U.S. Law Center

How to avoid red flags when applying for a marriage green card

Each year, numerous immigrants receive their green cards in the United States. Although the process may seem straightforward, it is still a highly intensive process that in some cases, immigrants still choose to not go through it after being married to someone for decades. 

For anyone who chooses to complete the proceedings, they should be aware of some of the obstacles in their path. That means anticipating potential red flags that would make a USCIS agent suspect marriage fraud. Here are some of the most common red flags to approach with caution. 

No shared language

To build a healthy, happy marriage, the couple needs to be able to communicate with one another. That requires both spouses knowing English or the American citizen being fluent in his or her spouse's native tongue. 

Failing to tell family members

A lot of people think it is romantic to elope and marry in private. However, when dealing with marriage to an immigrant, you can be certain that such an arrangement looks incredibly suspicious. At the very least, friends and family need to be aware of the person and the intent to marry. The reason this is suspicious is that it looks like the American citizen intends to divorce the spouse quickly upon receiving the green card. 

Recent joint accounts

The USCIS agent will be able to see the date you filed a joint bank account. It looks good if you have had one for months at the start of the marriage. However, if you only created one a few weeks prior to the interview, then it looks suspicious. It is paramount to take actual steps to create a life together rather than merely the illusion of one. 

Vast difference in age

People definitely marry others who are years older or younger than them. The problem occurs when the age difference coincides with other red flags. It could look as though one spouse is only interested in the other to receive a green card. 

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