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Green cards and denial of earlier marriage petitions

A person in Illinois who attempts to obtain a green card after marriage could face a denial if the person was earlier determined to have entered into a fraudulent marriage in an effort to get a green card. This is covered under INA Section 204(c). It says that for anyone who has engaged in marriage fraud, approval of an immigrant visa petition is prohibited.

However, this is not as straightforward as it may seem. There are circumstances in which an immigrant petition could be approved despite this problem. In order to bar a subsequent visa petition, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is required to independently determine that fraud took place. It can use evidence gathered during the first visa petition, but it cannot rely on those conclusions. New evidence can also be introduced.

This means the person could make a motion to reconsider and submit evidence that the relationship was bona fide or that the original adjudicators had incomplete information or assessed the evidence incorrectly. People who are in this situation may want to consult an attorney to discuss how this could be addressed.

People who want to bring a spouse or other family member into the United States using family-based immigration rules or those who have family members who are already living the country who hope to immigrate may want to consult an attorney. In some cases, a person may qualify to apply through more than one family member, but the wait time may be shorter with certain relationships. In other situations, there may be complexities such as the one described above or other issues that could complicate the process. An attorney may help people understand their rights and responsibilities, assist with forms and deadlines, and work with individuals and families on other parts of the immigration process.

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