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Fraudulent Intent in an Immigration Application

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What is Fraudulent Intent in an Immigration Application?

Fraudulent intent in an immigration application refers to acts, statements, or representations that are meant to deceive or mislead immigration officials.  Also called, “Immigrant intent”, the most common form of this is where a non-U.S. citizen pretends to apply for temporary non-immigrant status, when their actual aim is to migrate to the U.S. to obtain permanent resident status

Other examples of immigrant intent include:

  • Deception with regards to fraudulent marriage for immigration purposes
  • Misleading information or statements with regards to employment arrangements for the alien
  • False information submitted in an application for citizenship naturalization
  • Fraudulent information regarding taxes, criminal histories, or any other points of information

Thus, fraudulent intent can be found in nearly every type of immigration application, especially where the person’s immigration or citizenship status is on the line.

How is Immigrant Intent Proven?

In order to prove immigrant intent or fraudulent intent, immigration authorities usually need to compare the immigrant’s application with the actual facts and evidence surrounding their claim.  For instance, if the person is applying for immigration based on an employment visa, authorities will usually check with the sponsoring employer to determine the exact details of the alien’s work arrangement.

Or, if the application is based on marriage to a U.S. citizen, the immigration board may examine the couple’s relationship to determine whether there is any evidence of a sham marriage arrangement. 

Claims of fraudulent intent in an immigration application may therefore require examination of evidence including:

  • Birth certificates
  • Medical records
  • Criminal records, if any (failure to disclose prior criminal charges is a major violation)
  • Evidence related to proof of romantic relationships
  • Evidence related to education, work and employment, such as school transcripts, pay stubs, employer verification, etc.
  • Travel expenses and receipts
  • Evidence related to the non-citizen’s residence in different places in the U.S.

What are the Legal Consequences of Immigration Fraud?

Immigration fraud is a serious violation, and any instances of fraud can result in:

  • Denial of the immigration application
  • Negative effects on the ability to re-apply for a visa
  • Difficulties in re-entering the U.S. in the future
  • Criminal charges
  • Deportation/removal if the person is already in the U.S.
  • Denial of citizenship application

Thus, false or fraudulent immigrant intent is to be avoided at all costs.  All applications should be submitted in manner that is truthful and clear; the application shouldn’t cause any confusion or raise any suspicions.

Do I Need a Lawyer if I have issues involving Fraudulent Intent?

Fraudulent intent in an immigration application can be devastating for an applicant’s future.  If you have been involved in a fraudulent intent claim, you may wish to speak to an immigration attorney immediately for legal counsel and guidance.  Your lawyer can be on hand to represent you during any hearings.  Also, it’s a good idea to have an attorney review any applications you need to submit, so that you can prevent fraudulent intent charges in the first place.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 08-30-2012 04:42 PM PDT

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