Visa Application - FAQ - The Importance of Honesty
I recently handled a immigration case
that highlights the absolute importance of being completely
honest when dealing with the USCIS. I was actually the
third lawyer to work on the case. The client retained
me after the previous two attorneys had mishandled the
case to the point that the client was on the verge of
receiving a notice to appear for deportation.
The case began as an ordinary adjustment
of status case that went horribly wrong. The client,
a Mexican citizen who is married to an American citizen,
hired attorney #1 to file his application to adjust
status to permanent residency. Unfortunately attorney
#1 did not properly file the application and was served
with a notice that he must provide the USCIS with additional
evidence or the case would be denied. Attorney #1 compounded
his mishandling of the client's case by failing to
successfully transmit the requested additional evidence
to the USCIS. The client's adjustment of status case
was then denied. The USCIS further notified attorney
#1 and the client that client'swork authorization
and advance parole (travel document) associated with
the adjustment of status application were cancelled.
After the client was notified that his
case was denied he fired attorney #1 and retained attorney
#2 to try to fix the situation. Attorney #2 filed a
motion to reopen client'sadjustment of status case.
Attorney #2 then advised the client that the client
could travel to Mexico and reenter the United States
using the cancelled advance parole document associated
with the client'snow denied adjustment application.
Client did travel to Mexico and did re-enter
the United States using the cancelled advance parole
document associated with the denied adjustment of status
application. Unfortunately the client's use of the cancelled
and invalid advance parole document to gain reentry
to the United States constituted material misrepresentation
to the USCIS. Shortly thereafter the USCIS sent the
client a letter advising him that he was guilty of misrepresentation
under section 212(a)(6)(c)(1) of the immigration and
Nationality Act (INA) and was now going be excludable
from the United States.
Approximately seven (7) days after the
client received the notice of excludability the client
retained me as his third attorney to file a waiver of
excludability on grounds that his exclusion from the
United States represented an extreme hardship to his
American citizen spouse. I worked day and night over
Christmas 2007 to get the client's waiver of excludability,
supporting evidence, and memorandum of law ready for
submission to the USCIS within the remaining 23 day
I filed the waiver application on January
7, 2008 and we are still waiting to hear whether the
waiver will be approved. The cost of hiring me to prepare
the waiver application far exceeded the cost of hiring
a competent lawyer to handle the client's adjustment
case in the first place. Moreover, it is far from certain
the waiver will be approved.
Section 212(a)(6)(c)(1) of the Immigration
and Nationality Act (INA) provides that an applicant
guilty of dishonesty to the USCIS for the purpose of
obtaining an immigration benefit will be excluded from
the United States. The USCIS is not spare about applying
this provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
If a non-citizen lies to the USCIS and the USCIS finds
out (and the USCIS almost always finds out) the non-citizen
will be excluded from the United States.
I get calls almost every week in which
someone asks me about whether their fiancee can enter
the United States on a tourist (B-2) visa and then get
married. I tell these callers that they are playing
with fire. Entering the United States on a tourist visa
for the purpose of marrying an American constitutes
material misrepresentation under section 212(a)(6)(c)(1)
of the Immigration and Nationality Act. It is a really
bad idea to try to circumvent the immigration laws by
using the tourist visa to enter the United States to
get married instead of waiting for a fiancee visa.
In conclusion, it is best when dealing
with immigration to always be completely honest and
forthright. If you are not honest your application can
be denied and you can find yourself or your fiancee
ineligible to ever enter the United States.