White Collar Crime – Immigration Fraud
Although most people are aware of immigration fraud, they may not understand how it is committed. This article will give you information on immigration fraud and what it entails.
Immigration fraud can be broken down into two broad categories: immigration document fraud and immigration benefit fraud.
Immigration document fraud is defined as any immigration-related document forged, altered, improperly obtained, or counterfeited. Immigration benefit fraud is immigration-related benefits that are obtained by deception or misrepresentation of facts.
These two types of immigration fraud may have different consequences for those involved in them.
What is Immigration Fraud?
That’s a question that takes more time to answer than you might think. There are many types of immigration fraud and can include such acts lying on immigration documents to secure entry into the United States, entering a fraudulent marriage solely for immigration reasons, or fraudulently providing another person with invalid immigration services.
Typically, immigration fraud is when immigration applicants create a false immigration history, misrepresent facts about immigration eligibility, or lie in immigration applications. Note that immigration fraud can occur in many circumstances and have various motivations behind it.
For instance, many people lie about their criminal history on immigration records to get into the United States. Others commit marriage fraud, which is when someone enters a false marriage to gain legal status. Some others seek help on immigration applications from unqualified immigration services providers.
Immigration Services Fraud
Immigration services fraud is the act of unqualified people providing immigration services. It occurs when an individual hires an immigration service provider who is not qualified, such as an attorney or notary public, who then provides false documentation to immigration officials.
The immigration service providers may help someone obtain citizenship fraudulently by producing falsified documents like birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce records, or adoption records; making up false histories; or helping someone hide qualifying time spent in the United States.
Immigration officials may then use the fake documents to grant immigration status to individuals who would not otherwise qualify for immigration. This can result in delays and problems with immigration customs.
Marriage Fraud Immigration
In immigration law, marriage fraud immigration is defined as marriage to obtain immigration benefits such as work or to get a green card.
Marriage fraud immigration is very prevalent in the United States. It is an issue that immigration officials take seriously. Laws regarding marriage immigration were initially put into place to discourage circumventing immigration laws and procedures.
What Are the Penalties for Immigration Fraud?
Immigration fraud penalties are very harsh. If you are found guilty, immigration fraud can not only result in jail sentences but also deportation.
The penalty for immigration fraud varies depending on the immigration fraud case. Offenders with prior convictions for immigration-related crimes may be subject to a more severe punishment than first-time offenders.
Marriage Fraud Immigration Penalties
The penalties for marriage fraud immigration vary depending on the crime committed and whether one party was aware of the other’s intent to commit fraud.
If you are aware that you are committing immigration fraud, you may face severe consequences, including summary or felony convictions and imprisonment for up to five years, as well as a fine of up to $250,000.
Individuals can also be charged with visa fraud, harboring an alien, conspiracy, and making false statements along with immigration fraud. Additional prison sentences and penalties can apply to each of these charges.
Immigration Services Fraud Penalties
The penalties for immigration services fraud are severe. They include mandatory prison sentences of up to five years in addition to fines in the amount of $250,000.
Those who are found guilty of the crime can also be punished for related crimes, such as money laundering and document fraud.
One of the harshest penalties for immigration fraud is the charge of “Loss of Status.” Loss of status charges comes in two forms:
1. Unlawful Entry into the U.S: A person who enters the United States and then becomes inadmissible may be charged with immigration fraud if they were not eligible for immigration benefits when they entered the country.
2. Fraud and Misrepresentation: Any misrepresentation on immigration forms, such as a false claim to U.S. citizenship or lying about immigration benefits received in the past, can result in immigration fraud charges and deportation or removal from the United States if convicted of immigration fraud.
Have You Been Charged with Immigration Fraud?
Immigration fraud is a grave offense. If you are charged with an immigration-related crime, it is important to know your rights and the possible penalties that come with them.
The consequences of committing immigration fraud can be severe for immigrants and citizens alike. If you have been charged with immigration fraud, contact Zoukis Consulting Group immediately to receive professional advice and representation in court.
Published Feb 15, 2022 by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA | Last Updated by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA on Feb 15, 2022 at 12:53 pm