->'''Mexican woman''': Stop! You promised to marry me!\\
'''Jay''': All right, but I've got to tell you, I'm only marrying you to get to UsefulNotes/{{Cuba}}.\\
'''Mexican woman''': Well I am only marrying you for citizenship!\\
'''Jay''': ''(Starts crying)'' This is the most honest, caring relationship I've ever been in.
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/TheCritic'' episode "Marty's First Date"

A marriage which occurs solely to allow an immigrant who would otherwise be deported to stay in the country.

Shows operate on the assumption that once you've married a citizen, you're safe. In reality, becoming a permanent resident alien can take years even after you're married, although in the US at least one will probably receive a "green card" (permanent residence permit) in less than a year as long as paperwork is in order and the government doesn't suspect fraud.[[note]] The foreign spouse then becomes eligible to apply for citizenship after 3 years with the green card. They still have to meet all the residency and good moral character requirements, and must pass the English, literacy, and civics tests.[[/note]] In the US, UK, and some other countries in UsefulNotes/TheEuropeanUnion, it simply lowers the time you have to have spent as a legal resident of the country to get citizenship from 5 years to 3. In Canada it allows the Canadian member of the couple to sponsor the non-Canadian member for family-class immigration after the couple are married or have cohabited for a year.

This trope has been made notorious by xenophobic portrayals of the foreign party, who can quite easily be made out to be coldly (even gleefully) manipulating the poor, foolish national and dumping him at the first opportunity (extra points if they're saddled with the evil foreigner's children). Don't expect the circumstances which encouraged the foreigner to migrate in the first place to be mentioned, especially if the national's country is in any way responsible for it--e.g. the myriad US--Vietnamese marriages that arose from UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar and its aftermath.

A variant of this trope, popular in the USA, is when couples get married for insurance benefits or tax breaks involved in getting married.

May lead to MarriageBeforeRomance. Occasionally involves a MailOrderBride.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Shiishii, the {{jiangshi}} from ''Manga/DailyLifeWithMonsterGirl'' is desperately hunting for a Japanese man to marry so that she'll be able to attend [[YaoiFangirl Yaoi doujin events]] whenever she wants.

* Done in a fanfic by Gunman where [[Manga/BlackLagoon Balalaika]] has this done to Revy and Rock. Seeing how out of all the things criminal that happen in Roanapur, Immigration is the only thing the Taiwanese government won't look away so easily. ItMakesSenseInContext.
* Kalash93 wrote a story called [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/106068/1/relax/intimacy Relax]], which included a discussion of how to how to [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/106068/1/relax/intimacy get around immigration restrictions.]]
* A variant in ''Fanfic/CreateYourOwnFate''. Kanril Eleya abuses the fact that, under Federation law, the child of a citizen is a citizen in order to get Pamela Bentine's six-year-old twins transported to Bajor to be with her. The twins were fathered by a currently incarcerated ex-Starfleet officer when Bentine was a child prostitute. (Bentine's citizenship is up in the air: technically she was born in the Federation, but her home planet seceded and she was part of the independence movement.)

* Subverted in the climax of the film ''Out Of Rosenheim'' (''Bagdad Café''): the main character, a tourist willing to stay in the country she's visiting, is about to be kicked off the country. One of her friends then runs to her, proposing her to marry him so she can stay. The trick here is that's actually a completely romantic wedding since they had been flirting a lot before that but were actually too shy to admit their feelings. So immigration laws actually made their love story possible.
* This trope is the whole premise of the romantic comedy ''Film/GreenCard''. However, the movie played this in a semi-realistic way, making the couple marry without even meeting each other before for the same purely egotistical and convenience reasons that people do it in real life-- (he wants the residence; she, money and a document that proves her as married so she can rent her dream home). Even when they move in together in order to disguise the true nature of their relationship (and then fall in love with each other), they can't fool the Immigration Officers, and the movie ends with the (somewhat justifiable) deportation of the male protagonist.
* ''Film/BornInEastLA'' stars Cheech Marin as a Mexican-American who is mistaken for an illegal immigrant and deported. At the end, he [[spoiler:manages to sneak back into the USA and hastily marries his new girlfriend so she will not be deported - she lives in Mexico but is from El Salvador and risks being sent back there as she has had her ID stolen.]]
* An example of the Insurance Marriage variant was the Creator/AdamSandler film ''Film/INowPronounceYouChuckAndLarry'', where a pair of firemen (an irresponsible womanizing loon and a still somewhat morose widower) take advantage of a domestic partnership ruling to gain insurance for the latter's children.
* Used in ''Film/PaulBlartMallCop'' to explain the titular character's daughter's MissingMom: She had married Blart only for the green card and abandoned him and her daughter as soon as she was born.
