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What happens if agents suspect my marriage is a fraud?

When marrying a U.S. citizen or green card holder, you will receive a provisional green card of your own. This gives you conditional status as a resident of the U.S. and requires you to apply to have those conditions removed after two years if you plan to remain in the country.

As you approach the two-year anniversary of receiving your provisional green card, you are likely making plans to follow through with this requirement by gathering the appropriate documentation and completing your application. However, you may wonder what will happen if your application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services does not satisfy authorities that your marriage is genuine and is not a ploy to obtain immigration benefits.

What can I expect at a fraud interview?

After authorities at the USCIS receive your application for the removal of conditions, one of three courses of action will take place. Either authorities will accept your petition as it is, they will request a consular interview with you and your spouse, or they will summon you to a fraud interview. It is also possible that you will have to undergo a fraud interview if the USCIS agent in Texas is not satisfied with your consular interview.

The fraud interview can be a terrifying prospect and one you should not face without legal counsel. Authorities will separate you and your spouse, and you can expect the interview to be harsh and intense, much like police trying to extract a confession from someone suspected of a crime. Agents may use tactics of intimidation and outright lies to convince you to admit your marriage is a sham. They may threaten you with jail or deportation if you refuse to sign a confession.

Why does USCIS suspect us of fraud?

While it may seem to you that the finer points of your marriage are no one's business but yours, in this case, authorities will be asking you intimate details about your married life. It is important for you to remain calm and answer truthfully, admitting if you don't know the answer and providing documentation to support your claims. Some factors that may cause suspicion with the USCIS include the following:

  • Your lifestyle does not seem compatible with your spouse's life.
  • You do not share the same language as your spouse.
  • You come from vastly different cultures or religious backgrounds.
  • There is an age discrepancy between you and your spouse.
  • You and your spouse do not live at the same address.
  • The details you describe about your marriage do not match your spouse's version.

Being able to demonstrate how you and your spouse have overcome any suspicious differences will help your case. For example, if you are living separately because one of you is going to school or because you are going through marital counseling, documentation may convince the agent that your marriage is genuine. As always, you have the right to legal counsel throughout the process.

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