As an Immigration Lawyer in Houston, I sometimes get asked, What is a Sham Marriage? Sham marriages are a way people avoid complying with immigration laws. A few years ago, sham marriages came into the spotlight with a hit movie, The Proposal, in which the two main characters conspire to enter into a sham marriage for the purpose of tricking immigration authorities. However, it isn’t just a movie plot – sham marriages occur in everyday life, too. They don’t always end up with the two people falling in love, like in the movie. And they don’t always have a happy ending, where everyone can just move on with their lives.
You may be wondering, can I apply for a marriage-based green card in the US? If a person who is not a citizen or a lawful permanent resident marries a citizen, he or she has the same legal status as before. However, that person then becomes eligible to immediately seek to become a lawful permanent resident. As a permanent resident, that person will have most of the rights and privileges of a U.S. citizen, and will be eligible for naturalization after five years.
Houston immigration lawyer Kathryn Karam provides her thoughts on Love and Law in this month's issue of Lebanon Times Magazine.