Green Card Through Marriage: Keeping or Obtaining a Green Card with an Arranged Marriage

Arranged marriages are becoming more common
at the United States based on many naturalized US citizens been originally from countries
that recognize arranged marriages such as India, Pakistan . . . even China has arranged
marriages. But arranged marriages have difficulty including proving the bona fides of their
relationship, which is not the same thing as showing that the marriage itself is entered
legally. Typically in arranged marriages, the fact that neither spouse have had a long
relationship before with each other or can show history of knowing each other well or
a lot of correspondence going back and forth. Sometimes spouses can talk for two weeks before
getting married, sometimes five days, sometimes marriage is to a complete stranger. Arrange
marriages are usually arranged by family members and not for necessarily reasons of love but
for a reasons of a good match for future children, for economic stability, for class reasons
or other reasons that have nothing to do with romantic side of love. US immigration still
recognizes the validity of these marriages but is most concerned as it is with all marriage
cases with the relationships formed for the purpose of obtaining the green card or for
another reason. You can get engaged or married with the green card in a side benefit, but
it cannot be the main reason why you’re getting married. Arranged marriages can be more difficult
to receive an approval from the immigration because often marriages are entered into from
a legal perspective first, in order to start the immigration process more quickly. But
then the couple does not live together until the religious wedding or ceremony that can
last sometimes three to five days takes place – sometimes many months later, after the green
card application itself is filed based on the legal marriage. So when a couple does
not live together because of the lack of their religious ceremony taking place yet, they
are not living together very long prior to the green card interview add after the marriage
and immigration starts to suspect that maybe this is not a marriage that is bona fide based
on a real relationship or one that’s done for non- immigration purposes. There is also
an inherent control element that often takes place in arranged marriages from an immigration
perspective. The control of the immigrant visa based on marriage is always with the
petitioning US citizen spouse or permanent resident spouse. If she withdraws her sponsorship,
the immigrant spouse can do nothing about it. It would have to try to find a way to
a green card to another route. Often in arranged marriages, the immigrant is unaware of the
control the would be in-laws have over the petitioning spouse who is usually a younger
person. In some cultures the interference by the in-laws can result in a short marriage,
quick divorce, and immense shame to the immigrant spouse who may have difficulty remarrying
ever again if they go back to their home country because of this cultural shame and stigma
that divorce creates. Many arrange marriages are also conditional in nature from an immigration
perspective because most immigrants are not engaged very long in an arranged marriage,
and so the marriage itself happens within a matter of months, and the green card is
only issued for a two-year period. This is because if the marriage was less than two
years old by the time the couple interviewed for the immigrant’s green card at the local
CIS office, then the conditional green card will be granted a two-year card as opposed
to a ten year card. This can also add complications to the relationship especially if one spouse
wanted a job outside the state to pursue a career in IT field or other computer programming
or other dream job, but the in-laws are refusing to allow the US citizen petitioning spouse
to move with the immigrant because in-laws do not want the immigrant and the spouse to
move out of the in-laws’ home. Keeping joint accounts open and active and putting each
other on title each other’s property and seeing each other frequently can become very difficult
in these types of cases when in-laws do not approve of the job placement or move out of
the in-laws’ home and in many cultures, it is very standard for an immigrant to live
with their spouse’s family. But assuming that an immigrant benefits from an arranged marriage
that actually turns out well and the couples are happy and in-laws are allowing the couple
to live together, then commingle their assets. The immigrant and the spouse should focus
on proving that they’re residing together, have joint financial accounts, which they
are actually using and putting their salaries into the shared account or paying bills from
those accounts and any pictures of activities and shared family outings can also bolster
a showing of good faith marriage or bona fide marriage. And an arranged marriage even if
there isn’t a track history of the relationship can be approved in the immigration interview
for a green card. In practice, arranged marriages usually have to provide more joint documentation
than a typical marriage that is based on years of dating, because there’s more of that documented
history. The credibility relationship may be questioned despite the widespread cultural
tradition of arranged marriages. I am an expert in complex family base immigration
cases and have a 98% approval rate for the past 12 years. I’m a nationally published
immigration author and frequent public speaker on immigration topics. I regularly train other
immigration lawyers on complicated marriage and family immigration cases for the American
Immigration Lawyers Association, Federal Bar Association and National Legal Education providers.
I represent clients all over the US traveling to immigration interviews and deportation
proceedings. Visit our website: For more in-depth information and articles
on complex family immigration issues.

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  1. i do enjoy your discussion, what is the remedy if immigration officer denied petition of a legal marriage on suspition of fru

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