What is Immigration Marriage Fraud?
Potential fraudulent marriages, also known as sham marriages, are under intense scrutiny by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The USCIS targets couples the organization is suspicious of getting married specifically so the foreign national spouse can obtain a permanent residence. The USCIS has stated that over a
third of the permanent resident petitions resulting from marriage are in fact, sham marriages. The government will generally scrutinize marriages that bode suspicion and intensely interview the couple.
Bona Fide Marriage vs. Fraudulent Marriage
According to the law, a bona fide marriage is considered a marriage entered into with the goal of creating a true marital relationship. If the government suspects that the marriage was created with the intention to acquire immigration benefits, then the marriage will be investigated and the couple risks serious consequences. It is considered marriage fraud and immigration fraud both so the penalties are very severe.
If the USCIS decides that the couple committed marriage fraud, then the foreign national spouse may be facing a potential lifetime ban from immigrating the U.S. regardless of the kind of visa petition it is. Both the U.S. citizen and the foreign national spouse could be facing up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of $250,000.
Marriage Fraud in West Palm Beach
A West Palm Beach woman has been accused of a sham marriage in exchange for $10,000. She has been charged with marriage fraud, according to WPTV News. Adrianna Landa Beamon today made her first appearance in federal court to face accusations that she married a Colombian citizen in exchange for money.
Beamon was released on bond and is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 4, the office said.
Federal prosecutors allege that Beamon married Owen McNish on Dec. 6, 2010, in West Palm Beach, months after McNish entered the United States on a visitor visa. This past April, the couple petitioned to change McNish’s immigration status.
During an interview conducted with in July with the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, Beamon and McNish failed to produce documentation confirming that they were living together as husband and wife, and also gave inconsistent responses to questions about their marriage and relationship, according to WPTV News.
Beamon later admitted that she entered into a sham marriage with McNish in exchange for $10,000, the office said.
If you have been charged with marriage fraud or any type of fraud, you need to contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Only a criminal defense lawyer can help you lessen your sentence and have the ability to save your marriage and stay in the country.