What law governs good faith marriage?

By Atty. Chris Caday Lozano

If you are applying for immigrant visa based on marriage to a U.S. citizen, it is a must that you discuss your case with an immigration attorney.  Many people do it by themselves but later on find problems along the way.  It could be in the long wait for adjudication, more evidence requested and legal issues they could not resolve.  In proving good faith marriage the USCIS is governed by case law that we will discuss here.

Question:    What is the main consideration to determine if the marriage is in good faith?

Answer:      The central inquiry in determining whether a bona fide marriage exists is the INTENT of the parties at the time they entered into the marriage; the parties must have had the intent to establish a life together. See, Bark v. INS, 511 F.2d 1200, 1201 (9th Cir. 1975), see also Matter of McKee, 17 I & N Dec. 332 (BIA 1980). The conduct of the parties after the marriage is relevant to their intent at the time of their marriage. See, Matter of Laureano, 19 I & N Dec. 1 (BIA 1983).   There is no sham marriage where the petitioner and beneficiary INTENT to establish a life together at the time they were married, Bark v. INS, 511 F. 2d 1200 (9th Cir. 1975).

Question:    What kind of evidence is needed for USCIS to determine is the marriage is a fraud?

Answer:      The BIA in Matter of P. Singh, 27 I&N Dec. 598 (BIA 2019), enumerated the following are the legal standards to follow:

  1. The standard of proof necessary to bar the approval of a visa petition based on marriage fraud under section 204(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1154(c) (2012), is “substantial and probative evidence.”
  2. The degree of proof necessary to constitute “substantial and probative evidence” is more than a preponderance of evidence, but less than clear and convincing evidence; that is, the evidence has to be more than probably true that the marriage is fraudulent.
  3. The nature, quality, quantity, and credibility of the evidence of marriage fraud contained in the record should be considered in its totality in determining if it is “substantial and probative.”
  4. The application of the “substantial and probative evidence” standard requires the examination of all of the relevant evidence and a determination as to whether such evidence, when viewed in its totality, establishes, with sufficient probability, that the marriage is fraudulent. (5) Both direct and circumstantial evidence may be considered in determining whether there is “substantial and probative evidence” of marriage fraud under section 204(c) of the Act, and circumstantial evidence alone may be sufficient to constitute “substantial and probative evidence.”

If your case has been long delayed, it probably is under investigation.  Many marriage cases are now under investigation due to fraud.  Even if the parties were able to get approved in their petition and adjustment of status, there is the next hurdle which is the removal of condition on residence.  In addition if you get your immigrant visa based on marriage, there is another hurdle coming which is when you apply for naturalization.  Usually the USCIS opens up the file and further check if the applicant’s marriage is in good faith.  For those who get their green card through marriage, it is best to consult with an immigration lawyer before filing a Form I-751 removal of condition on residence and Form N-400 application for Naturalization.  Many cases are now being denied based on fraudulent marriage.

Note:  This is not a legal advice.  You need to speak to an Immigration Attorney to analyze your personal circumstances.  We offer free consultation on immigration matters.  If you have immigration problems the Law Offices of Crispin C. Lozano can help you find a solution before your problem gets worse which could lead to deportation and family separation. 

What will happen if the Philippines become part of China?

If the Philippines become part of China, it will have a far reaching effect on immigration and on overseas workers.  We can no longer petition our relatives because the U.S. will not consider the Philippines as independent country.  Many countries importing Filipino workers will no longer do it because they will think that we are Chinese spies.  Most countries we deal with like Canada, Japan, Australia, and European countries will not hire Filipino workers because we are considered Chinese spies.  We will be slaves in our own country.  We cannot expect other countries to fight for us.    We will lose our dignity and standing among people of the earth.  Let us make a stand. 

Chris Caday Lozano, Esq. is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and San Francisco Trial Lawyers.  He practices immigration law, bankruptcy, personal injury  and income tax problems since June 1999.  He has offices in Hayward and Cerritos, CA.  His contact phone is 1-877-456-9266, email: info@CCLlaw.net  Website:  www.crispinlozanolaw.com/

Toll Free 1-877-4LOZANO for free consultation or Schedule an Appointment