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* Terry [=McMillan=], author of ''Film/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 of 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.

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* Terry [=McMillan=], author of ''Film/HowStellaGotHerGrooveBack'', ''How Stella Got Her Groove Back'', based the book on her own marriage to a [[LikesOlderWomen Jamaican stud]] [[MayDecemberRomance half her age]] that she met on vacation. However, a couple of years after the release of the [[Film/HowStellaGotHerGrooveBack film adaptation, 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.


* 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 of 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.

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* Terry [=McMillan=], author of ''Literature/HowStellaGotHerGrooveBack'', ''Film/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 of 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.


** [[http://www.websnark.com/archives/2008/04/i_know_the_thou.html Eric and Wednesday Burns-White's experiences with the visa interview.]]

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** [[http://www.[[http://web.archive.org/web/20160618145442/http://www.websnark.com/archives/2008/04/i_know_the_thou.html Eric and Wednesday Burns-White's experiences with the visa interview.]]


* 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 airdate.)

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* Jamie Reagan's plot in the ''Series/BlueBloods'' episode "Exiles" has him and his partner encounter a Russian-American Polish-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 airdate.)


Shows operate on the assumption that once you've married a citizen, you're safe. In reality, becoming a permanent resident foreigner 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. [[note]] This usually also applies where children are concerned. Generally, children are considered to be citizens of whichever country they were born in, or might be considered citizens if their mother or father has legal citizenship. It does ''not'', however, grant citizenship status to the immigrant parent(s). The child(ren) may, when they reach adulthood, choose to help sponsor their immigrant parent(s) for citizenship if they haven't gotten it already, but it is not an obligation or a guarantee that the parent will become a citizen. [[/note]] 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.

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Shows operate on the assumption that once you've married a citizen, you're safe. In reality, becoming a permanent resident foreigner 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, 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. [[note]] This usually also applies where children are concerned. Generally, children are considered to be citizens of whichever country they were born in, in or might be considered citizens if their mother or father has legal citizenship. It does ''not'', however, grant citizenship status to the immigrant parent(s). The child(ren) may, when they reach adulthood, choose to help sponsor their immigrant parent(s) for citizenship if they haven't gotten it already, but it is not an obligation or a guarantee that the parent will become a citizen. [[/note]] In Canada it allows the Canadian member of the couple to sponsor the non-Canadian member for family-class immigration after the couple are is 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.it -- e.g. the myriad US--Vietnamese US -- Vietnamese marriages that arose from UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar and its aftermath.



* 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.]]

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* 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-- 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 In 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.]]



* ''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.

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* ''Film/HideInPlainSight'': A criminal marries the ex-wife of the protagonist because the court will be more leniant lenient 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.



* 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.

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* 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, 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, abroad but has to leave her eponymous 5 year old 5-year-old son Kolya in the care of her fake Czech husband. HilarityEnsues.



* 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.

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* Averted in Nadine Gordimer's ''The Pickup''. Julie asks if marrying her boyfriend, an illegal immigrant who goes by the name of Abdu, 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.



* 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.)]]

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* 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, somesuch and Jamie is believed dead, so she marries Lord John. (Briefly.)]]



* 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.)

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* 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, 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, isn't since she already has a husband and a wife.)



* 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.

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* Fez on ''Series/That70sShow'', which treated it pretty realistically. After a last minute 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.



* ''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]]

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* ''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 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]]



* 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.

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* 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 episode, she is shown having forgotten that they ever got married at all.



* 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).

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* 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 consummate 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).



* 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:

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* 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. . .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/{{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.]]

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* ''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 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, 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.]]



** 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.

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** 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.



* On ''Series/ShamelessUS'', 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.

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* On ''Series/ShamelessUS'', 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 Estefania 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 Estefania are really married.
* ''Series/GreysAnatomy'' has the insurance variation in which Teddy marries Henry, who is ill and needs multiple surgeries, 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 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.



* 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.
** In another episode Joan realises the guy she's currently seeing lied to her about being married. Sherlock does some digging and confirms the man has a still-valid marriage registered. When Joan confronts him the guy admits that he married a woman he met while volunteering for a charity so she wouldn't get deported back to her war-torn country. He stresses that they have no real relationship and are waiting until they can quietly divorce without risking her citizenship. Joan is impressed by his compassion but he dumps her when he learns how she found out about the marriage.

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* 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.airdate.)
* 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 trope, the citizenship marriage between them is a love match.
** In another episode episode, Joan realises the guy she's currently seeing lied to her about being married. Sherlock does some digging and confirms the man has a still-valid marriage registered. When Joan confronts him the guy admits that he married a woman he met while volunteering for a charity so she wouldn't get deported back to her war-torn country. He stresses that they have no real relationship and are waiting until they can quietly divorce without risking her citizenship. Joan is impressed by his compassion but he dumps her when he learns how she found out about the marriage.



