiancé visa. Marriage fraud is a common type of immigration fraud, and often involves heavy investigation by immigration officials.

Other types of green card fraud may involve:

  • Providing false information on a green card application form (for instance, lying about one’s age or previous residences)
  • Supplying falsified documents to immigration officials, such as false medical documents
  • Lying about one’s past criminal record
  • Using an immigration form that has been altered or illegally replicated
  • Attempting to deceive immigration officials, judges, or border patrol agents during entry into the country

Other parties besides the green card applicant can be found liable for fraud. For instance, if the party petitioning the non-citizen alien knowingly engaged in fraudulent activities, they can face legal consequences as well.

What Is a Fraud Interview?

As mentioned above, immigration marriage fraud is one of the most common types of green card fraud. If immigration authorities suspect that the immigrant and their alleged spouse or fiancé are posing as a couple simply to obtain visa benefits, they may conduct a fraud interview on the parties. The immigration agents may conduct two separate interviews, one for each person in the couple. They will ask questions and attempt to gain information that might suggest that the relationship is fraudulent.

These types of fraud interviews can often be quite intimidating, and may place the parties under a lot of pressure. The agents may ask very personal questions, such as “Who takes the garbage out?” or “What brand is your DVD player?”  They may also ask questions about recent events or activity, such as “Did your spouse attend work yesterday?” or “What time did your partner go to sleep yesterday?”.

If the agents notice any discrepancies or conflicts in information from the separate interviews, it may be used as evidence of green card fraud. This can lead to severe consequences, such as deportation or criminal consequences. Thus, if a couple or a person is being investigated for green card fraud, it is advisable that they seek legal representation so that they understand their rights and options.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Green Card Fraud Issues?

Green card fraud is a major violation and can lead to serious, long-term legal consequences. You may need to hire an immigration law attorney in your area if you or a loved one of yours needs assistance for any type of immigration fraud issues. Your lawyer can provide legal guidance and research to help you with your issue. Also, if you need to attend an immigration panel hearing, or if you will be subject to a fraud interview, your lawyer can represent you and help you prepare for such meetings.