Common Examples USCIS Immigration Fraud

(Last Updated On: March 26, 2024)

This offense includes intentional fraud on immigration documents. It involves the use of the altered document to support a visa application. Helping someone without a visa or right visa to stay in the U.S. Supporting visa with a false or misleading application. As well, provision of immigration services to fraudulently represent yourself. However, all types of claimed fraudulent activities come under the umbrella of Immigration Fraud. The involvement of multiple individuals, speaking different languages and from different countries often makes this offense complicated. This article covers all the types of fraud related to immigration, how to report and avoid scams, tips, and resources. Check out our new blog on Immigration Reform changes.


Common Types of Fraud

The Border Patrol collaborates with the National Bureau of Economic Research and institutions in the United Kingdom to analyze the fiscal impact related to common types of fraud in immigration, including bank fraud. This collaborative effort involves collecting feedback corrections through the Feedback Type system to refine economic and statistical analyses to address and mitigate fraudulent activities associated with immigration.

Immigration services fraud

There are many cases, where individuals become the victim of immigration fraud. They have to face all these problems without having any fault. The legal system of many countries is different from that of the U.S. Hence, Immigrant communities have to face many problems.

Services offered by notaries

Notaries or notary public are the individuals commissioned by the state in many parts of Latin America. They handle regular legal filing and signing of the documents. At the same time, notaries in the U.S. have completely different meanings. The notary public in the U.S. is not a legal professional like many other countries. However, Immigrants have to go to the notary to handle their documents. New immigrants mostly use their services because of the similarity of community, country, and languages. However, these services provide false hope and promise in return for thousand-dollar fees. In most cases, they provide no real service or relief.

The practice of law in the US

A notary in the United States can not provide you with any legal services related to immigration. Qualified and licensed attorneys can practice law. However, notaries illegally represent themselves as authorized persons for the immigration process. This is happening in many immigrant communities. As a result of false documentation by an unlicensed attorney, innocent individuals get scammed. They have to face deportation proceedings through alleged fraud.

Please do not rely on the services of these notaries who misrepresent themselves. Instead, seek the counsel of USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and immigration services). Report the fraud and make sure to protect your rights.

Marriage fraud

Many immigrants commit this marriage-related immigration fraud. They get involved in sham marriages. Hence, their purpose is to get lawful permanent residence status. USCIS is taking marriage fraud seriously into account. Instead, if government officials suspect any criminal violation, they charge any individuals involved.

Identity and immigration benefit fraud

These frauds involve using another personal security number and a fake identification card. It is done to get a job without legal status for employment. Moreover, these criminal activities include check fraud, identity card fraud, etc. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is working seriously on benefit, identity, and document fraud.

Common examples of USCIS immigration fraud

USCIS is the government agency that handles all immigration cases. It has been a victim of alleged fraud and scams. We have gathered some common examples here. Hence, it will help you identify common scams and how to find legal assistance.

The federal government, in collaboration with Harvard University Press and organizations such as the Migration Policy Institute and the Immigration Policy Center, closely examines the impact of immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border, including issues like payroll fraud, illegal immigration, and the presence of unauthorized immigrants. As part of their efforts, they assess National Origins, Permanent Resident Cards, and USCIS Immigration fraud examples, working with the Mexican government and Customs and Border Protection to address challenges related to unauthorized immigration along the border.

Scam websites

Several websites claim to be affiliated with USCIS. However, they will ask you to provide information and complete the USCIS application and petition, offering step-by-step guidance on completing it. The USCIS website address always ends with “.gov.” Hence, ensure that the affiliated website provides information from to avoid falling victim to financial fraud.

These websites have primarily reported USCIS immigration misuse. Never pay these websites to download USCIS forms. Because their forms are always free on the original website.

Businesses promising premium services

Some businesses guarantee green cards, visas, documents, or other processes. They try to prove that they are affiliates of USCIS and charge higher fees than USCIS would charge. However, this is one of the biggest USCIS scams. Sometimes, the false claim processes your application faster than the federal agency. Hence, you should be aware of these USCIS frauds.

Immigration scam in India

USCIS New Delhi field office emails claim that you have been approved for a visa to the U.S. They also request money for visa processing. Be aware that these emails are always scams. USCIS never sends emails regarding immigration benefits or visas.

