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Is marriage fraud considered a crime in the U.S.?

If you are an immigrant in the state of Illinois, you may be curious about the process of petitioning for immigration on behalf of family members who still reside in your country of origin. While there are legally effective ways to provide your loved ones with opportunities to seek U.S. citizenship, there are also deceitful ways that could leave you in a lot of legal trouble. Marriage fraud for example, may appear as a clever method to bringing someone you love to the United States, but it is much more serious than you may realize. In fact, marriage fraud is considered a felony. 

According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, if you are convicted of using marriage fraud as a way to engage in illegal financial gain, you could be facing many costly penalties including prison time and fines. In serious cases, if you aid someone in entering the United States through marriage fraud, you could be investigated for helping a terrorist. What you may not realize is that terrorists often use this deceitful course to gain entry into the U.S. Once here, they are able to more easily conceal their personal information and actions, but still gain access to the sensitive information of you and others. 

There are several different types of marriage fraud that you should be aware of. These include the following:

  • When a foreign national successfully frauds you into believing that a sham marriage is indeed legal.
  • You are offered monetary reimbursement to marry a foreign national.
  • "Mail-order" marriages where you and the other party are both aware that the marriage is fraudulent.

The information in this article is intended for educational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. 

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