I just came across a news article about a woman who is being prosecuted for immigration fraud because she is alleged to have entered into a sham marriage. As an immigration lawyer in New York City, I often do consultations where individuals reveal to me an intention to enter into a fake marriage to obtain a green card. I always tell them the same thing: DON’T DO IT! It’s against the law. There are both criminal and immigration penalties for entering into a sham marriage to get a green card. In addition to facing a criminal conviction, you can also be barred from having anyone petition for you to obtain a green card and face deportation.
Most of all, I always tell people that if they try to get a green card through a fake marriage, they are going to get caught. A lot of people think that if they have the right documents, they can lie their way through an interview for adjustment of status. What they don’t realize is that the examiners at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service are experts at catching people who have fake marriages. You cannot lie your way through an adjustment of status interview. Eventually, people who try to get green cards through fake marriages get caught. It’s not worth the risk.