Marriage often provides Michigan couples with the benefits of companionship, shared interests and joined assets as well as the joy of planning for a happy future together. If one partner is a foreign national and the other is a U.S. citizen or green card holder, obtaining lawful permanent residency is an added benefit. However, using marriage solely to seek a green card is fraud, and immigration officials often take serious measures to detect marriage fraud.

It is difficult to predict what may trigger suspicion in an agent of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. If the partners display an abnormal difference in ages, education, religion, culture or other factors, an agent may suspect that their marriage is not genuine. Discrepancies in the answers each partner gives during their initial interviews may also warrant further investigation by USCIS agents.

If agents call a couple for a fraud interview, they can expect the process to be more serious and the questions more personal. The interview may feel more like a police interrogation, and it is important for those being questioned to remain calm and resist getting angry at the line of questioning. It is also helpful to have proof or reasonable explanations for any red flags, such as if one partner is living separately from the other due to work, school or even marriage issues they are trying to work through.

Accusations of marriage fraud are not something to take lightly. They can result in deportation or even criminal charges. Michigan residents facing a fraud interview would be wise to obtain advice and guidance of an attorney with immigration experience.