Proving your marriage is valid at a USCIS fraud interview

Louisiana couples who join in marriage may have many plans for a joyful future together, including learning more about each other, joining their households and assets, and potentially raising a family. Obtaining lawful residency may be an added benefit for a foreign national who is marrying a green card holder or citizen of the U.S. However, it is against the law for someone to seek permanent residence as the sole reason for getting married. Since this is common, immigration officials are diligent in their efforts to detect and prosecute marriage fraud.

When an agent of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services calls a couple for a fraud interview, it is often because an abnormality has raised the suspicion that the marriage is not bona fide. Some of the common red flags USCIS agents notice include:

  • A wide age difference between the partners
  • Differences in educational backgrounds
  • Spouses who speak different languages
  • Vastly different religious beliefs, social classes or cultures
  • Discrepancies in the answers the partners give during their individual interviews
  • The inability for partners to answer questions typical spouses should be able to answer

A fraud interview is often more like a police interrogation, so it is important for both partners to remain calm and answer each question thoughtfully and honestly. If there are unusual circumstances, such as the partners living separately, it will be helpful to have reasonable explanations or some proof of the marriage’s validity. If agents conclude that the marriage is a fraud, it may lead to deportation or even criminal charges.