* ''Film/HideInPlainSight'': A criminal marries the ex-wife of the protagonist because the court will be more leniant on a married man (and because she couldn't be compelled to testify). He later disappears into WitnessProtection, taking her (and the protagonists) children with him.
* ''Film/TheProposal'' features an [[DefrostingIceQueen icy female editor]] who "marries" her ''very'' [[ButtMonkey put-upon]], younger male assistant so she won't be deported to Canada. HilarityEnsues when they are forced to act as a couple in front of his family, who have been imploring him to leave her for some time.
* In ''Film/MurielsWedding'', where a South African swimmer needs an Australian wife to get a passport to enter the Olympics (at the time of the sporting boycott of South Africa). [[spoiler:He marries Muriel, who gets the dream wedding she wanted, but not exactly the marriage - but it's not a typical romantic comedy.]]
* ''Film/TheWeddingBanquet'': Wei-wei agrees to a marriage of convenience with Wai-tung because it's the only way she'll get a green card.
* In the Australian miniseries ''Film/MarkingTime'', the protagonist offers to marry his Afghan girlfriend when her family is deported on a technicality. Their lawyer advises them that that would make absolutely no difference.
* Nicole Kidman plays a Russian Mail-Order bride in ''{{Film/Birthday Girl}}'' who was presumably motivated by this. Things get more complicated.
* ''Ondine'': at the end, [[spoiler:Syracuse and Ondine marry so she can stay in Ireland, but they're basically in love anyway.]]
* The ending of Creator/MichaelMoore's documentary ''Film/{{Sicko}}'' combines the citizenship and insurance variations by imploring American viewers to marry Canadians in order to take advantage of their universal health care system, even setting up [[http://hookacanuck.com/ a spoof website]] (which seems to be undergoing {{Defictionalization}}) to the effect.
* In ''Film/{{Singles}}'', Linda Powell considers using this to keep her new Spanish boyfriend in the country. Averted when [[spoiler:it turns out he just uses the expired-visa story to keep from having to call his hookups after a week]].
* This is the backstory of the male lead in romantic comedy ''Film/TheRebound'', whose French wife leaves him after their marriage. He's too nice to divorce her as she would get deported.
* Occurs in ''Film/TheGuard'' with Aiden and Gabriella. [[spoiler: He's gay, and she married him for the visa]].
* Apparently the motivation of British bartender Monte in ''Film/TheLinguiniIncident''. He needs someone to marry him so he can get a Green Card.
* In ''Film/IceHouse'' (1989), one character, a Greek immigrant, needs to marry Kay to become a permanent resident. Things get complicated when an old boyfriend also wants to marry Kay.
* In ''Film/{{Legalization}}'' (2006), the Liberian couple Jusu and Lorpu must find a husband for Lorpu so they can remain in the U.S. Things become difficult for the couple when the new man develops feelings for Lorpu.
* Subverted in the film ''Film/LikeCrazy'' (2011). The main characters Jacob and Anna are actually romantically involved with each other, but Anna overstays her student visa and is banned from entering the U.S. [[spoiler: She and Jacob get married in an attempt to get the ban lifted, but they still have to wait six months to see each other, and when the ban ''is'' finally lifted both Anna and Jacob have started seeing other people.]]
* Background plot to the Czech dramedy ''Film/{{Kolya}}'' (1995), [[UsefulNotes/HoleInFlag set in the final year of communist Czechoslovakia]]. A curmudgeonly old loner who works as a freelance viola player for a living, agrees to marry a young Russian gal just so she could get temporary Czech citizenship and more easily emigrate to Western Europe later on. (In return, the old bachelor can buy himself a Trabant.) Within barely a few weeks, the mock-bride runs off abroad, but has to leave her eponymous 5 year old son Kolya in the care of her fake Czech husband. HilarityEnsues.
* In ''Film/{{Shadowlands}}'', ConfirmedBachelor Creator/CSLewis agrees to marry Joy in a civil ceremony so she can stay in England, as a personal favor. He eventually falls in love with her, and they have an actual wedding.
* ''Film/HoldBackTheDawn'' (1941), in which a European gigolo romances a gullible American schoolteacher in order to gain entry into the United States. ''Film/ComeLiveWithMe'', made the same year, in which a Viennese refugee asks an American writer to marry her so she can stay in the United States.
* This trope dates at least as far back as 1928 and ''Film/TheMatingCall''. Les, who is in need of a wife, just strolls right into Ellis Island and picks Catherine, a lovely refugee who is having trouble getting past border patrol. He marries her right there in the building and takes her home.