Immigration scams in India often prey on vulnerable individuals seeking legal status, promising assistance with legal immigration procedures but often leading to false claims and false statements made in Immigration Court. These scams may involve offering illegal immigrants fake physical cards or providing fraudulent legal advice, resulting in legal and financial consequences such as tax return fraud or bank account details theft. Agricultural workers are particularly susceptible to such scams, as they may be targeted for corporate fraud schemes exploiting their legal status uncertainties. Victims of immigration scams may find their credit reports compromised and their financial statements manipulated, highlighting the need for awareness and vigilance against online fraud.

“Notarios Publicos”

As discussed earlier, unauthorized notaries are among the biggest immigration services scams.

Payments by phone or email

Many individuals have to face the consequences by paying through email or phone. USCIS never asks to pay through email or pay; they never tell you to transfer money to the individual. Hence, for immigration fees, they never accept payments through PayPal, Western Union, or other payment services.

Job offers

Many companies offer jobs through email. Don’t leave your country to come to the U.S. because these are mostly scams, especially if they ask you for any payments. You cannot work in the U.S. without an Employment authorization document.


Fraud penalties

Misusing documents, fraudulent visas, or permits is a crime under 18 U.S.C 1546. However, penalties for ignoring immigration laws include up to 5 years of prison. And in some cases, deportation from the country and a fine of $250,000.

How to avoid these frauds

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in collaboration with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, closely monitors the effects of immigration, particularly in international migration, focusing on Asian immigrants and common types of illegal immigration in North America. In addressing immigration status and the presence of immigrants, both agencies work towards Comprehensive Immigration Reform, drawing insights from the United Nations to enhance measures to avoid immigration fraud.

The Population Division closely monitors legal immigration trends, particularly the influx of skilled immigrants arriving on temporary visas, to ensure that the immigrant population contributes positively to the country’s economy while avoiding potential strains on public benefits and American workers, emphasizing the importance of educational attainment in preventing immigration frauds and promoting pathways to permanent residency.

We have gathered some tips to help you keep safe from common immigration scams.

  • For your queries and questions, always go to an immigration attorney or authorized representative.
  • Never believe in emails regarding winning the visa lottery.
  • Immigration forms of USCIS are available at the website. Remember that they never charge fees to download the form.
  • Carefully read all the instructions and make sure you understand them.
  • Review immigration application before sending it to the USCIS. Hence, never sign a blank form.
  • Keep copies of all the documents.
  • Do not sign the application with false information.
  • If you have doubts about a professional handling your case, get a second opinion.
  • Never provide information to any website without the address.

How to report immigration fraud

Here are some report fraud tips for your help.

  •  USCIS’s online tip form is available on their website. You can use that form to report any fraud. This form is for the benefit of marriage, asylum, and visa fraud. You can also report any abuse to USCIS. Hence, provide appropriate details so it will be better for USCIS officers to review your information.
  •  The online tip form is not for immigration scams, suspected frauds, and unauthorized practice of law. Hence, you can report these to the executive office for immigration review fraud. You can either report to the abuse prevention program or email at [email protected].

Reporting immigration fraud is crucial for maintaining the integrity of immigration policies and ensuring the fair treatment of immigrant workers, both permanent residents and temporary workers. Addressing issues like payroll fraud and verifying immigration status helps combat fraudulent activities that may impact the fiscal balance and the positive impacts of immigrant contributions.

Comprehensive studies by organizations like the Pew Research Center and the Migration Policy Institute shed light on the varied experiences of immigrant workers, including undocumented immigrants and those from Eastern Europe, Asian countries, and European countries. Responsible reporting not only safeguards the interests of immigrant workers but also contributes to a better understanding of immigration dynamics and their fiscal impact on national origins, as highlighted by Harvard University Press.


Thousands of individuals have been victims of these frauds. Person eligibility can be seriously impacted for visa or residence. It would be best if you got it resolved as soon as possible with the help of a licensed attorney. Hence, to proceed with your hire a lawyer or experienced attorney.

For all your immigration translation needs, we are here for you. We have a 100% acceptance rate at the USCIS. And we cover a wide range of document translations for you. You can check out our certified translation services to learn more about our services.

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