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How does fraudulent entry with intent to adjust status actually work?

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This is not for me or "for a friend", I'm just curious after seeing these situations come up in various discussions. 


Say a person gets a non-immigrant visa. Tourist (B1/B2), student (F1), what have you. Their intent is to enter the country, marry a US citizen (because that's what they genuinely want to do, or completely fraudulently).


The US immigration officer asks them questions when admitting them on B, F, or whatever status. 


If the officer asks if they intend to stay/adjust status to permanent/similar, and the person answers No, they lied. Officer lets them through. They submit the AOS package after marriage. Is that it? Was the initial lie forgiven, like overstays and illegal work? Would you "technically" need to disclose that you lied (not that anyone would I imagine), or is that not even one of the questions? 


If the person answers Yes, are they turned around? Or can they still be allowed in if the officer is being nice? And in this case, are they completely, legally, in the clear? 


If no one asks this question, are they also legally in the clear? 


What does this fraudulent intent even mean? Anyone can say "it just happened, we didn't plan for this" and it doesn't matter if they mean it? 


I often see posts of people who come in on a tourist visa and spontaneously decide to get married. Responses tend to be, it's OK you weren't planning for it, it just happened! 


Really? How many of those were truly spontaneous? All you have to do is pretend to be a quirky type who just gets married because that's just how you roll. As soon as you mention any intent though, you're asking for advice to defraud the government. What an easy lie to avoid the latter. 


I guess maybe this is also a type of rant, but I just don't understand how the scenarios above play out. If all that's required is a one-sentence lie (no officer, I mean to do no such thing), then why is it even not allowed? You can't check this sort of thing. Is this one of the only examples of an honor system in US immigration? Everyone else seems to need a damn good proof of what they're claiming. 

Adjusting from TN to GC as spouse of USC

2015-07-24: TN received at CBP

2015-11-23: TN received at CBP - employer change

2017-06-12: Married

2017-08-15: First child

2018-06-25: Mailed I-485, I-864, I-130/I-130A, and I-765 to USCIS

2018-07-03: NOA1 for I-485, I-130, and I-765

2018-07-24: Biometrics appointment

2018-07-25: Biometrics review completed

2018-08-28: Expedite request submitted for EAD via USCIS support line

2018-08-31: Request for additional information for EAD expedite mailed by USCIS

2018-09-07: Request for additional information for EAD expedite received in the mail

2018-09-07: Additional information for EAD expedite faxed to USCIS

2018-09-10: Mailed I-131 to USCIS

2018-09-14: EAD approved

2018-09-18: EAD approval notice received in the mail 

2018-09-18: EAD card was mailed 

2018-09-20: NOA1 for I-131

2018-09-21: EAD and SSN received in the mail

2018-10-11: Case is ready to be scheduled for interview

2018-10-31: Interview is scheduled

2018-11-21: TN expired

2018-12-11: AOS Interview - approved 

2018-12-11: Card is being produced 

2018-12-13: Card was mailed 

2018-12-18: Card received in the mail


2020-12-11: Conditional green card expires 


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Immigrant Intent is assessed at the PoE, if it is determined you have it or they think you have  it then you will not be given entry.


One thing you have not mentioned is that using a non immigrant visa with immigrant intent is a breach of the VJ ToS.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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