Waivers in Green Card Cases: Immigration Fraud

Recently, we have discussed waivers for criminal issues in adjustment of status cases. Adjustment of status is the process by which an individual who has a temporary status (a B Visa or an F Visa, for example) or no status (has an expired visa) can adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident (“green card”).

Those posts represented a variety of typical situations we see on a regular basis in both our Sacramento and Stockton offices. Please contact our office to discuss how your encounter with law enforcement, arrest, or conviction can affect your immigration status. In addition to waivers for criminal issues, it is very common to need a Waivers for immigration fraud. For purposes of this post, we are assuming you qualify for adjustment of status (a green card) and we will be looking solely at the Waivers for immigration fraud. We encourage you to contact our office to confirm that you do in fact qualify for a green card and to discuss your need for a Waiver.

Common scenarios of immigration fraud or misrepresentation include using a passport/visa belonging to a friend or family member, a fake visa for your passport, a fake passport and visa, and altering the dates on your visa. These are simply a few examples; there are many ways to commit immigration fraud. If you have committed immigration fraud or misrepresentation you will need a waiver. This is true even if you did not actually make it into the United States with the fraudulent passport or visa.

In discussing the above examples, we are referring to individuals who used a foreign fraudulent passport or their own passport with a fraudulent visa. If you pretended to be a United States Citizen on or after September 30, 1996, you CANNOT obtain a waiver. There is a narrow exception for individuals with parents who are or were United States Citizens if the individual lived in the United States prior to turning 16 and the individual reasonably believed that he or she was actually a United States Citizen.

If your immigration fraud did not involve pretending to be a United States Citizen, you may be able to obtain a waiver. In order for your Waivers to get approved, we will have to prove on your behalf that you have a United States Citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent and that your spouse or parent would suffer exceptional hardship if your case was denied. Note, that unlike with the Waivers for criminal issues, you cannot use exceptional hardship to a child for purposes of a Waivers based on immigration fraud (unless you are a Violence Against Women Act self-petitioner). We can only argue regarding the exceptional hardship to your child insofar as that hardship would affect your United States Citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent.

Please contact our office to discuss your specific situation and your need for a waiver. We have the experience to build the best case possible.

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