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Immigration Lawyers Tampa | Tampa Immigration Lawyers

Posted on | April 30, 2010 | Comments Off on Immigration Lawyers Tampa | Tampa Immigration Lawyers

There are a few different ways a United States citizen can marry someone from another country and it will be legal. Marrying someone from another country is okay in the U.S. governments eyes, as long as it is done for the right reasons- love. One story I read is about a Tampa couple who went through a nightmare while being interviewed at the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services office, and had to end up hiring an immigration lawyer in Tampa where they lived.

While at the meeting agents pounded them with questions, many the couple were not in agreement with each other, and accused the marriage of being a sham. The Tampa immigration lawyer who accepted their case said he believes the couple married for love, and says he turns down cases where the parties admit they married solely for the purpose of the immigrant receiving a green card. There were plenty of people willing to testify the marriage was real. I don’t know the outcome after the Tampa immigration lawyer filed an appeal, but the woman was first denied her green card.

This goes to show how serious the U.S. is about stopping illegal immigrants from entering the U.S., where usually the citizen is paid to get married. At the time (2007), the head of the Office of Fraud Detection and National Security said the going rate for one of these ‘arranged’ marriages was between ,000 and ,000- definitely not pocket change.

The agents said there are ways they can tell if the marriage is a sham- living in separate bedrooms, no joint checking accounts, no bills in both names, and more. In the mentioned article it said there have been two major busts involving sham marriages. I am sure more than one Tampa immigration lawyer was contacted, plus those out of Tampa and even Florida, and all were busy because they were big operations and involved many citizens and immigrants in a number of different states.

If a U.S. citizen marries someone while in another country, and the country recognizes it, the marriage will be considered valid by the U.S. government; mainly because other countries are stricter about marriage than the U.S. A U.S. citizen may also apply for a K-1 fiance visa, which is used to provide the citizen’s fiance entry into the U.S. for the purpose of marriage. The couple must have seen each other within the past two years, although some exceptions apply (such as a country where it is customary not to see each other before marriage), and once the fiance is in the U.S. the couple must marry within 90 days.

Fiance (k-1) visas usually take anywhere from 3 to 4 months to get approved, providing everything is correct and all items check out. However, it is not uncommon for paperwork to be incorrect and there can be a significant time delay- sometimes up to or exceeding 12 months. This is one specialty of immigration lawyers in Tampa and every other city in the United States- making sure paperwork is correct, being a representative for the couple to overcome obstacles, and help speed up the process.

If someone is visiting from another country; via work, travel, or a student visas, then meets a U.S. citizen and they plan to marry, the foreigner can file for an adjustment of status from a non-immigrant to a permanent resident. If a foreigner comes to the U.S. with the intention on marrying a U.S. citizen, but enters the U.S. using a non-immigrant visa (travel or student), the non-immigrant will have to go back to his or her home country and apply for a K-1 visa or risk legal problems.

Some of the charges an issue like the one in the paragraph above, as well as marrying for money or for a green card, the parties can face are visa fraud, falsifying documents, marriage fraud, conspiracy, and making false statements. According to the head of the Office of Fraud Detection and National Security, when threatened with these charges and a 15-30 year prison sentence the U.S. citizen involved usually ‘cracks’ if the marriage is a sham. He also said 95% of fraud in the Tampa area is marriage fraud, which is definitely keeping immigration lawyers in Tampa busy!

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