Green Card Through Marriage: Avoiding Red Flags That Could Raise Fraud

What criteria could make the USCIS suspect marriage fraud?

Obtaining a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen has traditionally been one of the largest avenues for immigrants to lawfully enter or remain in America.  Per U.S. immigration law, when a U.S. citizen marries a noncitizen, the noncitizen can apply for a green card.  In recent years, concerns about fraud have swirled surrounding marriage based green cards.  Fraudulent applications by a few have led to heightened scrutiny of all marriage based green card applications.  To avoid delay or denial of your application, review the types of circumstances that could raise a red flag as to fraud in the eyes of the USCIS below.

Living in Different Homes

Most married couples will live together.  If both you and your spouse reside in America and live in separate locations, this could subject your application to scrutiny.  Should you find yourselves in this position, you will want to provide a solid explanation as to why you and your spouse live in separate homes, such as job commitments.  You will further want to indicate your intention to live together soon.

Drastic Age Differences

While it is not out of the ordinary for people of different ages to wed, the USCIS may look carefully at green card applications involving two people with decades in between their ages.  While age differences alone may not be enough to investigate the application, widely differing ages along with other factors could throw up a red flag as to fraud.

Unequal Wealth or Social Class

People from all levels of society do get married, but green card applications by those with two very different socio-economic levels could call for closer scrutiny.  If you and your spouse come from two different socio-economic levels, it could be helpful to explain how you met and fell in love in your application.

Different Language and Religion

While it is natural for green card spouses to often speak a different primary language then their spouse, the USCIS will look closely if your spouse does not speak your language whatsoever.  Without a shared language, the USCIS may feel that you have no legitimate means of building a life together. Further, those with fundamental religious beliefs who marry outside of their religion could raise a red flag.

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at