Green card marriage

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-17-2006
Green card marriage
5
Fri, 10-05-2012 - 10:25pm
In my culture, because there are SO MANY people here on H1-B visas, these "marriages of convenience" with US citizens can be the ticket to a green card.

I've always heard that there are immigrants especially in my culture that are that desperate to resort to such a thing. But I never thought that I could be a target for that.

A week later, I'm still shocked, insulted, and angry that anyone could use another human being in such a cold and calculating manner. I knew the guy seemed a little strange always wanting to go to malls and stores or the temple but he sure sent mixed signals by always paying for lunch/dinner. But I was fine at the thought of just being friends.

The tipoff, besides repeated references to the frustration over the visa backlog, costs incurred to renew EAD card, came after he asked me if my parents knew about him and how he wanted to meet them after only one month of barely seeing each other.

After I told him that I agreed with my parents that we should spend 5-6 months getting to know each other, he was unhappy. He claimed he didn't know what I meant by that and then said he didn't expect me to want us to date.

How can anyone who has been here for 10+ years expect that a US born citizen would not want to date? Even in arranged marriages, the couple is encouraged to be alone together and spend time talking to each other!

One thing's for sure - from now on, if a guy from my culture shows no real interest in spending time with me and getting to know me, I'll know they are only after a green card! It's scary that these guys are in the country and willing to commit marriage fraud, get the prize and then divorce thereafter! To be fair, some of them do truly love their partner but if they say they don't want to compromise for their marriage, that suggests that their plan is to divorce when they can and ruin another's life.

What self-respecting US citizen would go for such a marriage? As much as I want to be married, I'm not that desperate! I can't believe someone can be be so desperate for a green card so as to marry someone without knowing or caring about them! Compatibility, personality, common interests are important things!
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Fri, 10-05-2012 - 11:30pm

It's scary that these guys are in the country and willing to commit marriage fraud, get the prize and then divorce thereafter! To be fair, some of them do truly love their partner but if they say they don't want to compromise for their marriage, that suggests that their plan is to divorce when they can and ruin another's life.  

What self-respecting US citizen would go for such a marriage?

Perhaps you are digusted with the person you were with, and rightly so.  But please don't judge everyone based on your own situation.

I know some friends' friends got married for a green card.  They were good friends, one a US citizen, the other not.  They agreed to get married so that the other one did not have to go back to a war-torned country.  They were not in love, but there was deep friendship and both understood that it was not a real marriage, but the most straight forward way to keep the other person in the safety of the US.  While they appear to be married; they are more like roommates in private.  I expect they will eventually get a divorce when the other person gets a green card.  It is not exactly legal, but no more illegal than the hundreds and thousands of Mexicans in this country.  It takes forever to apply for political assylum, and if he goes back to his country, he would most certainly be killed.  In this case, no life is ruined, just life saved.

You situation is very different.  First of all, it does not appear that this person is being honest with you.  Secondly, it is truly a marriage of convenience because while he may not be able to make as much money, there is no imminent danger for him to go back to India.

 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 10-06-2012 - 12:19pm

I see this very frequently since my law office does immigration law, mostly for people from China.  Some times I think it is pretty much known upfront that there isn't true love but I've seen so many times that people marry someone from the old country (who isn't even here) that they have only met a few times.  Sometimes it works out & sometimes it doesn't--like the old man who was surprised that his much younger wife divorced him as soon as she got the green card.  She was the age of his kids and he basically wanted a housekeeper who would also have sex.  I didn't feel sorry for him at all.

I think there is also a difference between the Chinese & Indian culture.  In the Chinese culture from what I've seen family members or friends might "introduce" someone, like fixing them up--it's not really like a blind date because one of the people is in China.  But chinese don't have a culture where arranged marriages are common at all.  If the people were both here, they would meet themselves & go on dates just like Americans do.  I think you are in a combination of the clash of people who are here on visas plus having a history of arranged marriages which is why the guy might be curious that you actually expect to date for months and get to know him.  There was one girl in my office who wasn't married & after seeing all these divorces, I kept telling her to marry a guy who was already here & already had a green card or who was a citizen so she would know he wasn't using her, which is what she did.  We also had a young woman lawyer in our office who was from an Indian family but she was born here and I hate to tell you, but it was hard for her to get dates.  I think she did want to marry someone Indian but also probably someone who was born here & somewhat Americanized.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2006
Sun, 10-07-2012 - 2:02pm

I understand your resentment. You must have felt used.

It would have been OK had you both known upfront the other's intention and it was purely a business transaction, albeit illegal.

How long have you been dating? Most guys who want to use a woman for money or other things would let on very early what they're after. Most are not that good at hiding it.

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Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Sun, 10-07-2012 - 4:51pm

This is a normal activity.  Do not fall for the BS of romantic love that is pushed.  Many people marry for many different reasons.  They date for many reasons also.  Many women and men do this to get to the prize.  Just be aware that this happens.  As does the person who just wants to be married and could really give a hoot what the other person wants.

Goldfish

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 12:48pm

Although I think it happens a lot that people marry for a green card, I wouldn't call it normal.  I also think that if that's what the person wants, they should make it clear & not try to pretend that they are in love when all they want is immigration status.  I know that some people in China will pay the American a lot of money for the fake marriage--of course it's illegal but at least everyone knows up front what the arrangement is.