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What Are Some Common Examples of Immigration Fraud?

July 19, 2022

Immigrants make important contributions to our culture, our economy, and our country. According to data provided by the Pew Research Center, immigrants account for more than 13 percent of the U.S. population.

While there are a number of different paths to immigrate to the United States, there are strict rules and regulations in place for doing so. Federal authorities take immigration fraud very seriously. Immigration fraud can take many forms. In this article, our experienced Chicago immigration fraud defense attorney discusses three of the most common examples of immigration fraud.

Three Common Examples of Immigration Fraud

Marriage Fraud (Fiancé Visa Fraud)

The most straightforward path to the United States green card is through the marriage (or impending marriage) to a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR). A marriage offers an option for a spousal visa or a K-1 fiancé(e) visa. Neither spousal visas nor K-1 fiancé(e) visas are subject to statutory caps—meaning an unlimited number of these visas can be issued to qualifying applicants each year. A marriage must be legally valid for a green card to be issued. There must be a bona fide relationship between the parties. The primary purpose of the marriage cannot be for an immigration benefit.

U.S. authorities pay close attention to marriage fraud. In previous years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it is proactively leading a campaign to stop marriage fraud. In 2019, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) charged more than 100 people as part of a single marriage fraud sweep. Under United States law (8 U.S.C. 1325(c)), marriage immigration fraud can be charged as a felony offense. It carries serious criminal penalties. Marriage fraud carries a maximum criminal penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If you or your loved one is facing a criminal marriage fraud charge in Illinois, contact our Chicago immigration defense lawyer for immediate help.

Identity Theft

Broadly defined, identity theft is the offense of using someone else’s sensitive personal or financial information without authorization and for personal gain. In some cases, immigration fraud is charged as an identity theft offense. This can occur for a number of different reasons. Most often, there are allegations that a person used the documents or information of another in order to get through the immigration system. If you or your family member was charged with identity theft or any related offense as part of an immigration fraud case, please do not hesitate to contact our Chicago criminal defense attorney for immediate assistance. We will protect your rights.

Benefits Fraud (Misrepresentation of a Material Fact)

The immigration application process is paperwork-intensive and document-intensive. In order to obtain any type of formal U.S. immigration benefit, you are going to need to prove a large amount of information to authorities. If you knowingly present false documents or you knowingly provide false information with the goal of obtaining a benefit, you could face a serious criminal charge for immigration fraud. A benefits fraud charge can be filed against a person who misrepresents a material fact for the purposes of obtaining a benefit, including an immigration benefit.

Under United States law (18 U.S.C. 1546), this statute covers the misuse of passports, visas, and other key documents. At a baseline, a benefits fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison. However, the penalties can be enhanced―5 to 25 years in prison—if aggravating factors are present. As an example, if a person commits immigration benefits fraud in order to facilitate a drug trafficking operation, he or she could face up to 20 years in prison for the immigration offense alone. If you or someone you know was charged with benefits fraud, our Chicago, IL immigration fraud defense lawyer is standing by, ready to help.

Immigration Fraud is Grounds for Deportation

The federal government takes immigration fraud very seriously. It can lead to a serious felony charge that carries significant jail time. Beyond that, there are also often direct immigration consequences associated with a fraud charge. Under United States law (8 U.S. Code § 1227), a person who is found to have committed immigration fraud could be deemed a deportable alien who is subject to immediate removal from the United States. It is important to consider the immigration consequences of a fraud charge.

How our Illinois Immigration Fraud Defense Lawyer Can Help

Immigration fraud cases are notoriously complex. You do not have to go up against prosecutors on your own. At The Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman, we are a criminal defense firm devoted to providing proactive, solutions-focused representation. When you call our Chicago law office, you will have a chance to consult with an Illinois immigration fraud defense lawyer who can:

Tough times call for tough attorneys. We put time, resources, and personal attention into every case that we take on. Our Chicago, IL immigration fraud lawyers will determine the best course of action in your particular case. With a history of successful results, clients trust our fraud defense lawyers to take on important cases.

Call Our Chicago Immigration Fraud Defense Attorney for Immediate Assistance

At The Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman, our Chicago immigration fraud defense lawyer has the specialized skills and legal experience that you can trust. If you or someone you know is facing an immigration fraud charge, our attorneys are more than ready to help. Call us at 312.726.9015 to arrange your completely confidential initial consultation with one of our Chicago immigration fraud defense lawyers. With a law office in Chicago, we defend immigration fraud charges throughout the region, including in Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Kendall County, and Will County.