A sham marriage or fake marriage is a marriage of convenience entered into purely for the purpose of gaining a benefit or other advantage arising from that status. While referred to as a "sham" or "fake" because of its motivation, the union itself is still legally valid if it conforms to the formal legal requirements for marriage in that country. Arranging or entering into such a marriage to deceive public officials is itself a separate violation of the law of some countries. In the United States, sham marriage for purposes of immigration fraud is a felony. After a period, a couple often divorces if the marriage is no longer useful.