Asked over 3 years ago - Philadelphia, PAFlag
I came to the US as a tourist, but my parents overstayed their visa. When I was a teenager, I married a man to get a green card. But, he disappeared and we never filed anything. I got divorced. I then married my current husband for love and got a green card through him (we've been happily married for over 10 years). I want to apply for citizenship, but I am worried about my first marriage.
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You have good reason to be concerned. As a matter of law, it is indeed marriage fraud to marry for a green card even if no application is ever filed. Section 204(c) of the Immigration & Nationality Act says: "no petition shall be approved if ...(2) the Attorney General has determined that the alien has attempted or conspired to enter into a marriage for the purpose of evading the immigration laws." No filing is required under this section. There are many things in your situation that should be considered. I recommend that you speak with a very experienced, knowledgeable and competent immigration attorney to discuss whether there may be any legal strategies for avoiding this section, whether you can apply for naturalization notwithstanding your first marriage, whether it could be determined that you were not entitled to your green card through your second marriage, whether you made any material misrepresentations or committed fraud in your application to adjust status through your current husband, and whether you would have relief in removal proceedings that could preserve your current lawful status (a Section 237(a)(1)(H) waiver, as well as cancellation of removal, are two possibilities with this type of situation.
Scott D. Pollock
Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C.
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