Washington, DC asked in Immigration Law for Virginia

Q: is it illegal for an immigrant to marry their sibling to get their visa easier?

my step parent married their sibling because it made it quicker for them to both get a visa then they divorced after entering the US. Now they are married to US Citizens and have expired visas. is that illegal? and if so how?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kevin L Dixler
Kevin L Dixler
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL

A: The issue is whether someone who marries did so because they were in love. The facts presented suggest that this was a marriage solely for a non immigrant visa, not for immigration purposes. This can be considered visa fraud, perhaps, a Federal crime, but more information is needed.

Yet, the marriage to a U. S. citizen, alone, is not enough to make them lawful. They must seek lawful permanent resident status, which is a separate and complicated process. Only after year of continuous physical presence as permanent residents can they apply for Citizenship by naturalization. The dubious marriage can complicate matters.

This is their challenges, not your’s. They seem ignorant in that they have a long way to go and can be deemed disqualified unless a waiver of the disqualification is granted. As a result, it may be upsetting for you to view their contentment, but they remain unlawful until further steps are pursued.

They may or may not take action, which can complicate their lives in the future as a result.

The above is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship.

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