* Averted in Nadine Gordimer's ''The Pickup''. Julie asks if marrying her boyfriend, an illegal immigrant who goes by the name of Abdu, would help him stay in her country, and is told that it will not because the officials will recognize the ulterior motive behind such a marriage. Later inverted when Julie insists on going with Abdu to his home country and he relents with the condition that they marry so that he can present her to his family as a proper wife, not a freeloader.
* Played with in the Creator/AgathaChristie short story ''Witness for the prosecution'' (later adapted into both a play and a movie). A man is accused of murder. His wife claims that she doesn't love him, she never did, and she has no qualms about becoming the [[TitleDrop titular witness]]. It then gets [[TwistEnding twisted around at least twice before the end]].
* Though for legal protection rather than immigration issues, this trope happens in ''Literature/{{Outlander}}'' between the main couple. [[spoiler:Briefly again, later, too. Claire needs to be a British citizen again or somesuch, and Jamie is believed dead, so she marries Lord John. (Briefly.)]]
* In the ''Literature/StarTrekVanguard'' novel ''Precipice'', [[spoiler: T'Prynne marries Pennington so her assumed identity can have Earth citizenship and freely leave Vulcan before the authorities realise who she is.]]
* In ''Literature/ShanghaiGirls'', sisters Pearl and May plan to move to Hong Kong after all of their money is lost in a bet, instead of marrying their husbands who have moved to America. However, extenuating circumstances lead to Pearl and May going to America instead so they can live with their husbands and become citizens.
* In ''Literature/CaptainVorpatrilsAlliance'', Ivan Vorpatril marries a MafiaPrincess from a clan destroyed in a MobWar to keep her from being arrested by local immigration authorities, which might have betrayed her location to the rival clan. Bonus points are given for the ceremony[[note]]spoken wedding oaths in front of two witnesses are legally binding on Barrayar[[/note]] taking place ''as the authorities are breaking down the barricaded door to Ivan's apartment''.
* A plot point in ''Literature/GloryInTheThunder''. Vahagn schemes to marry Barsamin to Princess Katarosi because in four years Bars will gain citizenship, at which point he can assassinate Katarosi and gain complete control of the country.
* Jack (native Australian) and Juliet (immigrant to Australia from Canada) in the ''Literature/{{Newsflesh}}'' novella ''How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea''. This is apparently a common practice in their world, since Australians are noted for their survival skills and a rather more level-headed approach to zombie-outbreak safety than in most of the world. Another Aussie character, Hotaru (apparently with some Japanese ancestry) comments that it's common for people to assume she's looking for a native to marry, until they hear her speak, when she's then asked if she's in the market for a spouse. (She isn't, since she already has a husband and a wife.)
* The ''Literature/NantucketTrilogy'' makes use of this trope a few times:
** In the first book, Marian Alston marries Swindapa so that Swindapa can legally participate in Nantucket's civic life. This turns out to have benefits, as it also gives Alston citizenship among the Fiernan.
** William Walker makes a point of taking a wife from the Iraiina in order to cement his ties to the community in advance of taking it over to create his empire.
** In the second book, the Republic of Nantucket reluctantly agrees to allow Kat Hollard to marry King Kashtiliash in order to cement an alliance with Babylon.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/PrisonBreak'': [[http://prisonbreak.wikia.com/wiki/Nika_Volek Nika Volek]] marries Michael to get her green card. This example is more realistic than other instances since Michael could have easily found a loophole in the law. If Michael could find the human traffickers who brought her into UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates and break out of prison; then fooling the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_and_Naturalization_Service INS]] would be easy.
* ''Series/DearJohn'': Ralph's Polish ex-wife married him for citizenship.
* Javier on ''{{Series/Felicity}}''.
* Emma on ''Series/DawsonsCreek''.
* Diego on ''Series/{{Jesse}}'' (such plotlines ended both seasons of the latter sitcom).
* Antonio married Helen on ''Series/{{Wings}}''. [[spoiler:They were later able to get an annulment when he became a citizen by other means.]]
* Fez on ''Series/That70sShow'', which treated it pretty realistically. After a last minute marriage with the ReallyGetsAround Laurie, who did it just for fun, a government agent comes in to interview the two and the Foremans to determine if the marriage is legit or not. Even once the agent determines it to be legit, Fez still later has to take a test to finally become an American citizen.
* Rosario on ''Series/WillAndGrace'' (who goes one step further in the usual "fake marriage" department by marrying an openly gay man). They also had Grace marry one of Will's boyfriends for a green card, but they wind up annulled when it turns out the boyfriend is a jackass.
* This was the entire premise of ''Series/IMarriedDora''. The series lasted 13 episodes.
