How to Report Immigration Fraud

How to Report Immigration Fraud

Immigration fraud is a serious crime. Some commit immigration fraud when they promise to sell you a visa or fake job to get a work permit. It also occurs when someone exceeds the visa stay time, participates in a simulated marriage to obtain a residence permit, or hires undocumented workers illegally. You can report all forms of immigration fraud to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE of the United States.

Just In: Report Scam In Immigration

Identify the scam. A scam to the immigration service could take several forms. If you believe that you have been a victim of a scam, then you should document it as thoroughly as possible. Some common scams are: [1]

  • Someone posing as a lawyer. In the United States, notaries public are not attorneys. Instead, they witness the signing of documents. In Mexico, by contrast, “notarios” are powerful attorneys with special credentials. If a notary offers you legal services in the United States, then they are likely to scam you.
  • Someone asks you for a payment over the phone. In the United States, you do not have to pay charges over the phone. Instead, you can pay using a secure Internet connection or by using a check or money order.
  • They charge you for help when you apply for immigration. Some websites will claim that they will help you with the immigration process; however, instead, they will simply steal your money. The only person you should pay to get help with immigration is a qualified attorney.
  • They contact you by email indicating that you won the visa lottery. This is indeed a scam. The person who contacts you is likely to want you to send them money. The United States will never contact you by email to discuss the Visa Program.
  • They offer you a job but you must pay a fee.  If they promise you a job for money, it can be fraud.
  • You are objective as a student. Only accredited schools can sponsor you to go to the United States to study. If you pay money to a school that is not properly accredited, you may be a victim of a scam if they promised you would qualify for a visa.

If you have been a victim of fraud at the immigration services or if you see fraud, then you should report it to the FTC . You can contact the FTC by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP. [two]

  • If you received a message in your email as part of a fraud, you can forward it to the administrator’s email on the USCIS .

Report fraud to your state office. In addition to reporting fraud to the FTC , you must also report scams to immigration services at your state office. You can find a list of offices by checking the USCIS website , which has put together a list of useful links. [3]

  • Generally, your state Attorney General’s office is responsible for investigating fraudulent schemes of all kinds. This includes investigating fraud with immigration services.

Provide supporting documents. The FTC or state agency may ask you to provide any supporting documents that will help in the investigation. You must provide copies of the following:

  • Fraud related emails
  • fraud related letters
  • a description of the person who commits the fraud

Identify the violation. While there are many reasons to validly enter the United States, there are also common violations of immigration laws:

  • False marriages. Some United States citizens accept money or other favors to marry someone. Thus, the person you marry qualifies for a residence permit. This type of scheme is illegal. In some situations, the United States citizen may be innocent, but has been tricked by a foreigner into marrying. [4]
  • Illegal entry. Some people may cross the border or pass through a port of entry without permission. This is illegal entry and can be reported.
  • Exceed the residence time of the visa. Many people are in the country illegally for having exceeded the visa residence time. In other words, they had a legal reason to enter the country but did not leave when they were supposed to. Sometimes students and individuals in the United States for business purposes exceed the residence time shown on their visas. You can report that violation.

Find the phone number to call. If you want to report immigration violations, you can contact the Homeland Security Investigations Unit ( HSI ), which is part of ICE at 1-866-347-2423. [5] The federal government is responsible for investigating and punishing immigration violations.

Decide if you want to report anonymously. You can make a report anonymously and you should consider whether you want to do it. [6] For example, you should consider the following, which will have an impact on whether you report anonymously:

  • Are you afraid of the immigrant? If so, then you may want to remain anonymous.
  • Do you have additional useful information? If so, you may want to give your name so ICE can follow up with you.
  • Are you willing to testify in court? If so, then you should not report anonymously. Instead, you should give your name and contact information.

Report the violation. You must call the phone number and provide ICE with useful information so they can locate and arrest the illegal alien. You will be asked for the following information: [7]

  • names of illegal aliens
  • location of illegal aliens (including home and work address)
  • any other specific information you have


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