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Marriage for green card - a Romanian recipe

de     HotNews.ro
Luni, 6 august 2007, 0:00


“Serious young man, 28, looking for marriage of interest in Illinois”. “Romanian woman, 26, looking for serious Romanian man for marriage of convenience. I am not available for any personal compromise, I want to pay cash for a paid marriage, for citizenship documentation only”.

Such sound announcements posted by Romanians in Romanian newspapers in the United States or on Internet portals used by the Romanian diaspora in the US.

They reveal a tendency that seems to gain ground: hundreds of Romanians illegally settled on US territory are looking for marriages of convenience in order to become legal citizens of the US.

Lawyers in the field of immigration have told HotNews.ro that the tendency has been growing since the US Congress failed to adopt legislation last month that would have favord millions of illegal immigrants in their attempt to become legal settlers in the US. The marriage with a US citizen has thus become for many a Romanian the only solution to solve their status.

According to several sources, Romanians looking for such marriages have arrived in the US by temporary work programs. Many of them have been staying there for over five years. Others are travelers who never returned to Romania or students who remained there after concluding their studies.

Various sources told HotNews.ro that the prices for such marriages have been increasing steadily, with New York lawyers claiming from some 3,000 dollars in 2000 now demanding up to 15,000 for such arrangements.

In other American states, the prices are half of those applied in NY.

D.R., 27, from Bucharest, says that when he married in Manhattan two years ago he had to pay 7,500 USD to his future wife - about half of the money she requested. “She will receive the rest when I’m a documented citizen”, he says, adding that part of the money will go to the man who intermediated the meeting with the Puerto-Rican girl.

“I saw my future wife only once before the wedding, when we were introduced”, D.R. says.

C.F., 30, from Oradea, Western Romania, says the preparation for the interview at the Immigration office often is the most important phase of the whole process. C.F. says her case was a fortunate one, as she had the opportunity to marry a friend of of hers as three months after she submitted her file she received work and travel rights. The green card came shortly afterwards.

A.M., 32, from Bucharest was not as lucky. She offered 3,000 USD to an American citizen whom she married 4 years ago. Days after the marriage, he disappeared with the money and she’s had no news of him ever since. She is now in a delicate situation as she cannot divorce him and marry her current boyfriend.

But risks are just as serious for US citizens getting married for money. Last month, US authorities accused 13 Bulgarians and 15 Americans of involvement in illegal marriages in a South Carolina and Georgia scheme that’s been lasting for about 10 years.

And in 2005, Immigration agents discovered a similar case involving hundreds of Chinese and Vietnamese people, some of whom offered up to 60,000 dollars for a marriage with a US citizen.

“Mister Hector”, a man who deals with convenience marriages between American citizens (usually women from Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic) and Eastern Europeans, says those like him prefer to work with Polish, Romanian and Albanian citizens. He demanda 12,000 USD for such services and guarantees a green card in six months.




















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