* Randy and Catalina on ''Series/MyNameIsEarl''. In a common twist, Randy is deeply in love with Catalina, but this is subverted when they consummate the marriage - Catalina does her best to make herself as unappealing as possible so as to make Randy fall out of love with her. It works, but she discovers too late that Randy is a very sensitive lover, and the episode ends with s[[UnrequitedLoveSwitcheroo their roles reversed.]] Unfortunately, this is then never mentioned again.
* ''Series/TheDrewCareyShow'' has Drew marry his boss, Mr. Wick, and they pretend to be gay lovers and get a domestic partnership in Vermont to prevent him from being deported back to England, and so that Drew got his job back.[[note]]In real life gay couples could not get citizenship for their partners due to the Defense of Marriage Act until it was overturned in 2013, much less when the episode aired, making this a large case of ArtisticLicenseLaw.[[/note]]
* The entire premise of the shortlived DomCom ''Series/{{Billy}}'' (which was actually a spin-off from ''Series/HeadOfTheClass'').
* A ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' sketch hilariously parodied this concept, with a couple attending marriage counseling only to find that the Eastern European wife has no interest in anything but getting the husband to sign papers proving she's legally married to him.
* In the ''Series/MamasFamily'' episode "Alien Marriage," Vinton, as a favor to his friend Claude, agrees to marry a Portuguese girl named Zenada to help her obtain a green card, but is talked out of it by Mama.
* The UK soap opera ''Series/{{Hollyoaks}}'' featured a storyline in which a character was forced to marry an illegal immigrant so he could stay in the country.
* Subverted in ''Series/TheDailyShow'', where John Oliver (British) and Jason Jones (Canadian, and real-life married to another Canadian who is ''also'' a ''Daily Show'' correspondent) try this after gay marriage became legal in California, and then find out that ''neither'' is a U.S. citizen.
* In ''Series/TheWayansBros'', Shawn marries an attractive African woman so she can get citizenship. The twist is that they have to convince the immigration official that they're actually in love, which they do by bickering LikeAnOldMarriedCouple. HilarityEnsues.
* [[NiceGuy Ben]] got into one of these on ''Series/{{Reaper}}''. In order to maintain the facade, his British wife refuses to allow him to date the woman he eventually falls for, even as the wife freely dates (and gets pregnant). This fails, she goes on the lam with money she said was for a lawyer, and he gets sentenced to 30 days jail time.
* Christine and her Bermuda-born friend and business partner Barb enter a ''Lesbian'' CitizenshipMarriage on ''Series/TheNewAdventuresOfOldChristine.''
* Jeremy and Nancy on ''Series/PeepShow''. Jeremy initially wants to take the marriage seriously, but Nancy isn't having any of it. In a later episode she is shown having forgotten that they ever got married at all.
* On the UK ''Series/QueerAsFolk'', one of the lesbian characters marries a (somewhat unpleasant) male friend so he can stay in the country, much to the displeasure of her girlfriend. In the end, the girlfriend conspires with Stuart and Nathan to send certain letters proving the bride is gay to the immigration authorities and get the man deported.
* In ''Series/{{Friends}}'', Phoebe married an ice-dancer so he could stay in the country. Leading to a hilariously twisted ComingOutStory when he admitted he ''wasn't'' gay.
* Nick and Rachel on ''Series/{{Shortland Street}}'' are an example of the insurance variation of this trope, though it was student allowances rather than insurance that was the incentive for them to get married. While both were New Zealand citizens, they married so that they could defraud the government into giving them a student allowance. Ironically while they did not fall in love or even consumate the marriage (though they did come close when Rachel suffered a bout of EasyAmnesia), they remained legally married onscreen for four years, longer than any other marriage has lasted on the show to date (that is, not counting other married couples who were PutOnABus).
** TruthInTelevision: At the time of the wedding (1995), many New Zealand students were getting married to defraud the government into giving them a student allowance. Being married exempted students from having their parents' income means-tested - if your parents earned over a certain amount, your student allowance amount was cut.
* Latka got one of these in the first season of ''Series/{{Taxi}}''. Later he had to get divorced from his prostitute "wife" in order to marry Simka.
* Phil Mitchell in the UK soap ''Series/{{Eastenders}}'' once married a woman so she could get citizenship. Naturally, this being ''Eastenders'', complications arose when he needed to get a divorce to marry someone else.
* Pam goes through one of these on ''Series/{{Martin}}'' to Martin's landlord Luis for five thousand dollars. [[spoiler:Naturally it gets annulled and she isn't paid. Turns out the groom didn't need to get married he was born in the U.S. and didn't know it]]
* Rae's mum marries Karim, her live-in lover, so that he doesn't get deported.
* ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'' made a recurring story arc out of this trope. Early in the series, we're introduced to Tom's wife Wendy, a rich, attractive surgeon. Despite landing a wife who seems incredibly out of his league, Tom continues to make attempts at picking up women. Tom says it's because they have an open marriage, but soon it turns out that they don't love each other and it's actually a green card marriage because she's from Canada. Only once they divorce does Tom realize he really loved her after all.
