Immigration Fraud: What You Need to Know

As if immigration fears in the current political climate were not enough, individuals also have to worry about immigration fraud.

From being duped out of money to the risk of deportation, what you do not know can hurt you the most.

Perpetrators of immigration fraud prey on those most vulnerable – people facing complicated immigration policies and procedures.

It has never been more critical than now to speak with an experienced immigration attorney to get the proper legal advice.

Illegal immigration schemes and scams under current warnings include:

  • Request for Payments
  • Fraudulent Internet Websites
  • Visa Lottery
  • Public Notaries
  • Job Offers Including Visas
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Re-Registration

Request for Payments

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not call individuals or ask for payment by email. If you receive a request for fee payment for the processing of paperwork pertaining to immigration status, this is fraudulent activity.

A request for payment via PayPal or Western Union is immigration fraud as the USCIS does not accept those types of payments.

You can make legitimate payments on the MyUSCIS portal through your personal account with a valid credit card.

Fraudulent Internet Websites

The official USCIS.gov website is the place to turn for all forms you need related to immigration procedures. There is no fee or charge for these services. You can download all forms for free.

Websites that offer guidance or assistance in completing these forms for a fee commit a form of immigration fraud that often takes money from unsuspecting individuals.

Visa Lottery

The visa lottery is offered through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) that provides as many as 50,000 visas available for immigrants each year. Although most winners of the visa lottery reside outside the US, there are a smaller number of individuals who currently reside in the US. Those individuals typically have nonimmigrant or other status.

Visa lottery immigration fraud often takes the form of an email that announces winner’s names. The U.S. Department of State offers free registration for the lottery on their website, and never sends out email announcements or communications.

Public Notaries

In many Latin countries, notarios públicos (notary public) hold specific legal credentials. Individuals can go to these professionals for some forms of legal assistance. That is not the case in the US. Notary publics in the US are not immigration attorneys and cannot provide legal immigration services.

Do not pay money to a notary public for legal immigration help. Seek out the assistance of an immigration lawyer.

Job Offers Including Visas

A common form of immigration fraud is the offering of a job accompanied by a work visa. The targeted victim will be asked to pay a fee in return for the receipt of a work visa and a job in the US.

Those often targeted for this type of fraudulent action are students nearing graduation time from accredited US universities.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Re-Registration

Immigrants from the following countries have had their temporary protected status canceled by the current administration:

  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua

The loss of TPS has caused concern and uncertainty for individuals and families from these countries. The deadline for TPS re-registering has passed, so individuals need to be aware that there is nothing to pay for or submit at this time. Information on TPS can be found here.

Please contact Coral Springs attorneys Brodzki Jacobs & Brook with any questions at (954) 344-7737.