7 Examples of Immigration Fraud

As an immigrant wanting to come to the United States for work or for travel, you may be willing to trust the alleged expertise of “professionals.” However, you should be aware of some of the most common ways that dishonest people take advantage of immigrants so you don’t become a victim yourself. Here are 7 examples of immigration fraud.

The Sale of Immigration Forms

There is no charge to download immigration forms for the United States. All immigration forms are offered free of charge. If someone wants to charge you money for a blank form, they are likely trying to defraud you. Go to the official U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) website to download your free forms. Make sure to follow the instructions on the USCIS website for filling out and filing your forms. Always fill out your forms truthfully.

Advice on Filling Out Forms From a Non-Government Website

Some non-government websites may offer advice about filling out your immigration forms. Often, they may claim that they are affiliated with USCIS. However, more often than not, this is not the case. This means that it’s really tough to know if the advice that they offer is correct or not. It’s best to visit the USCIS website and follow their instructions about how you should fill out and submit your immigration forms. You must be  honest about the information you put in your forms.

Promises to Expedite Immigration Forms

There are no agencies outside of the USCIS that can process your immigration paperwork. If you need information about the time it takes to process forms, its best to contact a qualified immigration lawyer.

“Guaranteed” Documents

No one can guarantee that you will get a green card, visa, employment authorization, or other immigration-related applications approved. To make such a claim is false and a sign that someone is running a scam. Beware of such grand and overarching guarantees and statements.

Visa Lottery Claims

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) offers around 50,000 “diversity visas” to encourage applicants from countries with low immigration rates. If you qualify for this visa, you are entered into a lottery. If anyone claims they can increase your odds of winning, this is fraud. Also, if you see any ads online or receive any emails in regards to bettering your chances at winning the immigration lottery, they are likely trying to scam you. Be wary of any emails from the “DOS.”

Don’t Sign Any Blank Documents

You should never sign any blank documents. When you sign a document, you are verifying the veracity of the information within it. If the form is blank when you sign it, you have no idea what information will be given under your name and signature. Anyone who asks you to sign blank immigration forms is likely trying to defraud you.

Legal Advice from Non-Lawyers

Unfortunately, some people offer legal advice for a fee. They promote themselves as if they are lawyers, but in reality, they are not. If someone in the U.S. refers to themselves as a “notarios publicos,” please note they are not an actual lawyer.

Get a Qualified Immigration Lawyer

The absolute best way to ensure that you’re not a victim of immigration fraud is to hire a qualified immigration lawyer like the legal team at Sánchez-Roig Law. If you have any questions about immigration paperwork or claims that someone else has made about being able to help you, give us a call at (305) 373-5385. We’re happy to answer any of your questions and ensure that you’re not being taken advantage of.