* A favorite trope of {{Soap Opera}}s. Almost inevitably, the twist is that one member of the couple is usually madly in love with their new spouse. . .who is equally in love with ''someone else''. Complications typically ensue as the couple tries to maintain the facade in front of the INS and as the "in-love" spouse turns into a FootDraggingDivorcee, especially as the green card is processed and the marriage is no longer necessary for the person to stay in the US:
** ''Series/AllMyChildren'': Brian marries An Li so that she won't be sent back to China. The fact that she was a student who could have gotten a visa, as well as employed by people who could have sponsored her somehow escaped both of their notice. But possible not An Li's, as she was of course, madly in love with Brian and hoping that he would reciprocate, even trying to pull TheBabyTrap in order to hang onto him.
** ''Series/AsTheWorldTurns'': Katie married Simon so that he could stay in the country to be close to Lily, who he had fallen in love with, but unusually, Katie and Simon eventually fell in love. A few years later, Noah married Ameera, a girl from Afghanistan, whose family his father Colonel Mayer was trying to help. This ends up failing and the girl gets arrested.
** ''Series/TheBoldAndTheBeautiful'' might be the only example where the couple in question was genuinely in love with each other and had to convince the INS that their FourthDateMarriage wasn't an example of this trope.
** ''Series/DaysOfOurLives'' several times.
** A bizarre version on ''Series/GeneralHospital'', when the British Holly feared she would be deported and the ''Australian'' Robert offered to marry her. How this would have helped her stay in the United States is never explained.
** ''Series/PortCharles'' paired this with HonorRelatedAbuse when a man married a woman to prevent her from being deported back to the Middle Eastern country that she fled after being raped, knowing that her family would seek to kill her to restore their reputation.
* In the ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'' episode "A Dick On One Knee", Sally is set to marry a French man, though Sally doesn't realize he is only marrying her so he can legally stay in the country. When Sally finds out that he's an illegal alien, she says that the plan can't work because SHE'S an alien too (as in, an alien from outer space, but she doesn't clarify that point).
* In an episode of ''Series/{{The Nanny}}'', Fran gets engaged to a sleezy French guy who was hired to be Brighton's tutor. However, it is later revealed that he was only using Fran to get a green card to stay in the US and almost made a pass at C.C., causing Fran to dump him.
* One of these was a major plot point in the 4th season of ''Series/BigLove''. [[ManicPixieDreamGirl Manic Pixie Dream Wife]] Margene had one with hunky Serb Goran, ostensibly so that he could remain in the US with his real girlfriend Ana. Ana was pregnant with Margene's polygamist husband Bill's baby. While Margene swore up and down she was only doing it for Bill and the baby, it was also an elaborate {{plan}} to let Margene keep her home shopping business by distancing herself from the polygamous marriage Bill was planning to out to the world at the conclusion of his Utah State Senate campaign. (Margene is not legally married to Bill, being his third wife, and is presented to the world at large as a successful single mom, thus she would have the most to lose by such an outing). It didn't help that [[spoiler:Margene and Goran actually developed crushes on each other, and Ana basically invited Marg into an egalitarian polyamorous relationship]]. And [[spoiler:Bill won and outed the family, with Margene and the other wives at his side. So now she could be facing immigration fraud charges.]] ItsComplicated.
* This is how Mac and Quon Le's marriage got started on ''Series/NightCourt''. Mac only meant it as a quick stopgap to keep Quon Le from being exported until her paperwork could go through, but when he realized that a) she hadn't understood that and b) she was in love with him, he suggested that they should get to know each other better and see how things progressed from there. It soon turned into a solid relationship.
* ''Series/{{House}}'' does this in season 7 with an eastern European woman as part of his downward spiral caused by [[spoiler:Cuddy breaking up with him]]. The woman seems to actually like him, however he lost interest in her and she left after the wedding. She came back when immigration came looking for her, and because of his newly-acquired criminal record, House had to play along instead of throwing her under the bus (and admit his original complicity). The "couple" seek help from serial monogamist Wilson, who disapproves but hates the idea of House going to jail even more. It almost works, but Wilson goes overboard, tries to impersonate a neighbor to give a sterling reference, and is caught. The two are forced to cohabit for real under the threat of deportation for her and prison for him. House kinda sorta falls in love with her, or at least appreciates the domestic services she provides enough that when the notice comes that her permanent residency has been approved he throws it away before she can see it. [[spoiler: She discovers this eventually. She's not pleased, and while the show had been teasing that she might be having some feelings for him too, this pretty much ends the relationship.]]
