Getting married to a US citizen is perhaps the fastest way for a foreign national to get a visa to enter the United States and become a Legal Permanent Resident and possibly later, a US Citizen. It’s also the easiest way to stay in the United States after your visa expires. Professing that you are in love with a US Citizen is highly subjective and this reality creates an environment for fraud.
As we all know, people of widely different backgrounds and ages can fall in love. Relationships are formed from an almost endless line of circumstances. Some are formed after diligent search and some by unexpected chance. There is no set formula for falling in love and who we should fall in love with. That being said, there are a few factors or issues that are possible signs of fraud.
Age: Although a great disparity in age is not proof positive of a fraudulent relationship, it will likely give rise to a heightened level scrutiny. An age difference of 25 years of more will raise a few eyebrows. There is no magic age limit, but if the couple are separated by so many years that it’s hard to imagine what they may have in common, it will be an issue that must be overcome. A relationship where one person is in their late 60s and another in their late teens or early 20s is going to be very suspicious. Showing how the relationship was formed and how the couple interacts with each other will be important.
Meeting circumstances: The circumstances of how a couple meet is something that USCIS will always review. There is no set right or wrong way to meet, but every relationship has a story and telling your story will be something that is expected of you.
Communications: How often you communicate with your loved one is a factor that USCIS considers. Couples who are in love find ways to talk with one another. Couples who don’t care, don’t. You need to be able to show USCIS a record of your communications and the content of your communications. You want to show USCIS that you talk frequently and that your communications show a loving relationship. These communications should cover from the time you met until your interview at the US Embassy.
Evidence of Relationship: (letters, cards, and pictures): Letters, cards, and in particular, pictures, provide an easy source of proof that a couple have an honest relationship. Most loving couples send each other letters and cards professing their feelings for one another. Love letters and cards show something special between the couple. Pictures are great too. Couples who are in love want pictures together showing that they are committed to each other and enjoying their time together. USCIS will review your love letters, cards and pictures and make judgments about what they see.
Requests For Money: This is a tricky factor to consider. On the one hand, when you love someone you want to take care of them. Many of my clients send money to their fiances or spouses to help them while they are waiting for their Fiance visa or Marriage Visa interview. This is not unusual nor is it necessarily wrong. However, one big motive for committing visa fraud is to get money from an unsuspecting boyfriend or girlfriend by faking a relationship while asking for and receiving money during the visa application process. Be aware that constant overseas emergencies and financial problems that always lead to a request for money by your fiance or spouse living overseas is a possible red flag for fraud. The victims of this kind of fraud typically look back and see a pattern of alleged emergencies that can only be resolved by sending their supposed loved ones money overseas. Family members in the hospital, family members being evicted, accidents, school tuition, a loss of a jobs, etc….. The list is endless when someone is scamming you for money. Just use your common sense and be aware that getting money from you as the US citizen may be the real reason your fiance tells you that he or she loves you. If USCIS suspects fraud, they may very well inquire as to any monies sent by the US Citizen to his or her fiance or spouse and the reasons why.
If you have any concerns about ceratin aspects of your relationship that you feel may be a sign of fraud or any matter pertaining to your plans to apply for a Fiance or Marriage Visa, you are always welcome to call me toll free at 1-888-515-3529.
Fiance Visa Attorney Jeff Pettys