Tips to avoid scams to immigrants in the United States that can cause deportation
The United States immigration authorities have alerted to a series of frauds in the immigration process that can harm legal immigrants, risking deportation if they fall into the networks of scammers. They also affect foreigners seeking a visa.
These criminal and exploitation schemes include the Visa Lottery , telephone or electronic payments, re-registration in the TPS , notaries public, fraudulent websites and visa job offers, among other methods.
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DO NOT GO TO A NOTARY FOR LEGAL ADVICE
In the United States, notaries are not lawyers, as in many places in Latin America, and therefore are not authorized by the United States government to provide legal advice related to immigration.
They are also not licensed to represent an immigrant before government agencies such as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) or the Department of Justice’s Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) page offers a good database of professionals you can turn to.
DON’T PAY FOR BLANK FORMS ISSUED BY USCIS
All forms for immigration procedures are available on the Internet and are free to download. Yes, you have to pay the fees of the procedures once the form is presented with a petition for immigration benefit.
Internet pages offering forms on behalf of the government for a fee are fraudulent.
DON’T LOOK FOR IMMIGRATION INFORMATION ON UNOFFICIAL WEBSITES
The tricksters set up digital portals whose visual appearance is very similar to the websites of the United States government. But their sites are nothing more than hooks to scam.
To ensure that the source of the information is trustworthy, remember that the immigration agency’s website is USCIS.gov and that the addresses of the official sites of the federal government agencies and departments always end in .gov.
KEEP THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS WITH YOU
Do not leave your original documents in the hands of anyone , such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate or passport. Scammers could hold them and blackmail you until you pay them.
You can find the answers to your immigration questions
DO NOT SIGN FORMS BEFORE COMPLETING THEM
Do not stamp your signature on incomplete forms or sign forms that contain false information. Also, do not sign documents whose content you do not fully understand.
These tips could save your immigration case in the Trump era
KEEP COPIES OF DOCUMENTS
Make copies of all the forms you file with USCIS and all the notifications you receive from the government related to your application for an immigration benefit.
If you are a witness or victim of an immigration scam, you should report it to the FTC or to the Attorney General of your state of residence.
For more information on preventing immigration scams, visit this Federal Trade Commission guide .