How Do I Report Marriage Fraud?

Jeremy Laukkonen
Jeremy Laukkonen
Marriage fraud may involve couples who only marry so a partner can get a green card.
Marriage fraud may involve couples who only marry so a partner can get a green card.

In order to report marriage fraud, you need to familiarize yourself with the laws in your country and identify the proper government organization that deals with such affairs. You will typically want to gather all of the information you can and then contact the responsible agency. This will usually be Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if you are in the US, though the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) does handle some cases. In the United Kingdom, you will typically report to the UK Border Agency, and in Canada you can contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Accusations of marriage fraud are very serious in any country that has laws against this activity, so you should make sure your suspicion is valid before filing a report.

Most cases of marriage fraud are related to immigration and are often referred to as marriages of convenience. The purpose is typically to get one spouse into the country more quickly than would otherwise be possible. In the United States, these green card marriages may account for one quarter of all legal immigration over the course of a year. Many international marriages are completely legitimate, though they can also be exploited to obtain citizenship. Sometimes the resident spouse is complicit in the illegal activity, though he or she may be a victim as well.

If you suspect that people you know are committing marriage fraud, you should typically attempt to gather as much information as you can. This is not an accusation to be made lightly, and some countries will even prosecute you for knowingly making false reports. When you file your report you should have some basis for your claim, such as the spouses maintaining separate residences or other suspicious activity. You may also need to provide their names, addresses, and other important information.

You can also report marriage fraud if you are the victim. Marriage fraud is a serious crime, so if you discover that you have been a party to it then you should typically report it to the proper agency right away. Whether you find out before or after your spouse has attained citizenship, you can still report fraudulent activity. Most countries recognize that relationships can legitimately fail, though they will typically want to investigate to determine if fraud has occurred. You may also want to retain the services of a lawyer to ensure that your own rights are protected throughout any investigation that is triggered by your report.

Discussion Comments


My stepdaughter-in-law who is from Nigeria had her Nigerian friend to marry her sister-in-law . The Nigerian friend is already married with two kids and a wife. He paid money to the sister-in-law and her mother. Is this a crime on the daughter-in-law's part? Now money has to be paid to stay in the states with his wife and 2 kids. Is my stepdaughter-in-law wrong for this setup?


I know one person who is living in USA and is in a false marriage with a USA citizen. He is paying money every month to her and is lying to the U.S. government. Actually, he is a very bad person. He lies very easily when and if he needs to.

I have filed an application and informed ICE about him, but I am not sure will they really react or not, and in January he is going to divorce because he will get a 10 year green card. I live outside the US, and I see I need to inform the government as soon as possible.

Can anybody give me an advice who I can inform about this? The government needs to react very soon.


People who marry for citizenship are dumb! They need to learn that not everything comes on the plate and they need to work hard to play hard.


I went into a marriage knowing that it is a fake marriage. During that time, I fell in love with this person. But this person keeps telling me its just to get citizenship. I don't know what to do. I am at a loss. I also don't want to get in trouble.


I think I might know someone who was married for US citizenship and now she already has her documents. Would you be an accomplice if you knew about it but only found out after she divorced the guy and got her papers and if you were in a relationship with this woman (no one knew she was married)?


I would like some information on how to report a marriage in the uk just for citizenship. My sister in law is British born but is a Pakistani and married a guy brought over here for her from Pakistan. The family was threatening for the marriage to take place. I went to the registry wedding where there were only four of us there.

The husband also has a wife in Pakistan and sends all the money there, yet he works for cash in hand and claims benefits. He treats his wife (my sister in law) very badly and also treats the rest of he family bad. He has a visa now here in the uk and recently brought he brother to the uk who is now in hiding as he is here illegally. How can we have his visa removed and him sent back to Pakistan?

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    • Marriage fraud may involve couples who only marry so a partner can get a green card.
      By: Ferrante Pietro
      Marriage fraud may involve couples who only marry so a partner can get a green card.