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Trackstar23

AOS based on legally invalid marriage to same person

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Came to the U.S. on an F1 Visa

Obtained OPT employment authorization

Found an American citizen wife through an online database

Went to India while on F1 Visa to marry the American Citizen wife (complete Nikahnama registered with islamic association, but intentionally did not register the marriage with Indian Government)

Had another "legal" marriage in the United States 3 months later (California) to the same person

Did not mention the India marriage on any petition or interview

Obtained marriage-based green card

Became naturalized citizen

Divorced

 

Based on the fact pattern above, is the person likely to face any consequences if USCIS uncovers the hidden marriage?

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ecuador
Timeline

Thread is moved from the Off Topic forum to the General Immigration Discussion forum.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ukraine
Timeline

If the person is a US Citizen, then there is no further involvement with USCIS.  Well, actually there is, when requesting another naturalization certificate if he looses his original.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: New Zealand
Timeline
5 minutes ago, SteveInBostonI130 said:

If the person is a US Citizen, then there is no further involvement with USCIS.  Well, actually there is, when requesting another naturalization certificate if he looses his original.

People can, and have, been denaturalized for ill-gotten immigration benefits actually.....

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Germany
Timeline

Repetition of marriage to the same person without "DIVORCE" inbetween carries no negative effects....now that you Divorced you must marry again to be considered married even if it means to the same person....some countries do multiple marriage ceremonies..e.g Traditional and the white wedding and the court wedding to the same person...its only an issue if you Divorced then married again...if you didnt disclose this it is considered material misrepresentation.


Speak the truth even if your voice shakes

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1 hour ago, Sparkle Sparkle said:

Repetition of marriage to the same person without "DIVORCE" inbetween carries no negative effects....now that you Divorced you must marry again to be considered married even if it means to the same person....some countries do multiple marriage ceremonies..e.g Traditional and the white wedding and the court wedding to the same person...its only an issue if you Divorced then married again...if you didnt disclose this it is considered material misrepresentation.

The problem is based on India law, the Nikah ceremony was considered a legal ceremony since both parties signed the Nikahnama and all of the required witnesses were there. It was registered with the local islamic association. I was under the impression that one can only be married legally once, and that all marriages performed after were considered invalid since you were already married?

 

Basically this person used only the second the marriage in the United States to avoid having to go through a process overseas (CR-1). Is that legal? In India, there is no marriage registration requirement for a Muslim to be considered "legally" married, so that super complicates things.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ukraine
Timeline

I am not sure what you are alluding to.  CR1 is the same as IR1, just in technicality of the length of marriage, and subsequent allotment of 2 yr GC vs 10 yr GC.  Are you talking about consular visa processing?

 

So, from what you said, it seems the couple did not think their ceremony would be recognized as a proper marriage with a marriage certificate, so they registered and married in CA.  I do not know about this ceremony you refer to, and it's associated ramification.   At worst, the couple married twice, without divorcing in-between.  At best, one was ceremonial and the other official.

 

In order to get denaturalized,  there would need to be some significant misrepresentation that would need to be upheld in US court.  And for USCIS to review his case, something else is needed to trigger the investigation, like a criminal arrest.  Take a look at the below list of denaturalized  persons, and see if the person you are describing meet any of the reasons stated in the list:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_denaturalized_former_citizens_of_the_United_States

 

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5 minutes ago, SteveInBostonI130 said:

I am not sure what you are alluding to.  CR1 is the same as IR1, just in technicality of the length of marriage, and subsequent allotment of 2 yr GC vs 10 yr GC.  Are you talking about consular visa processing?

 

So, from what you said, it seems the couple did not think their ceremony would be recognized as a proper marriage with a marriage certificate, so they registered and married in CA.  I do not know about this ceremony you refer to, and it's associated ramification.   At worst, the couple married twice, without divorcing in-between.  At best, one was ceremonial and the other official.

 

In order to get denaturalized,  there would need to be some significant misrepresentation that would need to be upheld in US court.  And for USCIS to review his case, something else is needed to trigger the investigation, like a criminal arrest.  Take a look at the below list of denaturalized  persons, and see if the person you are describing meet any of the reasons stated in the list:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_denaturalized_former_citizens_of_the_United_States

 

So if you just completely avoid any mention of what was considered a legal marriage abroad on any petition, do a wedding in the United States 3 months later and hide the marriage abroad so you can complete an adjustment of status in the United States without having to leave the country, then you are fine right?

 

Seems like a pretty big loophole to me, especially considering they were on an F1 Visa. I am just trying to get clarity. Not worried about tif they can or will be denaturalized.

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Filed: Other Timeline
30 minutes ago, Trackstar23 said:

The problem is based on India law, the Nikah ceremony was considered a legal ceremony since both parties signed the Nikahnama and all of the required witnesses were there. It was registered with the local islamic association. I was under the impression that one can only be married legally once, and that all marriages performed after were considered invalid since you were already married?

 

Basically this person used only the second the marriage in the United States to avoid having to go through a process overseas (CR-1). Is that legal? In India, there is no marriage registration requirement for a Muslim to be considered "legally" married, so that super complicates things.

