Till Papers Do Us Part – Does she want to marry you only for a Green Card?
Marriage to a U.S. citizen has traditionally been the most popular way for a foreigner to gain permanent residency (Green Card) and an expedited path to U.S. Citizenship.
It is undeniable that marriage fraud has been going on since the introduction of the very first immigration laws in the United States. In the past few years, the government has tightened up employment-based Visa requirements and has also implemented a number of policies to effectively detect and deport illegal immigrants, even those without a criminal record. These stricter policies have led more and more foreigners to resort to marriage fraud.
As you may know, in a traditional marriage fraud scheme the foreigner pays an agreed sum of money to a U.S. citizen to enter into a sham marriage, set up fictitious joint residency, financial accounts, staged pictures.
However, many foreigners have become so desperate to the point of faking a whole relationship for months (and even years) and playing with people’s feelings just to get a Green Card.
This short article is directed to all men that are currently (or will be) in a relationship with a foreign national that does not have her Green Card. The source of the following information derives from both personal and professional experiences.
How to detect a fraudster
A good starting point in determining whether your girlfriend is just interested to marry you for her Green Card is to examine the basic factors that the U.S. government (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) consider as “red flags”. While there may be plenty of legitimate relationships where one or more of these factors exist, it is important to be aware of them.
Ten years (or more) younger than you
If your girlfriend is ten years (or more) younger than you, I would recommend that you take the “red pill” and proceed to a self-assessment. If you are an average-looking man and your girlfriend is a younger, very attractive girl, chances are that she only really loves your citizenship status.
If your girlfriend has recently (1 year or less) divorced but would jump into a new marriage with you right away, it is very possible that she is trying to scam you. This is especially true if her ex husband is living in the United Stated without legal status (or expiring Visa). This is how the scam works: a couple would fictitiously divorce, marry other people, get their Green Cards, seek a divorce immediately right after, and magically get back together with their ex-spouse.
Completely different cultural background
Every man is attracted to the idea of having an exotic girlfriend/wife. But to avoid getting scammed, you may want to ask yourself questions like: “does that six feet tall beautiful Russian girl really love me?” or “what do I really know about Brazilian women and their culture?”.
Inability to speak fluently the same language
If you and your girlfriend cannot speak the same language fluently, it is possible that she does not see a marriage with you as something permanent. It is unrealistic to believe that you could be forever with someone you can’t fully communicate with.
Expired Visa or status expiring within 6-12 months
This is one of the most recurring situations. If a woman starts testing your feelings about marriage (even if you just recently met), chances are she is either undocumented or has her Visa (most commonly an F-1 student Visa or a J-1 “exchange program” Visa) expiring in the next 6-12 months. Be particularly careful with those that are in this country with a tourist Visa. Most of these women systematically spend 3-4 months each year in the United States until they find a man to scam for a Green Card.
Noticeable disparity in income or personal assets
As said in the “ten year younger” example above, it is now time to take the “red pill” and open your eyes. If you don’t have a stable job, or have a low paid job, while your girlfriend comes from a well-off family, it is highly possible that she just wants to marry you, get her Green Card, and seek a divorce.
Other easy ways to spot a lying girlfriend
What I have described above are the most self-intuitive scenarios. If you decided to face the truth, and really want to know your girlfriend’s intentions, I strongly recommend you test her on the following topics.
Her plans to remain legally in the country
Don’t be afraid of asking your girlfriend if she has any ability whatsoever to remain in the United States legally besides getting married to you. While it has become very hard to obtain a work Visa, it is certainly not impossible, especially for someone with advanced degrees.
When asked this question, most women will give you a defensive attitude. If your girlfriend tells you that she will go back to her country if you don’t marry her, stay assured that it means that she will stay in the United States (legally or illegally) and find another prey to execute her Green Card scam.
Inquire about her immigration history
It is very important that you pay attention to your girlfriend’s immigration history, as it might be a good indicator of her character. For instance, some people manage to get work Visas through bogus employers; many others simply buy a fake Green Card and fake social security card. Instead, working off the books (cash) is not a negative factor, even if she does not pay taxes on it (but bonus points if she pays taxes on a cash salary).
Ask your girlfriend if she has a social security card and, if so, how she obtained it. If you are not sure she has a real social security card, this is what I recommend you do. Tell your girlfriend that your credit score (report) is very important to you, and that she should also sign up with creditkarma.com, a free credit monitoring service. If she is using a fake social security card, she will obviously find any possible excuse not to use such credit monitoring services.
Check carefully her social media activities
Nowadays all girls (especially the younger ones) put special importance into their social media activities. If your girlfriend is less than 35 years old and tells you she does not have (or she has never had) any social media profile, chances are she is lying to you. If your girlfriend is an active social media user but never posts pictures with you, you are probably about to get scammed.
Pay attention to the way her parents and siblings interact with you
It is extremely important that you meet your girlfriend’s parents in person. In most cultures, parents would not tolerate that their daughter is only getting married for a Green Card. Be particularly careful if your girlfriend tells you that she does not speak to her parents. In such a case, it is very possible that she is simply hiding her sham marriage plans from them.
In less frequent cases it is even possible that your girlfriend’s parents approve her sham marriage plans (remember that your future in-laws can get a Green Card through their daughter once she becomes a U.S. citizen). In such complex scenarios, you may want to continue your inquiry with her siblings, and put her parents to the next test.
Formal marriage ceremony
I guarantee you that in the overwhelming majority of cultures, marriage is taken very seriously by the bride’s parents. To make sure your girlfriend (and her family) is being truthful to you, tell her that you (and your family) want to have a formal, religious ceremony. Almost all the scammers will try to convince you that they do not care about a religious ceremony, a white dress, and a formal reception with family and friend. If your girlfriend would rather get married in a city hall (or courthouse) without family and friends, chances are she is scamming you.
Hang out with her friends as much as possible
Another good idea to sense your girlfriend’s true intention is to hang out with her friends as much as possible. If your girlfriend is with you just to marry you for a Green Card, you will sooner or later notice something unusual in her friends’ behavior. Be particularly careful if your girlfriend tells you she does not have any friends, as she might just try to hide them from you.
This is in my opinion the easiest way to test your girlfriend’s true intentions. Even if you do not really plan on having children (or just not in the near future), you must ask your girlfriend if she is ready to have children with you. In the vast majority of foreign cultures, a woman will not have a child with someone she just want to use for a Green Card, especially if she is 30 years old or younger. If your girlfriend tells you she is not ready to have children, don’t be afraid to tell her that you are not ready to marry her. At that point, if she was really trying to scam you, she will most likely break up with you in a matter of weeks.
Walking away from a beautiful, younger girlfriend takes a lot of guts. But remember, the pain you will suffer walking away from her now will be nothing compared to when you realize she had only married you for her Green Card.