Immigration authorities are working hard to prevent immigrants from obtaining their green cards. Part of this effort is cracking down on schools and students that authorities think are committing fraud through the student visa program. Immigration authorities even set up a fake school to try to trap people with student visas. A school commits visa fraud by giving immigration documents (like I-20s) to students who never actually attend the school. Students commit visa fraud by getting a student visa but never planning to go to school or by saying they are attending school when they aren’t. If you came to the United States on a student visa, there are a few things you need to know before you apply for a green card.
Even If You Didn’t Commit Fraud, Be Prepared to Prove It
Even if you have not lied, your school may be suspected of giving false documents to students with visas. If your school is suspected of fraud, immigration authorities will look more closely at your case. Do a Google search of your school to try to find out if your school has been suspected of or charged with fraud. Be prepared for immigration authorities to question you about your school attendance. In this situation, you will need to show immigration authorities you actually went to school. The documents from the school won’t be enough since the immigration authorities think the school is lying. Try to have old exams, school projects, papers, or class syllabi to show that you attended the school.
If You Have Been Dishonest, Don’t Continue to Lie
If you were dishonest with immigration, don’t continue to be. Don’t try to cover up what you have said or done by continuing to be dishonest. This will only make the situation worse. Often, if immigration authorities are questioning you about something you have said or done, it is because they suspect or know you did it. If you have been dishonest, it is best to start figuring out what you can do to fix it instead of trying to cover it up. Hiring an experienced immigration attorney to help you figure out what your best options are is a great first step to fixing your problem.
Do You Need a 212(i) Waiver for Fraud?
If you have been dishonest to immigration authorities, the dishonesty could make you ineligible for a green card. You will need to find out if you can apply for a 212(i) waiver. If the waiver is approved, immigration will allow you to get a green card even though you were dishonest.
How Do You File a 212(i) Waiver?
The waiver is filed on USCIS Form I-601 and must include the appropriate fee. You must file the form, fee, and all your evidence proving the waiver at the appropriate USCIS location. To be able to apply for the waiver, you will need to show that you have a “qualifying relative” who will suffer “extreme hardship” if you cannot stay in the United States.
Do You Have A Qualifying Relative?
When applying for the waiver, the first thing you need to do is find out if you have a “qualifying relative.” For the 212(i) waiver, having a qualifying relative means your spouse or one of your parents is a U.S. citizen or green card holder.
Proving Extreme Hardship
If you have a qualifying relative, you will then need to show “extreme hardship” to the qualifying relative. Extreme hardship is different for every case. Examples of things that show extreme hardship are a statement from your qualifying relatives, medical records, financial documents, expert opinions, family ties, or country condition reports. For more information about proving “extreme hardship,” you can read our article about it here.
Get Help from an Experienced Immigration Lawyer
Being suspected of fraud is a serious matter. If your green card application is denied, the consequences can be severe. It is crucial to have quality representation to help you through a difficult process. Call our office at (213) 262-2000 or contact us online and let us help you help you come up with a plan to help you get your green card.