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Marrying for a green card

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2023 | IMMIGRATION & NATURALIZATION - Immigration |

The CATO Institute reported that in 2022, there were 8.3 million people waiting to receive a green card. One way many people secure this pass to live in the U.S. is through marriage.

This practice, although not inherently illegal, raises questions about the integrity of the immigration system and the motives behind these unions.

Marriage as a means to an end

A green card provides lawful permanent residency and is a coveted legal status in the United States. It gives foreign nationals the opportunity to live and work in the country on a permanent basis. Many aspiring immigrants yearn for this privilege, but the path to obtaining one is often long and challenging. Marriage to a U.S. citizen is one of the avenues available, and while this may be a genuine expression of love, it is not uncommon for some to see it as a shortcut.

The complexity of the process

Marriage-based green card applications require rigorous scrutiny by immigration authorities to ensure that the union is legitimate. These investigations aim to differentiate between genuine marriages and those entered into solely for immigration purposes. However, proving the authenticity of a marriage can be complex, as there is no one-size-fits-all formula to define true love or commitment.

Legal implications

While marriage for the sole purpose of obtaining a green card is not illegal, it is important to understand that immigration fraud, including sham marriages, is against the law. Engaging in such activities can lead to severe consequences, such as deportation, fines and a permanent ban from entering the United States.

The ethical dilemma

The question of whether marrying for a green card is ethical remains subjective. Some argue that it is a strategic move to secure a better life, while others view it as an exploitation of the system. Ultimately, the ethical boundaries can blur, making it a contentious issue.

It is important to note that marriage-based green card applications can significantly burden those who choose this route without genuine intentions. They must navigate through the maze of documentation, interviews and investigations. As a result, they might find themselves under a microscope, with their lives examined in minute detail.