Last week a coupled sought my advice and help after a nightmare experience at the Immigration Service, an experience that is becoming all too familiar. The couple, like any other that involves a foreign national, had filed an application on their own for a basic run of the mill adjustment of status. Based on marriage, they filed the application to insure their life together here in the U.S. They did not feel that hiring an attorney was necessary because they were in a bona fide marriage and as far as they could tell the case was routine and therefore they would save the money. That belief was quickly changed at the Immigration Service.
On the day of the interview the couples name was called and the interviewing officer showed them into his office. Once seated the officer immediately began yelling and accusing the couple of participating in what he called a "false marriage," and separated them for questioning as to the validity of their marriage.
Once separated, the officer demanded that each applicant withdraw or face federal charges for marriage fraud. When the each partner did not do as they were asked they were put through a vigorous marriage fraud interview that lasted up wards of three hours. Tired and despondent the couple reached out to me.Though Each partner was told to withdraw and admit that the marriage was a scam and that they better withdraw if they didn't want to go to prison. Scared the couple stuck it out and after a 3 hour ordeal came to see me.
Caught off guard the ordeal lasted several hours and resulted in a request for further evidence and despondent feeling.
They were not prepared for such an ordeal.