If this was two different people then you could be in hot water over it (since it could be bigamy). As is, you'll be okay. You weren't sure if the US would consider your first religious marriage valid for immigration purposes since it's basically closer to what would be considered "common law" marriage in US, so you decided to properly and legally tie the knot. Technically nothing prevents couples under a "common law" marriage to just go to the legal authorities and get it formalized.

 

Other than that, even if they were to somehow audit you, they would first give you the chance to explain your circumstances, scratch their heads for a bit, and then let it go.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ukraine
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8 minutes ago, Trackstar23 said:

So if you just completely avoid any mention of what was considered a legal marriage abroad on any petition, do a wedding in the United States 3 months later and hide the marriage abroad so you can complete an adjustment of status in the United States without having to leave the country, then you are fine right?

 

Seems like a pretty big loophole to me, especially considering they were on an F1 Visa. I am just trying to get clarity. Not worried about tif they can or will be denaturalized.

I am not sure what you are trying to say?  

 

The religious ceremony has very little impact in this story.  What does have impact is if the person was asked a question by CBP and willfully lied.  Another impact is if they came back to the US on the F1 or employment visa, with premeditated intent to adjust status through marriage.  If they just returned to the US to resume as normal, but due to some other circumstance they decided to adjust status instead of consular processing, that is fine also.

 

I am not sure who this person or couple is to you, but if you have evidence of material misrepresentation or other visa fraud, you can send a letter to USCIS.

 

EDIT:  The letter to USCIS, if you do send it, has to contain evidence. Not hearsay and not your personal feelings or opinions.

Edited by SteveInBostonI130
clarification

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5 minutes ago, SteveInBostonI130 said:

I am not sure what you are trying to say?  

 

The religious ceremony has very little impact in this story.  What does have impact is if the person was asked a question by CBP and willfully lied.  Another impact is if they came back to the US on the F1 or employment visa, with premeditated intent to adjust status through marriage.  If they just returned to the US to resume as normal, but due to some other circumstance they decided to adjust status instead of consular processing, that is fine also.

 

I am not sure who this person or couple is to you, but if you have evidence of material misrepresentation or other visa fraud, you can send a letter to USCIS.

 

EDIT:  The letter to USCIS, if you do send it, has to contain evidence. Not hearsay and not your personal feelings or opinions.

Perfect. This clears things up a bit. Thank you for the reply.

 

This is for a close family member. They have the Nikahnama (islamic marriage contract) and an english translation along with the video of the big wedding in India, but they do not plan on taking action just yet.

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Russia
Timeline
7 hours ago, Jorgedig said:

People can, and have, been denaturalized for ill-gotten immigration benefits actually.....

odds of denaturalization unless it was fraud is extremely difficult.  But the current administration has a different interpretation of everything. 


31-Jan-2020 : I-485 Filed

17-Feb-2020: I-765/I-131 Filed

24-May-2020: I-765/I-131 approved

31-May-2020: EAD/AP Combo Card received

05-Oct-2020: Biometrics Scheduled

20-Oct-2020: Biometrics Complete

XX-XXX-202X: Approval Pending 

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7 hours ago, SteveInBostonI130 said:

I am not sure what you are alluding to.  CR1 is the same as IR1, just in technicality of the length of marriage, and subsequent allotment of 2 yr GC vs 10 yr GC.  Are you talking about consular visa processing?

 

So, from what you said, it seems the couple did not think their ceremony would be recognized as a proper marriage with a marriage certificate, so they registered and married in CA.  I do not know about this ceremony you refer to, and it's associated ramification.   At worst, the couple married twice, without divorcing in-between.  At best, one was ceremonial and the other official.

 

In order to get denaturalized,  there would need to be some significant misrepresentation that would need to be upheld in US court.  And for USCIS to review his case, something else is needed to trigger the investigation, like a criminal arrest.  Take a look at the below list of denaturalized  persons, and see if the person you are describing meet any of the reasons stated in the list:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_denaturalized_former_citizens_of_the_United_States

 

It seems that denaturalized does not necessarily mean loss of lpr status though. Is this still true?

Interesting to read about Bhagat Singh Thind.

Edited by xyz12345

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1 hour ago, xyz12345 said:

It seems that denaturalized does not necessarily mean loss of lpr status though. Is this still true?

It very well could......if the person was found to have gained LPR inappropriately or if the person committed an act which could be grounds for deportation while in an LPR status....


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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ukraine
Timeline
9 hours ago, Trackstar23 said:

Perfect. This clears things up a bit. Thank you for the reply.

 

This is for a close family member. They have the Nikahnama (islamic marriage contract) and an english translation along with the video of the big wedding in India, but they do not plan on taking action just yet.

Ok, now I am really confused.

 

Are you stating that the immigration and marriage statuses in your original post is something that is planned?  If so, that is clearly intent of immigration fraud.

 

And why would anyone plan to get married in a religious ceremony, adhere to all the proper observances, get a civil marriage later,  go through all the immigration steps, and then get a divorce?  Most marriage based immigration fraud is simpler - ask a USC friend to marry them or just plain pay someone, get GC, then divorce.  None of this heading to India for a formal religious ceremony and then a 4 year plan mapped out in advance.

 

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