When a foreign citizen marries a United States citizen living in the Los Angeles area, he or she may be able to obtain a spouse visa and eventually become a citizen of the United States. In order to become a citizen, various requirements have to be met such as living with the spouse who is a U.S. citizen for at least three years before the date of application and being a legal permanent resident during that time. If the marriage is determined to be a scam in order to allow the immigrant to become a citizen, he or she may face deportation and not ever be allowed to enter the country again.

This is the case for eight Romanians currently living in Idaho. They came to the United States 10 years ago on work visas to work for Sun Valley Resort. When their visas expired, they stayed. They are accused of paying U.S. citizens to marry them in order to become citizens. They all eventually obtained green cards and six of them become citizens. Many of them own businesses in Idaho and are now trying to figure out what to do with them since they now face deportation.

Seven of the eight have pled guilty to immigration fraud and are likely to be deported when their cases go to federal immigration courts in the coming months.

If you have been threatened with deportation because immigration authorities believe your marriage to a U.S. citizen is a sham, you would be well advised to speak with an immigration attorney. Doing so can give you a fighting chance to prove that your marriage is legitimate and allow you to stay in the country.

Source: Idaho Statesman, “Clarification: Romanian immigration Fraud story,” John Miller, Nov. 24, 2013