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Fictitious documents

By J.G. Azarcon, Esq.
Some unscrupulous operators abroad dupe aliens into paying big bucks for a passage to the United States by any means. Some aliens end up presenting documentation fabricated by strangers to the Consular officer, i.e. fake birth certificate naming the alien’s traveling companions as parents, or passport with the alien’s face but somebody else’s name.
Most aliens are not aware of the consequences of misrepresentation through the use of fictitious documents in the visa application.
The Immigration Act provides that an alien who seeks to procure, has sought to procure, or has procured, a visa, other documentation, admission into the U.S., or other benefits under the Immigration Act, through fraud or willful misrepresentation of a material fact is, inadmissible.
An alien at the port of entry who is found to have committed the offense is subject to expedited removal and cannot reapply for the next five years. Those who pass the inspection process set foot in America.
Once in the United States, these aliens find opportunities to obtain valid status. Some get married to U.S. citizens, while others get willing employers interested in their services to file an employment based visa petition.
It is in the process trying to change a valid status when the alien feels the sting from the use of fictitious documents.
There is however a limited relief available to this ground of inadmissibility. If the alien is the spouse, son, or daughter of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, he/she can apply for a discretionary waiver, provided that the alien can demonstrate that the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, son or daughter would suffer extreme hardship if the alien is refused admission to the U.S.
I emphasize the word, discretionary, since relationship to a U.S. citzen or permanent resident spouse, son or daughter is not a guaranty that the alien will be granted valid status. The burden of proving extreme hardship to the U.S. citizen or permanent resident is not an easy task, depending upon the specific circumstances of the case.
In employment based petitions where the alien has no U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, son or daughter, the alien who is found to have used fictitious documents to obtain a visa will be barred from adjusting to permanent residence.
The lesson here is, if you want to preserve your option to obtain permanent residence in the U.S. in the future, play it clean. Do not present fictitious documents to the U.S. Consular office or to the CIS.

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