While it is illegal to marry a US citizen simply for the convenience of getting a visa to the United States and becoming a citizen, this is still an all too common occurrence, money and land often change hands and the bride or groom is shipped over to marry the citizen, ensuring that they will have much less paperwork to receive citizenship.
It is also quite common for illegal immigrants to the United States, often with green cards, to marry someone born here to get faster citizenship.
This practice is illegal, and if you are caught you risk deportation back to your country of origin and fines-the unlucky citizen who agreed to marry you can face jail time. Your marriage will be watched closely for the first two years, and up to ten years, with you and your spouse having to check in with authorities’ frequently and you’ll both be subjected to house visits to make sure that you are both living together and functioning as a couple. Any hint of impropriety and you could be arrested. This has stepped up a notch due to the Patriot Act, when the watch for terrorists infiltrating the US is at an all time high.
Unfortunately, this is not the case with so many couples who fall under this scrutiny, and happy, legitimate couples are being watched closely simply because one of them is from another country. The open gates to the US are no longer so easy to get through. Some people would have the laws stricter, some feel it violates our civil rights to marry whomever we want, but like the laws or not, they appear to be here to stay.
At one time marriages of this type of convenience were more common, but the stronghold that the government has on it’s people-seemingly for our own good- has made it much harder to marry for love.
However, that is not what this article is about. If you have agreed to marry someone outside of the United States for the convenience of them gaining citizenship, you could find your self in some serious trouble. The best advice is to not do it-for love nor money-unless the relationship is legitimate and you can prove that you’ve known your intend4ed spouse for a period of time outside applying for the legal marriage certificates. If this is the case, you have nothing to fear. You will go through a series of interviews and be allowed to wed. However, your marriage will still be reviewed periodically over the next few years.
A last thought on marriages of convenience; how convenient is it really? If you are doing it because you truly love each other, that is one thing, but if you’re marrying someone you don’t know or love as a favor or for money, this is a really bad nation to try to do that in, especially right now, better to step aside rather than risk deportation for your friend, and prison for yourself.