* ''Series/CoronationStreet'' has Tina [=McIntyre=] arranging for her boyfriend Graeme Proctor to marry her friend Xin Chiang so that Xin doesn't get deported to China, which leads Xin and Tina having to pretend to hate one another to keep up the charade that Xin stole Graeme from Tina.
* During the ''Series/DropTheDeadDonkey'' season 3 storyline involving a straight version of the trope (when George met Anna, a Polish immigrant who his colleagues went to extraordinary lengths to unmask) the trope was also inverted when Joy confessed to being asked by a Bolivian dissident to marry him. Joy being Joy, she was disgusted when it turned out to be a straight offer of love and romance.
* In series two of ''Series/{{Psychoville}}'', FagHag Hattie is asked to do this so that her gay friend's boyfriend can remain in the country after his student visa expires.
* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit''
** A subplot of an episode in which the victim of the week was a Tibetan immigrant. The detectives suspect her husband, as he's vague about his alibi and when credit card records indicate that she had lunch with another man the day she was killed, they suspect her presumed lover as well. As it turns out, the detectives are wrong on all counts. The man was the ''husband's'' lover--the marriage was a sham in order to help her escape the horrific circumstances in her country. He'd lied about his whereabouts to cover up the fraud.
** Another episode about the murder of an Eastern European mail-order bride implied that while most matches and marriages were good, some women often stayed in bad relationships, knowing that a divorce meant that they would be sent back to poverty-stricken conditions in their native country.
* ''{{Series/Dinosaurs}}'': The government goes after four-leggers, saying they're taking two-legger jobs, and makes all four-leggers move back to their side of the swamp unless they're married to a two-legger. Monica (a Brontosaurus) gets married to Roy (a T-Rex type) in order to not have to move away.
* Referenced during an episode of ''Series/GoodnessGraciousMe'' in a song called "Immigration", where a British Pakistani woman who has just married her Pakistani-born boyfriend has to convince the authorities that they did not get married solely so he can have citizenship.
* The first season finale of ''Series/GimmeGimmeGimme'' revolved around this: Tom married a lesbian friend so she could stay in England with her lover.
* On ''Series/{{Scorpion}}'', it turns out that Happy's mystery husband is [[spoiler: Walter]], whose visa expired and was going to be deported.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'': Luthorcorp had a female scientist using this to come to America.
* On ''Series/{{Shameless}}'' (US) Jimmy ends up married to Estefania because her South American drug lord father wants her to become a US citizen and makes Jimmy AnOfferYouCantRefuse. Jimmy is handsome and from an affluent family and Estafania is smoking hot so most people would not see anything suspicious about them getting married. However, they both happen to be in love with other people so upon arriving in the US they go their separate ways. Estefania lives in luxury with her boyfriend and Jimmy moves in with Fiona. When he finds out, Estefania's father is not happy because this arrangement is bound to arouse suspicions from immigration. To correct the situation he has Estefania's boyfriend killed and threatens to do the same to Jimmy if he fails to convince people that he and Estafania are really married.
* ''Series/GreysAnatomy'' has the insurance variation in which Teddy marries Henry, who is ill and needs multiple surgeries, so that he will be able to get treated. He quickly falls for her, but she isn't interested at first. They eventually start a real relationship before he [[MauveShirt dies]] in surgery.
* Happens in an episode of ''Series/{{Flodder}}'', where Johnny is hired by a pimp to marry a foreign woman, so she could get a Dutch citizenship and get to work in his (illegal) brothel. The woman unfortunately did not understand the marriage was supposed to be temporary and tried to come and live with the Flodders, much to the pimps chagrin.
* A memorable plotline from ''Series/TwentyOneJumpStreet'' had Doug Penhall marry an El Salvadoran refugee to allow her to stay in the country. The two had genuinely fallen in love, but the judge still declared their marriage void and had her deported. Doug later learned that she had been killed by an El Salvadoran death squad.
* In season 2 of ''Series/MelrosePlace'', Matt marries a Russian woman named Katya so she can stay in the United States with her young daughter. However, she later decides to move back to Russia to be with family.
* Jamie Reagan's plot in the ''Series/BlueBloods'' episode "Exiles" has him and his partner encounter a Russian-American girl trying to overcome a ParentalMarriageVeto from her father so she can marry her Syrian boyfriend. At the end of the episode it turns out to be this trope: the boyfriend is actually gay and his life would be in danger if he returns home after his student visa expires (pictures of him partying with other men turned up on Facebook), so he's marrying his platonic friend to get around ICE. ([[FridgeLogic No explanation is given for why he didn't try applying for refugee status]]: besides his being gay, the Syrian Civil War was well underway at the episode's air date.)
