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Ask the Consul

At my immigrant visa interview, the officer told me I was ineligible because I was previously denied a visa based upon a fraudulent marriage or engagement. Can I ask for a waiver and still immigrate?

December 26, 2011

There is no waiver for committing marriage or engagement fraud.  Section 204C of U.S. immigration law states that an applicant who is found to have participated in a fraudulent marriage or engagement for a US immigration benefit can never be petitioned for again by anyone- even if the later relationship is completely legitimate.  The applicant who was involved in a fraudulent relationship will be permanently ineligible.

When an applicant who has a prior fraudulent relationship is petitioned a second (or more) time by another person, the Department of Homeland Security normally denies the approval of the later petition.  But, even if the case is somehow scheduled for an interview in Santo Domingo, the Consular Officer will deny the visa based upon the prior fraudulent marital or engagement relationship.  We will then send the case back with a recommendation to revoke the petition based upon the fact that it never should have been approved in the first place.  When the Department of Homeland Security receives the file, they will send a letter to the petitioner asking for an explanation or reason why they should not revoke the petition.  For 204C issues, the applicant would have to prove that the prior relationship was not in fact fraudulent before the case could move forward.

Engaging in a fraudulent marriage or engagement has serious consequences, including permanently barring one from entering the US for life. 

If you would like more information about this please refer to Section 204(c)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.