Can You Get Green Card by Marrying a US Citizen Paying Money

Brontë Parrish, out of desperation to rent the apartment of her dreams, end up entering into a sham marriage with Georges Fauré, an illegal alien from France, who wanted to obtain a green card and remain in the United States.

Well, I might just have narrated to you the plot of the 1990 romantic comedy, Green Card, but it has a direct connection with the piece of information I am about to share with you, since this movie portrays a marriage of convenience designed to allow the main character to continue to live in America.

Following in the footsteps of Green Card, Anne Fletcher directed The Proposal, which released in 2009, and depicted the highly demanding executive, Margaret Tate, played by Sandra Bullock, who, in order to get out of a jam where she is threatened by the INS with deportation to Canada, forces her willing assistant, Andrew Paxton, played by Ryan Reynolds, to marry her in order to keep her visa status legal.

Related: Are Green Card holders eligible for Medicare?

My Recommendation

Green card marriages are more common in America than you might imagine. Unfortunately, unlike the movies, not all such real-life marriages have a happy ending. So, coming back to the main question, can you really get a green card by marrying a US citizen, paying then money? My answer is, “Yes, you can, but don’t.”

Marrying a US citizen solely for the purposes of getting a green card is ILLEGAL and fraudulent. You could end up facing some really harsh consequences, if caught. Here’s how.

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What is a Green Card Marriage

Getting a green card that permits you to live in the US indefinitely is a dream most immigrants share. However, not everyone is eligible for residency. This is why people try to find loopholes that can help them attain legal status as a resident of the United States of America.

From 1998 to 2007, 2.3 million marriage visas were approved in the US. These represented 25% of all green cards in 2007. No doubt marrying a legal resident of the US is the surest and fastest way to obtain a green card, since your spouse is an immediate relative, which means there is no quota or waitlist. Such an approach to getting a green card provides immediate immigration processing, even if the non-resident spouse was previously an illegal immigrant.

Visa Officers are Smart

You should certainly expect the consular officers to know their job and be smart about it. And, if they discover that your marriage is fraudulent, in any way, you’ll have to face some really touch consequences. In such situations, the spouses are interviewed separately. They are asked questions related to their lifestyle or personal characteristics, while verifying and matching the documents presented by them. Things are taken extra seriously if there is a large difference in age, class, culture, etc.

In case of any mismatch in information, fraud is suspected and you’ll be sent for a fraud interview, where the questions can be more intense or probing.

Related: Are Green Card holders eligible for Obamacare?

What’s worse? You Might End up With a Scammer

Every country has its fair share of scammers and malicious elements, and America is no different. There are many scammers in the US, who take advantage of a person’s desperation or need to stay in the country for their own financial benefit. As a result, the person who applied for a green card using the marriage ends up paying a ransom. However, most of the times, the green card application gets denied, due to inadmissibility issues that come up during the application process or the scammer backing out of the deal at the last moment. In the end, you are left high and dry, robbed of your money and no green card to show for it either.

I would definitely recommend that if you are seeking the status of legal resident in America, take the narrow and straight route, even if it takes a little longer.

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Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Entrepreneur, Mentor & Blogger.
I help business grow & scale. Have helped 15+ companies scale in US, Middle East and India.
I share everything I learned on this blog, so that you benefit. Here’s more about me.

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