* One episode of ''Series/{{Elementary}}'' has two of the suspects be one of the college professor victim's graduate students and the woman who was publicly his wife but was really his illegally imported SexSlave. The two of them had met and fallen in love, so unusually for this trope the citizenship marriage between them is a love match.
* ''Series/OneBigHappy'' begins with one of these between Luke and Prudence, though they've also got LoveAtFirstSight so it's not an issue. What ''is'' an issue is when they find out that their Vegas marriage was never actually legal and they only have a few days to get married for real or else Prudence will get deported. In the season finale, [[spoiler: Luke can't get to the ceremony in time, so his lesbian best friend Lizzy marries her for him]].
* Played with on ''Series/TwoBrokeGirls'' when Oleg loses his papers and is afraid Sophie thinks he only wants to marry her for his green card. HilarityEnsues.
* Narrowly averted on ''Series/{{MASH}}'': A GI who is going home wants to bring a South Korean girl home with him, ostensibly to be his wife but it's pretty clear that she's being sent to become a prostitute; her pimp is even paying the GI to marry her. Fortunately (or unfortunately, for the pimp) the doctors discover that she has TB and is therefore barred from entering the US.
* In ''Series/{{Baskets}}'' Frenchwoman Penelope explicitly agrees to marry the titular character just for the green card [[spoiler:and to escape from her famous father's background and expectations]] while telling him that she does not love him, going on to live separately and to her mother-in-law's surprise, keeping her maiden name. Just to prove it further she even hooks up with a FarmBoy in a later episode.
* ''Series/NoTomorrow'': Kareem's brother Rohan and his fiancee Sofia turn out to be engaged for this reason, though Rohan then reveals to Kareema that he's fallen in love with her. This makes it awkward as Kareema's fallen for Sofia (and slept with her) as well.
* The reality show ''90 Day Fiance'' deals with this often, being about people marrying foreigners. Usually there are some couples that are very obviously this trope, with attractive men/women marrying less-attractive or significantly older people.
* In the future presented in ''Series/TerraNova'', there are apparently "lottery marriages", where single men who are lucky enough to win a ticket to one of the Pilgrimages are offered marriage by single women who are desperate to get a ticket for themselves.

* The subject of Music/GogolBordello's "Greencard Husband". Eugene Hutz and his family are Ukrainian and his family fled to the US after the Chernobyl disaster, and were given US Citizenship as refugees. Eugene became for all intents and purposes an American. In Greencard Husband he creates a bizarre situation. Due to not being able to make any money for some reason, he marries a Chinese lesbian purely because she'll pay him anything to get citizenship. She becomes his $10 grand' wife, but brings six fellow Lesbians with her. He only lives in a half bedroom apartment and cannot afford anything more. The cops are completely aware it's a sham marriage, and are watching the two. To avoid that becoming obvious, Eugene and his Chinese wife cannot split up.
* In Music/BelleAndSebastian's song, "The State I Am In":
->I got married in a rush to save a kid from being deported\\
Now she's in love

* In ''Theatre/MarginForError'', Denny promises to marry Sophie so she won't be extradited to Germany for murdering her husband.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', if Hawke pursues a relationship with Merrill, she earns permission from the Kirkwall authorities to move out of the alienage.

* In ''Webcomic/GaiGin'', when Gin is [[spoiler:about to be deported from Japan,]] she brings this trope up. The officer laughs...until he realizes that she's serious.
* In ''Webcomic/CheapThrills'' [[{{Jerkass}} Gladys]] [[http://cheapthrills.xepher.net/comics/comic131.html bluntly suggests]] that Jeordie's parents did this since his father met his mother while he was an exchanges student. It's never confirmed either way if this was actually the case, though they do truly love each other.
* In ''Webcomic/{{PHD}}'', Tajel marries Khumalo partly in order to finally resolve her visa issues. They do love each other, but Tajel is a GranolaGirl who doesn't belief in marriage.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''WebVideo/TheGayAndWondrousLifeOfCalebGallo'', Caleb proposes to his boyfriend Benicio in order to keep him from getting deported.

* The ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife'' episode "Kiss Me, I'm Foreign" had Filburt [[DisguisedInDrag pretend he was a woman]] so he could keep Rocko from being deported by pretending they were getting married. Of course, Fil ended up getting a little too into his role...
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Homer tries to convince Selma to marry Apu but fails, leading them to look into other ways to keep him in the country.
-->'''Selma:''' Listen, my name is already Selma Bouvier-Terwilliger-Hutz-[=McClure=]. That's long enough without Nahasapema--whatever! From now on I'm only getting married for love--and maybe once more for money.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheCritic'':
-->'''Mexican woman:''' Stop! You promised to marry me!\\
'''Jay:''' All right, but I've got to tell you, I'm only marrying you to get to Cuba.\\
'''Mexican woman:''' Well I am only marrying you for citizenship!\\
'''Jay:''' ''(Starts crying)'' This is the most honest, caring relationship I've ever been in.
