Immigration Marriage Fraud in Reverse

U.S.-based alien male gets benefit of dowry, but foreign-based alien female does not get visa to U.S.

By David North on August 28, 2023

We at CIS routinely receive sad stories from victims of marriage-related immigration fraud. Typically, it is from a U.S. citizen who has been conned into a phony marriage so that the alien can secure an American green card.

The victim, typically a male, has fallen in love with the (usually) younger woman from (usually) his home country, but as soon as her papers are completed she moves out, often charging abuse, and then self-petitions for legal status; in most cases USCIS grants the green card. This happens (the self-petitioning) about 3,000 to 4,000 times a year.

The citizen is then often left with a legal obligation to pay the alien alimony for decades. All that and a broken heart.

Today’s story is different, one we have not heard before. In this case, the victim is the foreign spouse, let’s call her Eve; she (and the spouse) are both from India. She is there; he is here. She writes:

I am the lawful wedded wife of [Adam]. We got married in ... 2022 according to the Hindu rights & rituals. At the time of the marriage I beared [sic] all the expenses of marriage ceremony including Stridhan (Dowry) gifts etc. Further me and my family gifted gold articles and hefty cash [to Adam].

Then he returned to the States and did not file for a visa for her.

Had he done so it would not have created a green card for her, something she may not understand. Because the husband is here on an H-1B visa, it would have created an H-4 visa for her, which would have allowed her legal presence (and perhaps the right to work, but only if he were a senior H-1B whose employer had filed for a green card for him). That green card process has a long queue — 12 to 14 years depending on his exact status — created by our country-of-origin ceilings on such workers.

Neither Eve nor Adam have, as yet, broken our immigration laws, but Adam has used them, indirectly, to obtain a perhaps substantial financial advantage for himself. I doubt that Eve can use the American legal system to recoup any of the money she has lost. It may be the perfect scam in which the victim has no recourse at all.

Eve signs herself as “Dr.” which implies a certain level of education, but not enough to prevent her current situation.

I wonder how often this happens.