Consequences can be very serious for a person that is caught lying or committing fraud in order to obtain a visa or another immigration benefit. Is it possible to get out of the problem?

But what is lying according to immigration authorities?

In the context of immigration procedures, to lie is to say in spoken or written form something that does not correspond to the truth, in order to get an immigration benefit when this benefit would not have been granted had the truth been known.

A lie can be considered as proof of having a bad moral character, which is important because for some benefits it is a requirement to be considered a person with good morals.

What are examples of lies or actions that constitute immigration fraud?

Any of the following actions, among others:

  • Lies related to marital status (single, married, divorced, etc.)
  • Using a false name or a name that corresponds to another person.
  • Not announcing the exact number of children.
  • Denying to have relatives in the US or who are US citizens.
  • Presenting false documents regarding bank accounts, properties, etc.
  • Lying about work, studies, etc.
  • Lying about the time of stay outside the United States
  • Lying about tax payment
  • Lying about child support payment
  • Presenting academic degrees that are false.
  • False letters about work experience.
  • Telling an immigration officer at a border or airport that your intention is to temporarily visit the United States as a tourist when your objective is to marry a US citizen
  • To bribe –or attempt to- a consular officer to obtain visa approval.
  • To alter an authentic visa or forge it.
  • To enter the US with a tourist visa or without a visa (countries in the Visa Waiver Program) with the intention of working for a US company.
  • To enter the United States as a tourist with the intention of studying full time - more than 19 hours a week - at a university or academy.

What are the consequences of lying about immigration matters or for getting a visa?

The effects of lying or immigration fraud-inadmissibility, officially known as INA section 212 (a) (6) (C) (i) - are as follows:

  • The original problem you lied about is still there. It has not disappeared.
  • You have become inadmissible for committing a migratory fraud or visa fraud. This means that you will not be able to get a non-immigrant visa or an immigrant visa.
  • If you´re already in the United States, once the government learns that there is a problem of immigration fraud, they will initiate a procedure to deport you. In grave cases, they could even initiate a criminal process and send you to jail, for afterward deporting you.
  • From then on you will always have a problem of lack of credibility with any US government officer that deals with immigration issues (consular officers, customs officers, USCIS, CBP, judges of immigration courts, etc.)
  • Finally, if a migratory benefit has been obtained during a procedure in which you have lied, it will most probably be revoked.
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