Marriage-Based Immigration – “Bed Checks” to Expose Fraud
To many, marriage-based immigration is considered the easiest path to becoming a lawful permanent resident (“green card holder”), so it is not surprising that US immigration authorities work diligently to expose marriage fraud, marrying for the purpose of obtaining a green card. To curb marriage fraud, US immigration authorities conduct a number of different investigations.
What techniques can US immigration authorities use to expose fraudulent marriages?
Couples must understand that it is their burden to show that they married in good faith. This is done by providing sufficient documentation of a good faith marriage. US immigration authorities inspect these documents and interview couples during their green card interview, which is typically scheduled 3 to 4 months after an adjustment of status (green card application) is filed. US immigration authorities can also conduct background checks on individuals through the internet and a credit checks with social security numbers.
Another technique is a “bed check”.
What is a bed check?
A bed check is when an immigration officer goes to the home where the petitioner and beneficiary claim to live. They may ask neighbors if they’ve seen the petitioner and beneficiary living together. They may even ask the landlord. Typically, bed checks are done early in the morning and when allowed to enter the petitioner and beneficiary’s home, they take pictures and ask questions.
Though not common, some of our clients have had US immigration authorities come to their home to see whether both the petitioner and beneficiary of a marriage-based green card application are living together. This has happened almost immediately after a filing of adjustment of status, after an interview has been completed, and even after the green card has already been approved.
The immigration officer will typically look for items couples generally keep inside their home and look to see where they are kept. For example, they will check inside the couple’s closet to see whether the couple keeps their clothes together, ask whether the couple uses the same restroom and if so, check to see where their toothbrushes are.
An immigration officer and interpreter came to my home. What will happen next?
It depends on how the bed check went. Every case is different because every couple is unique. Some couples do not share a restroom, but share a bedroom. Some couples are very clean, so immigration officers are unable to find any dust on picture frames. At times, couples do not have any photos of themselves together inside the home, but have plenty stored on their phones. Immigration officers are thorough and they may even interview friends and family.
If you are concerned about your case, a recent bed check, or you simply need assistance with your immigration matter, do not hesitate to our Sacramento immigration lawyer. Our Sacramento immigration law firm would be happy to discuss your case with you, so contact us today.
*The information provided in this post does not constitute legal advice or opinion. The information is for guidance purposes only. Individual situations vary and you should contact us for a consultation. Carson & Kyung, Sacramento’s Immigration Attorneys on Marriage-Based Immigration – “Bed Checks” to Expose Fraud.