Sham marriages detected through social media sites

Nick Nevarez, Nevarez Law Firm
Nick Nevarez, Nevarez Law Firm

AMARILLO, TX - Social networks connect hundreds of thousands of people around the world. While many use these sites to keep in touch with friends, immigration authorities are now using social media as an investigative tool.

Web sites like Facebook and MySpace, are increasingly being used by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to investigate people who are trying to get a green card through a fake marriage.

"When you are trying to emigrate to the United States and be legalized here in a marriage they look at that as you're trying to come in the United States and therefore it is the duty of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to ascertain whether you are here lawfully or in a sham marriage" said Nick Nevarez, Nevarez Law Firm.

USCIS does not allow its employees to friend applicants on sites such as Facebook but if the profile is public any information found can be used as evidence.

According to Nevarez USCIS will only check someone's profile if fraud is suspected.

"You may have a picture of say a previous relationship where you have somebody who is not tagged in there. It may be your cousin or ant in a picture but USCIS doesn't know that so if they see pictures of myself, for example, without information being tagged then that's their sole discretion to look at it as evidence" said Nevarez.

Normally, when someone petitions through a marriage they must show a certain amount of evidence to show their marriage is real.  If they cannot provide enough evidence then authorities may use social media sites to further investigate.