• Gary O. Haase


(日本語はこの英語の後に続きます / Japanese version follows the English)

One of the perks of my job is getting to help people who are looking forward to a new chapter in their lives.

Many of these people are couples, such as an American spouse with a Japanese spouse, and some of these couples are at an initial stage where they are discussing the possibility of living together in the United States.

By assisting these couples with their U.S. immigration petitions and applications, I can be involved in preparing something (e.g., a petition package) that can lead to the realization of goals and positive outcomes.  With these types of cases I get to draw from my motivations as an idealistic law school applicant hoping that I could use a legal education to make a difference, to help regular folks, and to contribute to improving communities.  And with many of these cases I do not have to deal with the types of disputes and conflict that many lawyers tackle on a daily basis in other adversarial areas of law practice.

That being said, U.S. immigration laws and language can be difficult, even for native speakers of English and those who are familiar with this area of law.  So I can understand when couples interested in permanent residency get intimidated by the legalities of the U.S. immigration process or have questions about their role in answering questions and providing personal information.

Even though the following language does not appear until the end of the I-130 form, and even though only the petitioner will be signing the I-130, here are three paragraphs from the immigration form that each spouse should read and understand as early as possible when considering immigration based on marriage.

  1. Warning:  USCIS investigates claimed relationships and verifies the validity of documents.  USCIS seeks criminal prosecutions when family relationships are falsified to obtain visas.

  2. Penalties:  By law, you may be imprisoned for not more than five years or fined $250,000, or both, for entering into a marriage contract for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws.  In addition, you may be fined up to $10,000 and imprisoned for up to five years, or both, for knowingly and willingly falsifying or concealing a material fact or using any false document in submitting this petition.

  3. Your Certification:  I certify, under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America, that the foregoing is true and correct.  Furthermore, I authorize the release of any information from my records that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services needs to determine eligibility for the benefit that I am seeking.





以下の3つの文言は、家族に基づく移民ビザ請願書(I-130 Form)の最後に出てくるものです。この請願書は、請願者だけ(つまり米国に親族を呼び寄せたい人)が署名するものですが、結婚による移民ビザ申請を考えているカップルは、できるだけ早い段階でこの文言を読み、双方ともが内容を理解しておくべきだと思います。

  1. 警告:  米国移民局(USCIS)は、請願者が主張する関係について調査し、提出書類の妥当性を検証します。親族関係がビザ取得目的の虚偽のものであることが判明した場合、USCISは刑事訴追を求めます。

  2. 罰則:  移民法が定める規定を回避する目的で婚姻を結んだ場合、法律により、禁錮刑5年以下、または罰金$250,000、もしくはその両方の刑罰が科せられる可能性があります。加えて、婚姻に関する事実について、故意に虚偽の申述をしたり隠したりした場合、あるいは、この請願書を提出する際に虚偽の書類を使用した場合、最高$10,000の罰金または禁錮刑最高5年、もしくはその両方の刑罰が科せられる可能性があります。

  3. あなたの承認:  私は、偽りの場合にはアメリカ合衆国の法律で定められる偽証罪に問われること承知の上で、前述の事柄は真正で事実と相違ないことをここに証明します。また、米国移民局(USCIS)が私の請願内容の適格性を判定するために、私に関する記録の中のいかなる情報をも開示することを許可します。

Gary O. Haase is a U.S. immigration attorney admitted in California and Japan (licensed foreign attorney).  This article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.  You should contact a qualified legal professional to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue.  The opinions expressed are those of the individual author and do not reflect the views or opinions of any nonprofit organization or government agency.