Question: I want to marry a U.S. Citizen. I have heard it is easy to get the Green Card through Marriage. Is this true?
Answer: There are some qualifications as to whether it is easy or not. First and foremost, a green card through marriage must be based upon love and not the desire to get the Green Card. Otherwise, it would be considered to violate the immigration laws and it could be considered to be fraudulent. The next issue is the timing of the marriage. Many times people come into the U.S. on a visitor visa and get married right away hoping for the Green Card. In actuality, this could also be considered to be fraud and the supposedly easy manner to get the Green Card through Marriage turns into a denial and deportation. When you come into the U.S. on a visitor visa, it is to visit. The law specifically states that if you get married prior to 60 days after entering the U.S. and after 30 days, that it is presumed to be fraud. This means that it is presumed that you intended to marry when you entered the U.S., not come and visit as is the purpose of the visitor visa. It is possible to overcome this presumption, but it must be overcome, or the green card through marriage will be denied and life will not be as pleasant in the U.S. as you thought. To make matters worse, if you get married prior to 30 days of entering the U.S., it is fraud and there is not even a rebuttable presumption. In that case you will not get the Green Card through marriage (at least through adjustment in the U.S.).
Question: Assuming that I did marry for love and that there is no issue of fraud, are there still issues in getting the green card through marriage?
Answer: Yes. Assuming you pass the above issues, the Green Card through marriage is actually a ‘conditional’ Green Card through marriage. The law actually wants you to prove at a later point that the marriage was for love and not for the Green Card. Thus, the conditional Green Card through marriage will be issued for two years. Close to the end of those two years, you would be need to file a petition to remove the conditional residency. Only if that condition is actually removed will you obtain the true Green Card through marriage. Thus, as you can see, it is not quite as easy to obtain the Green Card through Marriage as people might think.
Question: What are the consequences if Immigration denies my application for the Green Card through Marriage?
Answer: If they deny your application for the Green Card through Marriage, we would have to see the basis of the denial. If USCIS believes that the application for the Green Card through marriage was based on a fraudulent marriage, then you would be barred for the rest of your life from applying for any immigration benefit whatsoever and would most likely be put into deportation proceedings. Sometimes, it is better to look for other ways to obtain the Green Card through employment or other family petitions. At first, those petitions take longer, but in the long run, if the application for the Green Card through marriage is not legitimate, it would be best not to submit the application for the Green Card through marriage and to take some other route.