Sham marriages, sadly, are a common type of immigration fraud. A “sham marriage” is one that is entered for the sole purpose of circumventing the immigration laws. Often motivated by financial gain or misguided efforts to do someone “a favor,” sham marriages occur when two parties – who have no intent to create a life together – obtain a marriage certificate under false pretenses for the purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit. In the process, the parties typically make false statements under oath and in violation of the law.
The consequences for engaging in sham marriage schemes can be severe, including prosecution, visa denial, and visa ineligibilities for the principal applicant and his or her children that will prevent them from entering the United States.
The U.S. Embassy uses several resources to detect sham marriages, including tips from the community. If you are aware of any U.S. immigration fraud, including a sham marriage, please report it to our email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Following the law will protect us all.