Citizenship Through a Fictitious Marriage. Is it a Good Idea?
It happens that a person is eager to change the country of residence to improve the level of life, have more opportunities, give better education to children, etc. Despite what the reason is, there are a few ways to get citizenship:
- Investing in local real estate
- Study or work
- Family reunification
With so many options at the hand, not every person is ready to use them because they require effort and time. That’s why some people consider a factious marriage to get citizenship. Still, is it recklessness or a good idea? Let’s find it out.
What Does a Fictitious Marriage Give?
Fictitious marriage allows a person to move to another country. Almost immediately you’ll receive a residence permit, after which you’ll continue to live with your legal spouse. After another 3 or 5 years, you can apply for a permanent residence permit, having lived in this status for about 5 more years, you have the right to apply for citizenship.
This is the standard naturalization scheme that any immigrant without ethnic background goes through. The difference is that all this time your fictitious husband or wife is a good reason to live in the country, freely get a job or start a business.
For all potential 10 years before obtaining citizenship spouses must fulfill their «roles», living under the guise of a married couple. But the good news is that this period can be greatly shortened. The national legislation of some states allows you to squeeze it only up to 3 or 5 years! You can find out how to do this by consulting a specialist.
Things to Consider Before Concluding a Fictitious Marriage
If you decide to use exactly this option to migrate, then you should consider two factors which are the local legislation and the partner.
Concluding fictitious marriage can be of two types:
- When both people are aware of the initial purpose of the marriage
- When one spouse has no idea that another person is only using him/her
The second type may lead to disappointment and ruining hopes and dreams for a common happy future. And even if both people know the conditions of the union, there are no guarantees that eventually they will get what they want without being destroyed morally.
As for another factor – local legislation, here you should be ready for not very pleasant surprises. Let’s take the USA as an example, which is a popular dream place among residents of other countries.
American legislation in terms of fictitious marriage
So many people dream about moving to the prosperous USA to start a new life. Getting a Green Card is a real challenge in most cases, which makes people think about some alternatives. However, fictitious marriage is not the best idea when it comes to the USA. Here, such a union is recognized as a fraud. The country has dedicated services and regulating documents that help determine whether the marriage is fictitious or not. If it is, then both immigrants and U.S. citizens will face prosecution. The immigrant risks being imprisoned for up to 5 years or be fined up to $250,000 or both. This person will hardly ever get a Green Card. As for the American resident, fines or jail time, or both are expected in case the spouse knows about the partner’s plans.
How to Diminish Risks?
If you want to diminish risks, then you are recommended to choose some alternative to fictitious marriage, like finding a legal workplace or purchasing some real estate. But if neither of the available alternatives satisfies you, then be attentive while choosing the place for immigration. There are countries whose officials are not focused on this problem, do not strive, and actually do not know how to determine whether a marriage is fictitious, or not.
All in all, getting citizenship through fictitious marriage is a very popular option among people of different ages and nationalities. However, you should weigh all pros and cons to understand whether the game is worth the candle. Be attentive to details, learn all peculiarities of foreign legislation and find a suitable foreigner for marriage if you decide to risk. And last but not least, keep positive and confident to succeed in the long run.
Mike Hickman is one of the best psychologists in New York. Thanks to working with people who face different problems in relationships, he knows well how to help potential partners build a strong connection, and how to let couples keep the fire despite routine issues. Here you can find efficient pieces of advice based not only on theoretical knowledge but Mike’s professional practice.