Annually, many individuals find out that they will be unable to obtain an immigration visa or green card because they have not received a misrepresentation or fraud waiver (also known as a I-601 – Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility). Unfortunately, these individuals do not learn that they need the waiver until they come before the consular office during their immigrant visa interview or during their adjustment of status interview. .
What is a Misrepresentation or Fraud Waiver?
If a person has been found to misrepresent or commit fraud in connection with the visa or green card application, they may be inadmissible. This means that they can’t receive an immigrant visa or green card through the adjustment of status process. You can learn more about this type of inadmissibility in the below section on the definition of “misrepresentation” and “fraud.”
Definition of Misrepresentation and Fraud
Both of these terms have very specific meanings in federal immigration law and it is not always easy to determine what counts as a misrepresentation or fraud. Because of the difficulty in classifying the terms, it is highly recommended that you speak with an immigration lawyer who can advise you if you fit the criteria for having knowingly or unknowingly committed misrepresentation or fraud.
Definition of Fraud
Fraud is a knowingly false misrepresentation of a material fact with intent to deceive. A material fact is a fact that, hidden, would result in a different decision.
Inadmissible for Past Misrepresentation
A misrepresentation is procuring a visa, green card or other immigrant benefit by willful misrepresentation of a material fact. Not every statement that is called a “misrepresentation” by an immigration officer will satisfy the legal requirements of a “willful misrepresentation” and “material fact”.
Penalties for Misrepresentation or Fraud
The penalty for misrepresentation or fraud can be permanent inadmissibility to the United States. Strong family ties or marriage to a United States citizen do not render this an exception. Checking with an immigration lawyer to find out if a past misrepresentation or fraud will be an issue in your immigration case is strongly recommended.
If you find that you are inadmissible due to misrepresentation or fraud, it would be in your best interest to check with an immigration lawyer to find out if you can challenge the finding. Although it can be difficult to challenge these findings, there are situations in which a legal basis exists for doing so. In some cases, you can challenge a finding of inadmissibility by showing that:
- There was no fraud or misrepresentation.
- That any fraud was not intentional.
- That any misrepresentation was not willful.
- That any fraud or misrepresentation was not material.
Making these challenges is a complex area of immigration law and it is best to work with an immigration lawyer if you plan to challenge a finding of inadmissibility based on fraud or willful misrepresentation.
Misrepresentation or Fraud Waiver Requirements
Depending on your case, you may be able to overcome a permanent inadmissibility due to a misrepresentation or fraud if you receive a misrepresentation waiver. To qualify for this type of waiver, you must show an “extreme hardship” to be separated from a United States citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent.
Proving “Extreme Hardship”
It can be very difficult to prove that you meet the extreme hardship standard. It isn’t enough to show that it would be emotionally upsetting if you are separated from your family. You also have to show that the hardship to your qualifying relative would be extreme compared to the hardship normally encountered in a family separation. Most people will benefit from the assistance of an immigration lawyer in preparing their waiver application.
Prepare for Your Misrepresentation or Fraud Waiver Application
Make sure that you understand the waiver application process and what it takes to win a waiver case before you begin your misrepresentation or fraud waiver application. For more information or to discuss your case. Call KPPB Law or contact us online. Our reliable team is ready to help you every step of the way.