Whether you are pursuing a visa to work or study in the United States or seeking a change in status, the immigration process can be confusing and overwhelming. This is especially true if English is not your native language. Unfortunately, because there are people who seek to take advantage of individuals at their most vulnerable, immigration scams and fraud are not uncommon. The following tips can help you avoid scammers and receive assistance from the right people.
How Scammers Target Individuals with Immigration Concerns
Scammers target men, women, and children dealing with immigration issues in various ways including:
- Claiming to have connections at immigration agencies who will process your application faster
- Doing something without your knowledge or consent
- Claiming to be notaries public who give and accept money for legal advice despite not being qualified to do so
- Requesting processing fees via wire or money transfer
- Unofficial immigration websites that claim to be affiliated with the government
- Charging fees for immigration forms that are free to the public
- Outright threatening or pressuring you to lie about any immigration matter
- Promising you a certain outcome or result for your immigration issue
When in doubt, consult a qualified Philadelphia immigration lawyer for assistance or guidance with your immigration matter. A notary public is not an attorney and therefore is not qualified to give you legal advice regarding your immigration concerns.
Ways to Avoid Immigration Fraud
Working with a respected and experienced immigration lawyer is the best way to avoid immigration scams and to ensure you are completing the proper documentation and submitting it through the right channels for the right fees. The following are ways to prevent immigration scams:
- Verify your immigration lawyer’s license to practice law
- Verify an accredited representative’s credentials and affiliation with a Board of Immigration Appeals-approved agency
- Ask for copies of every document you sign
- Do not sign a blank form at any time
- Never falsify your immigration documentation
Reporting Immigration Fraud
Because immigration scams cost victims financially, legally, and emotionally, you need to report fraud to the appropriate agency. Contact the Attorney General or Department of Consumer Services in your state if you suspect you were scammed.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Help Clients Avoid Immigration Scams
Immigration laws and policies continually change in this country and can make any immigration process more confusing. Unethical people may try to profit off those who are desperate to remain in the United States. Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. protect clients from common scams to save you time, money, and possibly even your status. Call 215-925-4435 or contact us online for an initial consultation today. Located in Philadelphia, we work with individuals throughout Pennsylvania and across the nation.