Misrepresentation can occur during the visa application process, and it does not have to be intentional. Immigrants may experience misrepresentation from their attorneys, family members, other attorneys or even government agents. While it may be difficult to prove that fraud has occurred during an immigration case, it is possible for immigrants to receive relief by proving that they were misled or misrepresented by an attorney.
Here is what courses of action you may be able to take to fight misrepresentation in your immigration case.
What Is Misrepresentation in an Immigration Case?
Applicants are expected to be honest when they apply for a U.S. visa. If they misrepresent certain facts during the application process, they can face legal problems and even deportation when discovered later by immigration officials.
Misrepresentation during an immigration case is applicable to fraud or willful misrepresentation of material fact. For example, an immigrant applying for a visa may state the truth when they are filling out the application, but later on in their interview, they are asked a question relating to assets, criminal record or security clearance which they fail to disclose.
Immigration misrepresentation is a federal crime committed by individuals who knowingly deceive or lie about the facts of their case to gain an advantage in an immigration court. This can include making false statements about certain documents, events or activities. Immigration fraud usually leads to criminal prosecution.
If an immigrant is found to have misrepresented any facts or circumstances during the course of his or her immigration case, he or she will be barred from entering the U.S. for life. Fraud and willful misrepresentation of material fact are grounds for denaturalization and deportation, respectively.
The consequences faced by those who seek to become U.S. citizens through misrepresentation can be severe. Specifically, those who are employed or seeking to work in the U.S. generally face deportation and/or debarment from all employment for up to 10 years after being removed from the country and/or having a green card revoked.
“Extreme Hardship” Requirement
An immigrant who has been denied admission due to fraud or willful misrepresentation may still apply for a waiver with USCIS if they have extreme hardship.
The “extreme hardship” waiver under section 212(i)(1) allows for immigrants foregoing an extreme hardship to enter the United States, even if there was misrepresentation found in the immigration case.
To be eligible to apply for the I-601 fraud waiver, you must fit the following criteria:
- Applicants who are the spouse, son or daughter of a permanent resident or U.S. citizen who will suffer hardship if not admitted to the U.S.
- VAWA self-petitioners that will suffer extreme hardship unless admitted to the U.S.
- A VAWA self-petitioner whose U.S. citizen spouse, parent or child will suffer extreme hardship unless admitted to the U.S.
How Is “Extreme Hardship” Determined?
U.S. immigration law defines “extreme hardship” by several factors, including education, personal considerations, significant health conditions of the patient relative, financial considerations and family separation.
The Department of Homeland Security reviews each case and determines if the applicant qualifies under “extreme hardships” based on judicial review of their situation.
Applying for a Waiver for Fraud or Misrepresentation under Section 212(i)
If the applicant is not undergoing the removal process, they have the opportunity to file for Form 1-601 with USCIS. If the applicant is in the removal proceedings, they have the ability to apply for the section 212(i) waiver to prevent removal.
Additional waivers of inadmissibility include:
- Temporary Protected Status (TPS) applicants (section 244(c))
- Applicants for admission as refugees (section 207)
- Refugees and asylees applying for adjustment of status (section 209)
- Legalization applicants under section 245A
- Special Agricultural Workers under section 210
- Applicant for entry as a nonimmigrant (section 212(d)(3), with different rules for K, T, U, and V nonimmigrants)
Get in Touch With Professional Representation
When applying for U.S. citizenship or a green card, both parties in the immigration application process have to disclose their true and complete history of obtaining visas before entering the United States.
Immigrants who encounter misrepresentation during the immigration process should first consult with an attorney. Depending on the circumstances, they may be able to prevent their application from being denied due to misrepresentation.
Pride Immigration Law Firm provides a comprehensive legal solution to immigration misrepresentation. Any misrepresentation can lead to an immigrant losing the opportunity of receiving permanent residency or becoming a citizen. Reach out today for assistance with your immigration case.
Beeraj Patel, Esq.
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