Pakistani woman marries Indian-origin man…on her attorney’s advice for a Green Card

A US attorney who got an Indian-origin naturalised American citizen ‘married’ to his Pakistani assistant so that she could obtain a Green Card, has been charged with marriage fraud along with his woman aide. Bilal Ahmed Khaleeq, 47 and his assistant Amna Cheema, 37, were charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and could be jailed for up to five years and fined USD250,000 if convicted. The accused made their initial appearances in federal court in Dallas this week before US Magistrate Judge Horan. Both were released on bond. 

Khaleeq allegedly intentionally solicited the man, an Indian-origin naturalised US citizen, to marry Cheema — a Pakistani national — for the purpose of obtaining permanent residence for Cheema in May 2015, according to the indictment. Khaleeq made the arrangements after which the man and Cheema were married in June 2015. In exchange for entering into the fraudulent marriage and proceeding through the permanent residence process, the man was given USD 745, with promises of additional payment once the green card was approved for Cheema.

US Customs and Immigration Services Department. Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia
US Citizenship and Immigration Services Department. Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia

​Khaleeq advised Cheema regarding the filing of legal papers for the green card process and represented the parties at the interview with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), according to court documents. After the marriage, he advised the couple on preparing legal documents needed to make the marriage appear legitimate. Khaleeq’s advice included joint bank accounts, tax returns, bills concerning their joint residence and other fraudulent evidence including photos.

He coached the Indian-origin person how to address the questions that would be posed during the USCIS interview process and specifically instructed to tell the USCIS adjudications officer that he cohabitated with Cheema even though that was a false statement, according to the documents. Additionally, the parties discussed filing joint tax returns to provide additional evidence and discussed how long the individual and Cheema should remain married in order for her to obtain her US permanent residence.

Author
Tushaar Kuthiala
Tushaar Kuthiala – Senior Writer

Tushaar has five years experience as a journalist in founding two start-up newspapers. He worked as a special correspondent based in New Delhi with Daily World, an international media organisation. He enjoys reading and writing fiction in his spare time.

 

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