What are some of the other general fraud indicators that USCIS uses? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri, and this is our fifth video in our seven part series on the Fraud Referral Sheet, which was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, and this video goes over the other general fraud indicators. In our last video, the fourth video, we talked about the first seven. Now we’re going to talk about the second set of seven that USCIS uses in determining whether or not to send a case to the fraud unit. All right, let’s get to it.
The first one is that the preparer or the notary are the same person. Now, that I suppose that if someone’s running an immigration scam, they might be the ones to sign all the documents, so I can see how the preparer or notary is the same person could be a problem, but I don’t really think of that as a thing that’s going to come up in most cases. In most cases, you’re not going to have the same notary. You’re not going to have the same preparer. We have other people in our office notarize documents, but I think if people are submitting fake documents, that might be one of the reasons why, or one of the indicators, and I can see why USCIS would use that as a fraud indicator.
The next one is a tip letter or a phone call. Now, tip letters and phone calls, I think that’s patently unfair. I think people all the time call USCIS just because they have a grudge. They don’t like somebody. They’re mad. You can see all kinds of scenarios where people just have a vendetta against somebody, and they file a … They make a phone call, or they send in a tip. I think those should be taken with a huge grain of salt, but those are one of the factors that USCIS uses in deciding whether or not to send a case to the fraud unit.
All right, the third one, suspect documents. Now, we’ve been seeing this a lot lately, specifically with divorce decrees from countries in West Africa, but just overall, if they find suspect documents, that’s a case that’s going to get sent to the referral unit. That’s going to be referred to the fraud unit, and that is probably a case that should be referred over. If you’re submitting suspect documents or fake documents, if it’s proved that your documents are fake, and right now, they’re spending a lot of time and money on this. They are having people from the embassies go back and check court records to see if people are actually divorced, or actually married, or actually the parents of these applicants. We’re seeing a lot more of that, so suspect documents is another one that can get you sent over to the fraud unit.
The fourth one, now I’m not entirely sure about this one, but let me read it to you. “Photographic evidence suggests imposter.” Now, that seems pretty subjective. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of guidance in what that even means. Photographic evidence suggests imposter. I guess that what that means is that the photographic evidence is not overly compelling. We don’t really see a relationship here, or we don’t see that this is the person who says that they are. Those are the kinds of people … I mean, imposters, that would be unusual. I mean, I guess if you had a married couple and there was always this one other person in the photos, that might lead them to think that the person who’s not on the application is actually the spouse or whatever, so be careful with your photographic evidence, but generally, I don’t think that’s going to be one that you have to worry about.
Biometric discrepancies, so I guess that means like fingerprint discrepancies. Sure, that would make sense that that would go to the fraud unit. I don’t think we need to spend much time talking about that other than to say that sometimes people’s fingerprints are screwed up, so I don’t know if that in and of itself should send your case to the fraud unit, but again, with all these on this form, you’re talking about death by a thousand cuts, that each mistake makes your case harder and harder to get approved. It’s not just one silver bullet, although some of these could be.
All right, the sixth one is when an application or prior application has been denied for abandonment or withdrawal after a request for evidence has issued. Now, I have talked in many videos about withdrawing a case after a conclusion is reached that it can’t be approved, so I always think it’s going to be better to have a withdrawn case than a actual denial, and I don’t think USCIS can, as a blanket statement, say that every case that has been withdrawn after a request for evidence, or been denied after a request for evidence, is an indicator of fraud. There’s too much that goes into that. There’s too many moving parts. There’s many reasons why you might withdraw a case and then just refile it, so I can see why they have that on their fraudulent list, but I would be happy to have that argument. I don’t think that all cases that are withdrawn should lead to a fraud referral.
And the last one, suspicious filing history of the beneficiary of the applicant. We’ve talked in prior videos about how if someone has filed over and over for different people, or been the beneficiary from applications from different people, those are the kind of things that can get you referred to the fraud unit as well, so we hope that now that we’ve covered all 14 of those that these videos together really help you file the strongest case possible. That’s what we want to do.
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