* 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.

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* The reality show ''90 Day Fiance'' deals with this often, being about people marrying foreigners. Usually Usually, there are some couples that are very obviously this trope, with attractive men/women marrying less-attractive or significantly older people.



* Izzy Moreno from ''Series/MiamiVice'' claims it's a "tragic concidence" that he and his wife got divorced shortly after he got his green card.

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* Izzy Moreno from ''Series/MiamiVice'' claims it's a "tragic concidence" coincidence" that he and his wife got divorced shortly after he got his green card.



* 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.

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* 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 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, 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 ''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.

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* 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 believe in marriage.



* 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 [[https://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.

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* 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, friends and remained technically married until she died, died but obviously there was no romance involved.
* TruthInTelevision for [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9I3q74VgRO4/ this Guyanese couple]] on The People's Court. The husband lived in America, 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 of 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.


* 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.

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* ''Series/TheNanny'': In an episode of ''Series/{{The Nanny}}'', "Green Card", Fran gets engaged to a sleezy sleazy 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.

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* Hastuki Winters ''nee'' Asagawa is accused of this not long after her marriage in ''Moon Over June'', with the INS inspector outright dismissing her long-standing Green Card from her university professor position ("For all I know, you're about to be fired....") and demanding to see pictures of a wifely[=/=]non-platonic nature immediately. So Hats pulls out her smartphone... [[TooMuchInformation sending the Immigration Agent fleeing with a nervous "You pass," within moments]].


Shows operate on the assumption that once you've married a citizen, you're safe. In reality, becoming a permanent resident foreigner 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.

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Shows operate on the assumption that once you've married a citizen, you're safe. In reality, becoming a permanent resident foreigner 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. [[note]] This usually also applies where children are concerned. Generally, children are considered to be citizens of whichever country they were born in, or might be considered citizens if their mother or father has legal citizenship. It does ''not'', however, grant citizenship status to the immigrant parent(s). The child(ren) may, when they reach adulthood, choose to help sponsor their immigrant parent(s) for citizenship if they haven't gotten it already, but it is not an obligation or a guarantee that the parent will become a citizen. [[/note]] 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.


* 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.

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* On ''Series/{{Shameless}}'' (US) ''Series/ShamelessUS'', 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 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.


* 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]].

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* 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 [[ArtisticLicenseLaw 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]].


* 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.

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* In ''Series/{{Friends}}'', Phoebe married an a gay ice-dancer so he could stay in the country. Leading He shows to ask her for a hilariously twisted ComingOutStory when divorce so he admitted he ''wasn't'' gay.can get remarried for real to [[ComingStraightStory another woman.]]


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** In another episode Joan realises the guy she's currently seeing lied to her about being married. Sherlock does some digging and confirms the man has a still-valid marriage registered. When Joan confronts him the guy admits that he married a woman he met while volunteering for a charity so she wouldn't get deported back to her war-torn country. He stresses that they have no real relationship and are waiting until they can quietly divorce without risking her citizenship. Joan is impressed by his compassion but he dumps her when he learns how she found out about the marriage.


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* Subverted by ''Series/HowIMetYourMother''. When Robin learns her work visa is about to expire the gang frantically try to come up with ways to keep her in the USA and this is one the first things they think of. Barney, who's secretly in love with Robin, drops to one knee about to propose when Marshall [[RealityEnsues realises]] that there isn't enough time to process the paperwork on a marriage before the visa expires at the end of the week.


* 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.

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* In ''Film/{{Stromboli}}'': Karin marries Antonio so she can get out of the Australian miniseries ''Film/MarkingTime'', the protagonist offers to marry his Afghan girlfriend when her family is Displaced Persons camp and live in Italy. It doesn't work out, although it's probably still better than getting deported on a technicality. Their lawyer advises them that that would make absolutely no difference.to the Soviet Union where she'd probably go to the gulag.


May lead to MarriageBeforeRomance (in which case it is also a RomanticFakeRealTurn). Occasionally involves a MailOrderBride.

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May lead to MarriageBeforeRomance (in which case it is also a RomanticFakeRealTurn). Occasionally involves a MailOrderBride.MailOrderBride, who may or may not be a GoldDigger.

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* Izzy Moreno from ''Series/MiamiVice'' claims it's a "tragic concidence" that he and his wife got divorced shortly after he got his green card.


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.

to:

Shows operate on the assumption that once you've married a citizen, you're safe. In reality, becoming a permanent resident alien foreigner 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.

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