Visa or Green Card Denied for False Information on Immigration Forms?

Any time someone submits a visa application that contains false information, it is considered a fraud against the U.S. government.

Any time someone submits a U.S. visa or green card application that contains false information, it is considered a fraud against the U.S. government. The result is that the person could face a substantial delay or denial of the visa and quite possibly the denial of subsequent immigration applications.

What's more, anyone in the U.S. who helps an applicant falsify an application to gain entry to the country can be indicted and prosecuted by a federal grand jury if the matter is formally investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Some examples of types of false information that can result in visa denial include:

  1. personal information
  2. failing to reveal past visa refusals, and
  3. lying about past criminal activity or convictions

These are discussed below.

What Would Constitute False Personal Information?

All of the following types of information are considered "personal," and therefore lying about them could result in a U.S. visa being denied:

  1. legal name or alias
  2. date of birth
  3. financial information (for example, many visa applications ask applicants to prove that they'll be able to support themselves in the United States), and
  4. information about current or past marriages or other family members.

What's Wrong With Not Mentioning Past Visa Refusals?

All visa applicants are asked if they have ever been refused a U.S. visa in the past. If failing to mention a past refusal is a reason your current application got denied, what you likely didn't realize is that information pertaining to previous visa refusals was already documented and available to the U.S. government officer processing your application.

Therefore, if you were ever refused a visa but failed to disclose it, regardless of how harmless failing to disclose the information might have seemed, you have committed a fraud, and will face consequences.

What Happens If I Don't Reveal Information About Past Crimes?

You'll be asked about your criminal record in any U.S. visa application. However, information pertaining to any arrests and criminal convictions is also readily available to immigration officers during the processing of the visa.

If failing to mention a crime is why your visa was denied, you probably feared that your criminal history would result in visa denial; as is indeed possible, because many crimes are considered a ground of inadmissibility. But if you also provided false information pertaining to an arrest or conviction, you now actually have two separate problems to deal with.

With Fraud on Record, Can I Ever Get Another Visa to the United States?

If providing false information on your visa application was an intentional attempt to hide a particular fact, then you'll need to realize that immigration laws treat false information on a visa application very seriously—and possibly as a crime of moral turpitude. In order to get any sort of visa to the U.S. in the future, you will need to convince the U.S. government to forgive or overlook the past misrepresentation, by requesting a waiver of inadmissibility.

The exact type of waiver you will need depends on the type of visa you were applying for: a temporary (nonimmigrant) visa or a permanent (immigrant) visa.

Applying for a Nonimmigrant Visa: How to Apply for a Waiver of Misrepresentation

If your nonimmigrant visa application is determined to contain false information and is denied, you will need to submit a new visa application and request a waiver from a U.S. consulate outside the United States. There is no special form to file with the visa application. Instead, the U.S. consular officer will:

  1. schedule an interview for you and question you about the false information provided, and
  2. after the interview, decide whether a waiver should be granted, based on your explanation and the type of misrepresentation and its seriousness; the reason for your intended travel to the U.S.; and any effects your travel are likely to have, whether positive or negative, on the interests of the U.S. public.

    The consular officer will report to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with a recommendation as to whether or not to grant the waiver. If the consular officer does not completely feel you deserve a waiver for your misrepresentation, and makes an unfavorable recommendation to the DHS, your application will likely be denied again.

    Applying for an Immigrant Visa: How to Apply for a Waiver of Your Misrepresentation

    If you are seeking to come to the U.S. permanently, you can file for a waiver of the misrepresentation using Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility. While this waiver does not require a consular recommendation, it has much stricter criteria, and again, is granted on a purely discretionary basis.

    This waiver is particularly difficult to get simply because if it is granted, the person will be permitted remain in the U.S. permanently.

    In the event your misrepresentation involved the commission of a crime, whether you were actually convicted or not, it is possible you will not even be eligible to apply for a a waiver. Some crimes, by law, cannot be waived.

    Given the complexity involved in filing a successful immigrant waiver application, you should contact an experienced immigration attorney to determine your eligibility and to assist you through the process.

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