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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Marriage Shortly After Entry on a Student Visa, Suspected of Visa Fraud

    Hi All,
    The beneficiary (now my wife) came to the US on F1 Visa on 2nd/Aug/2011 and we got married on a whim on 8th/Aug/2011. And we filed I-130, I-485 and EAD on 22nd/sep/2011. Her EAD is approved and PR Interview took place on 3rd/Jan/2012. The Interviewer was convinced that our Marriage was a bona fide as we showed him joint bank accounts and health insurance. But the IO was very concerned with the fact that we got married within one week of her entry into the US with a non-immigrant visa. Our explanation was that we knew each other for a long time as our parents were family friends, and just few months before she came to the US I happen to go to India and proposed her. Initially we had no plans of marriage as I was pursuing my PhD and she was starting her Masters, But after she moved here I was helping her adjust here, by giving her rides everywhere and she was staying in our house with my parents and me. But in our culture it is not viewed good to stay with a guy before marriage, and our parents were concerned about this. So that is one of the reasons we got married so soon. As luck would have it I am in a position to finish my PhD in 8 months (I started my PhD program in 2009 and was expected to graduate in 2014) as my PhD research has progressed so much since I last visited India and I got a nice raise from my work in July 2011 and I was in a good financial position to support her and that also helped me make my choice to marry her soon after she came here.

    But the IO was accusing my wife that she has committed a visa fraud by concealing the fact that she came to the US to marry me. He asked her whether the IO in India, during the visa interview, asked her about engagement etc, she told that they just asked about her GRE and TOEFL scores, I-20 and family funds.
    We told that the only reason she applied for F1 Visa was to pursue Masters and she is doing that. If she had the pre-intention of marrying me then she wouldn't be studying now and instead would have dropped from her masters program and started working. She finished one semester and enrolled for the next semester too. He asked her student ID and took down the number.

    The IO took her I-94, and said that he would get the notes from the visa interview in India and investigate her F1 Visa Interview and let us know his decision.
    He took down her EAD and SSN numbers and gave them back saying that as the decision is pending, she can keep those documents.
    He asked her whether she is working and she said no. She has no intentions of working until the summer (part-time job that is).

    The whole interview was a shock to both of us. We never thought we were committing a mistake by marrying so soon. We married with a good faith, and my wife wanted to pursue Masters and applied for colleges way before (8 months before she came here) any personal decision of engagement was made. But the IO was not listening to whatever we were saying.

    Now we are worried/concerned about what will happen if her I-485 is denied? Will they initiate removal processing with the denial? She does not want to stop her studies. What options do we have if her I-485 is denied? Is it a good Idea to withdraw her application now, wait until she finishes her studies and goes back to India, and then apply for spouse visa. Will they ask the same question 'why did we get married soon after her first entry?' if she again applies for I-485 after coming to US with immigrant Visa in the future?

    Thank You,
    Sam.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,380

    Default Re: Marriage Shortly After Entry on a Student Visa, Suspected of Visa Fraud

    You need an immigration lawyer. It sounds very much like Visa fraud. The fact that she wanted to study here is only secondary to the fact that she clearly came to the US on a nonimmigrant Visa with the express intention of getting married and staying as she was already engaged. You've taken a situation which would have been a slam dunk for you if you'd done it properly and royally messed it up by lying.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Marriage Shortly After Entry on a Student Visa, Suspected of Visa Fraud

    Unless you had a very ad hoc wedding ceremony, or a quickie wedding in Vegas with whomever happened to be on hand, the marriage ceremony itself might cast a significant shadow over your spouse's intent when she married. In many states there is a short waiting period between the application for a marriage license and its issuance, for the purpose of discouraging marriages that might otherwise occur on a whim. What state were you in when you married?

    The misrepresentation at issue is not really that of intent to marry, but of intent to immigrate. Had you married but not petitioned for AOS, this wouldn't be an issue. Lots of married women pursue graduate degrees - I don't see how her continuation of her education is significant and, were she in fact intending to drop out if she married... she's now married so she would have dropped out. But if you've represented to the immigration officer that not only did your fiancée enter without intent to immigrate, she also had no intent to marry, any evidence of intent to marry that is inconsistent with your story would now indicate that you and your fiancée were not truthful - wedding chapel reservations, travel and hotel reservations for family members attending the ceremony despite living in other states or abroad, when the wedding rings were purchased, etc., if made before your fiancée's entry, can all suggest deception.

    It would be sensible to consult an immigration lawyer.

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