How to Report Immigration Marriage Fraud

Three Methods:Reporting to ICEWithdrawing SupportHaving the Marriage Annulled

You fell in love with someone from another country, got engaged, and got married. You haven't been married for long when your spouse announces that he was never in love with you – that he only married you to get a green card. Not only do you want to end your marriage to such a lying and manipulative person, but you want to make sure you're no longer listed as his sponsor or petitioner for immigration purposes. There are steps you can take to get yourself out of this situation, but you have to act fast to avoid criminal liability yourself.[1] If you believe someone else's marriage is fraudulent, the steps for reporting that bogus relationship are much the same.

Method 1
Reporting to ICE

  1. Image titled Report Immigration Marriage Fraud Step 1
    Contact the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement division. If your spouse got married to evade U.S. immigration law, he is guilty of marriage fraud and can be deported.[2]
    • Call the hotline at 1-866-347-2423 to report suspected marriage fraud.[3]
    • If you're reporting someone else's marriage, you can remain anonymous if you don't want the couple to know.
    • If your spouse has committed marriage fraud, he is subject to deportation under U.S. immigration law.[4]
    • Although you can make your report anonymously, you should identify yourself and state clearly that you were a victim to the scam who fell in love and thought his intentions were pure.[5]
    • Expect ICE officials to be skeptical, since people claim to be innocent victims often when they really just became upset or bitter about the state of the relationship after the honeymoon ended.[6]
    • Also keep in mind that you previously went on record about the legitimacy of the marriage to get your spouse into the country in the first place, so you should expect some questions about that.[7]
  2. Image titled Report Immigration Marriage Fraud Step 2
    Consider moving out immediately. If you remain in the marital home after you've discovered the fraud, ICE might consider you complicit in the fraud.
    • You also should make sure you are safe, as well as any personal or sensitive information or documents. If your spouse lied to you about his reasons for marriage, he could be lying about anything else.[8]
  3. Image titled Report Immigration Marriage Fraud Step 3
    Contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services directly. You can call USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 to report the fraudulent conduct.
    • You also may wish to schedule an appointment with a USCIS official to discuss the matter in person.[9]
    • Report your suspicion and explain that you were an innocent victim in this scam.[10]
  4. Image titled Report Immigration Marriage Fraud Step 4
    Comply with any investigation. If USCIS or ICE want to interview you or ask for any additional documentation, it's important that you provide any and all information you think might be of assistance.
  5. Image titled Report Immigration Marriage Fraud Step 5
    Consider hiring an attorney. Even though you may see yourself as a victim in this situation, ICE might find you criminally liable for the fraud as well.
    • Marriage fraud is a felony. If you are convicted, you could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.[11]

Method 2
Withdrawing Support

  1. Image titled Report Immigration Marriage Fraud Step 6
    Determine how far along your spouse is in the green card process. What stage of the process your spouse is in will dictate what you can do to remove your support.[12]
    • If you've been married for over two years and your spouse already has his permanent green card, you have far fewer options than if the marriage was more recent.[13][14]
    • However, if your visa petition has not yet been approved, you can simply withdraw it and your spouse will not be able to continue immigration.[15]
  2. Image titled Report Immigration Marriage Fraud Step 7
    Write a letter to USCIS withdrawing your affidavit. If your visa petition was approved, you probably had to sign an affidavit of support, Form I-864, so your spouse could get a green card.
    • This document is a legally binding contract between yourself and the U.S. government in which you agreed to financially support your immigrant spouse.
    • If you don't withdraw this document, you will still be liable for your spouse's support, even if you get divorced and possibly even if you get the marriage annulled.[16]
    • Your spouse would need your cooperation here to get his green card. So if you withdraw your affidavit and refuse any further support, your spouse's immigration process would be stalled if not halted.[17]
    • However, keep in mind that if your spouse already has his green card, you likely cannot affect his immigration status simply by withdrawing support. Despite this, consider withdrawing your affidavit anyway simply to avoid further legal liability.[18]
    • You probably should withdraw all petitions or affidavits you've filed on behalf of your spouse or any of his family members to ensure that you no longer have continuing legal or financial responsibility for them. Simply ending the marriage will not terminate your responsibility for them.[19]
  3. Image titled Report Immigration Marriage Fraud Step 8
    Refuse to participate in any further interviews or to sign any documents. If you've withdrawn your joint Form I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions of Permanent Residence, you should refuse to attend any scheduled interviews.
    • Keep in mind that your spouse may file a new form asking for a waiver of the joint filing requirement.[20]
    • However, to be successful with such a waiver, your spouse would have to prove that the marriage was bona fide to begin with.[21]

Method 3
Having the Marriage Annulled

  1. Image titled Report Immigration Marriage Fraud Step 9
    Consider hiring a family law attorney. Divorce and annulment alone are complicated, but become even more so when you add immigration law into the mix. By hiring an attorney you can ensure your rights are best protected.
    • If you were the victim of marriage fraud, you also could face criminal charges if you don't handle the matter quickly and carefully, so having legal representation is most important in that situation.
    • Divorce simply ends the marriage, while if you get the marriage annulled it is treated as though it never happened. Having the marriage annulled could have vastly different consequences for you than simply getting a divorce.
    • However, if you and your spouse have children together, it may not be possible to seek an annulment.[22]
  2. Image titled Report Immigration Marriage Fraud Step 10
    Find out if annulment based on fraud is available in your state.[23] Annulment based on fraud means that the court will treat the marriage as though it never happened if there was some sort of fraud perpetuated on you by your spouse to induce you to marry.[24]
    • You must prove that your spouse intentionally lied, and also that you would not have gone through with the marriage had you known the truth.[25]
  3. Image titled Report Immigration Marriage Fraud Step 11
    Comply with any legal conditions. Many states have certain legal conditions that you must meet to qualify for an annulment as opposed to a divorce.
    • In some states, for example, if you want to get an annulment based on fraud, you must move out of the marital home as soon as you discover the fraud. Otherwise, the reasoning goes, you can't argue that you never would've married your spouse had you known the truth, because after you knew the truth you continued to live as a married couple.[26]
  4. Image titled Report Immigration Marriage Fraud Step 12
    File for an annulment. Provided you qualify and the option is available in your state, you can file for an annulment in your county court.[27]
    • If you have information from an ICE or USCIS investigation, you might use this as evidence to support your petition for an annulment.
    • If your spouse has applied for a green card on the basis of his marriage to you, an annulment of the marriage may cancel the application.[28]


  • If you report suspicions that someone else's marriage is fraudulent, USCIS will likely call the couple in for an interview, and may increase surveillance or other investigation on the background and legitimacy of the couple.[29]

Sources and Citations

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Categories: Official Writing and Complaints | Divorce