Lifetime Ban for Fixed Marriage

Welcome to U.S. Immigration TV. I’m Michael Gurfinkel. I’ve been an attorney for forty years. I’ve offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco,
New York and Manila, Philippines. Today I’d like to talk about fixed marriages. Because if a person is caught in a fixed marriage
it could result in a lifetime ban. Now a lot of times people come to me for consultations
where they’ve been denied and I say it’s a lifetime ban and they go “well how long is
that”? It means forever. Basically, the law is when a person gets married
on the day of their wedding, they must intend to have a life together. The fact that if may have broken up sometime
later may not affect the fact that it was a loving marriage on the wedding day. But if the person never had any intention
to have a life together with their spouse or they paid them to marry them, that could be big
problems. The law basically says “no petition can be
approved if a person has ever been found to have entered into a marriage for immigration
purposes”. What that means is if a person has been caught
in a fixed marriage by USCIS, nobody in the future can petition them. It means for example they divorce this person
and they marry somebody else and they have a loving relationship, a loving marriage,
several kids together. Or they might have a kid who is born in the
U.S. and is now twenty-one years old. They said “Well, I’m going to let
my new spouse petition me”. “I’m going to let my twenty-one-year old
U.S. citizen child petition me.” No. Not allowed. It is a lifetime ban because a person had
been caught in a fixed marriage in the past. Also, a person may have a marriage to a citizen
in the past, they get divorced they marry somebody else. They may still be questioned about the first
marriage to the first U.S. citizen to determine whether that was fixed or not. Now if a person is caught in a fixed marriage
obviously it is gonna create a lot of problems. But I’ve also encountered cases where a
person was wrongly accused, wrongly denied of being in a fixed marriage. In those situations, there could be hope by
going back and demonstrating to the USCIS that the previous marriage was in fact real. If you can demonstrate that the previous marriage
was real by just fifty-one percent, that’s the basic standard of proof — more likely
than not. If you can demonstrate that the previous marriage
was more likely than not real, it could be possible to overcome a fixed marriage finding. But putting up the proof and demonstrating
eligibility is complex. It requires the right documents, the right
evidence. That’s why I would recommend to people,
if you are wrongly being accused of being in a fixed marriage, if you have previously
been denied because of a mistake or miscommunication and they said the marriage was fixed, I think
in those situations it would greatly assist the person if they had an immigration attorney
help them overcome the denial and clear their name. This is Michael Gurfinkel and this is U.S. Immigration TV.

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