I-130 Fraud Indicators Part I

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What are seven I-130 family-based petition fraud indicators. Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer, practicing all throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. We’re still making our way through, this is the sixth and a seven part series on fraud at USCIS, and what they use to refer cases to the fraud unit. And in this video and tomorrow’s video, we’re going to cover, I-130 family-based petition fraud indicators. So these are marriage based cases and they have, let’s see, 14, 14 fraud indicators, actually, they have 13. I’m going to add one to this list.

So we’ll do seven today and seven tomorrow. Let’s get to it. So the first fraud indicator is a short time between entry and marriage. So one of the first fraud indicator is listed, these are scenarios where the foreign national has entered, gotten married right away, and then filed for an immigration benefit. So that is something that would cause your case to get extra scrutiny. They are often suspicious. They want to know why that happened. They might be looking to see if you made a misrepresentation. Like if you said you’re coming to attend a business conference, but instead you had a longtime girlfriend and you just came to get married. That would be something that would cause them to send your case to the fraud unit. And I can sort of understand why.

The next one, unusual marriage history. So unusual marriage history is something that they spent a lot of time scrutinizing. So they want to make sure that you’re not just marrying people to get immigration benefits, or to give immigration benefits. If you have been married multiple times, that can make your case harder to be approved. If you or your spouse have been beneficiaries of applications before, those are all things that can lead to a fraud indicator.

Another one, that’s not on the list, that appears from time to time are situations where somebody is out of status and gets married. So that’s always going to be something that gives them a greater pause. So if you’ve been out of status for a long time and you marry US citizen, if your green card case gets approved, then that can be something that they get suspicious about because marrying that US citizen cures your being here out of status and it cures your having worked. So that’s another indicator that might send your case of the fraud unit when you’re out of status and you marry someone.

All right, we just had this one come up the other day, children born during marriage to other parents. So in other words, this is a situation where somebody has an affair and a child is born. And the two people in the marriage are not both the parents. So anytime you have a situation involving an affair, which of course you’d have to have in order to have a kid born outside the marriage, that’s going to send your case to the fraud unit probably pretty quickly.

Now this next one is sort a head scratcher, unusual number of children and large discrepancy in age. I don’t really understand why that would be a fraud indicator. Now, for the most part, most marriage cases are filed right after the couple’s married or shortly thereafter. So usually they’re not going to have a lot of kids. I don’t think this is a really good one to put much stock in. I doubt that many cases get referred to the fraud unit because of that.

Unusual dates on submitted documents. I guess that’s just a reminder to USCIS that they should be looking at all the dates. And I think sometimes having a timeline, both as the attorney and as an applicant of all the things with your case, like when was I born? When did I get married? Did I ever get divorced? And you need all those dates. You want to have everything in chronological order. That’s a good thing to do, to prepare for your interview, to put everything in chronological order. I should probably do a video just about that.

And the last one, I don’t really like this last one. I think it’s sort of dumb, divorce and new marriage dates are close. You can’t read anything into that. People get divorced for all kinds of reasons. A lot of times divorces take a really long time. So the fact that somebody got married quickly after getting divorced, that doesn’t trouble me, especially if the couple in the original divorce were separated. I think that’s something that’s entirely reasonable.

So these are the first seven fraud indicators that USCIS uses to send a case or to consider sending a case to the fraud unit in the marriage based context. We’ll finish up our seven part series tomorrow with the last seven indicators. And some of them are doozy, so stay tuned. If you liked this video, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. And if you have any questions, you can email us at info@hackinglawpractice.com. Or you can call us at (314) 961-8200. Thanks a lot, have a great day.

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