** From the second episode, when two foreign cab drivers crash into each other.
-->'''Male Cab Driver:''' What do you think you're doing!?
-->'''Female Cab Driver:''' It's called "driving", you pig-eyed smell-stick!
-->'''Male Cab Driver:''' [[LoveAtFirstSight My god...you're stunning!]]
-->'''Female Cab Driver:''' Marry me, and make me a citizen!
-->'''Male Cab Driver:''' Uuuh, we have a problem here...
* In the ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'' episode "Foxxy vs. the Board of Education", Spanky Ham gay married Xandir in order to obtain free health insurance.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/ProducingParker'', Parker agrees to marry her boss so he can stay in the country. In the end, it turns out the boss was already a citizen.
* Parodied in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' Peter is facing deportation ([[ItMakesSenseInContext he was technically born in Mexico]]) and the citizenship officer asks him questions about Lois to make sure it's not one of these... he winds up failing because he's such a bad husband he doesn't know the right answer to ''any'' of her questions. [[YouFailLawForever The fact Peter's mother is American, thus making him one by birth, was never brought up as a way to keep him from deportation]].
* A variation occurred in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheJetsons'' where a new robot law required Mac to marry Rosie to gain a legal permit and avoid being melted down.

* Creator/DrewBarrymore's weeklong marriage to Welsh bartender Jeremy Thomas was mostly a sham so he could become a citizen. Apparently, they remain friends.
* One step in the Standard Practice for the [=US=]: any couple trying to invoke the marriage angle for keeping the non-citizen in the country is a marriage interview; the couple is (separately) asked questions that genuinely married couples would be able to answer, as well as some trick questions that tend to indicate a suspicious level of ''over''-preparedness. If DHS decides the marriage is a sham, the foreigner is deported and the US citizen faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $100,000 fine. This may explain why this trope only seems to work in [[SitCom sitcoms.]]
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mail-order_bride Mail-order brides]]
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Marriage_Broker_Regulation_Act IMBRA]]
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permanent_residence_(United_States) Green card]]
** [[http://www.websnark.com/archives/2008/04/i_know_the_thou.html Eric and Wednesday Burns-White's experiences with the visa interview.]]
* Creator/CSLewis and Joy Gresham: Interesting in that it's an example from real life of the MarriageBeforeRomance variety. Gresham's death from cancer two years after the "proper" marriage they had to cement their feelings had a deep effect on Lewis, leading him to write ''A Grief Observed''. He raised her two sons as his own until his death three years later.
* Creator/WilliamSBurroughs' first marriage, to Ilse Klapper, was officiated in Croatia solely to help her escape from UsefulNotes/NaziGermany - the two were never romantically involved, and eventually divorced after she managed to gain citizenship, but remained friends afterwards.
* Creator/WHAuden (who was gay) married Erika Mann, a German Jewish lesbian, in the 1930s so she could get British citizenship and leave UsefulNotes/NaziGermany. They were friends, and remained technically married until she died, but obviously there was no romance involved.
* TruthInTelevision for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9I3q74VgRO4/ this Guyanese couple]] on The People's Court. The husband lived in America, but went back to Guyana for a funeral where he met his future wife. This woman took care of his elderly mother, and to repay her he married her to bring her to the U.S. He did love her, but bringing her to the States was the main reason for marrying her. This actually happens, though it's not extremely common due to the security measures.
* Terry [=McMillan=], author of ''Literature/HowStellaGotHerGrooveBack'', based the book on her own marriage to a [[LikesOlderWomen Jamaican stud]] [[MayDecemberRomance half her age]] that she met on vacation. However, a couple years after the release of the film adaptation, the couple divorced after she found out he was gay and only married her to get out of Jamaica, as the country is notoriously homophobic.
* A family was arrested in 2011 for [[http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/04/oc-family-members-accused-of-arranging-fake-marriages.html arranging fake marriages]] for illegal immigrants. They allegedly recruited homeless people and drug addicts to marry illegal immigrants in order to bring them to the country.
* Albert Goering, brother of high ranking Nazi Hermann Goering, who did almost everything in his power to sabotage the Nazis at every turn. His final act was a gesture of kindness to his housekeeper; he married her a week before he died, so she would be his widow and still receive his pension check.
* In 1958, Scottish folk musician Alex Campbell married US folk musician Peggy Seeger so she could stay in the UK with Ewan [=MacColl=], who was still married to his second wife at the time. Seeger and [=McColl=] finally got married in 1977.
* [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-29287504 According to the BBC]] sham gay weddings are now being used in this way in the UK.