How does USCIS check you out? Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, Immigration Lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, San Diego, Washington, D.C. Well, the answer to this question is sort of complicated. USCIS does spend a lot of time checking you out before they process your application and before they conduct your interview. Here, we're talking about green card applications, naturalization applications, anything where you're going to have an interview at USCS, perhaps a 751 to remove conditions. Obviously, when you apply for an immigration benefit, the first way they check you out is by the answers to the questions that they ask. Whatever answers you give, they're going to review those and that might lead them to do further investigation. For instance, if you answer yes to questions about arrests or about questions for convictions, then either you're going to need to submit those records right out of the box, or you're going to be asked for them. They might even go get those records themselves.
Here in St. Louis and in Missouri, generally, we have a really good courts of system. Another way that they check you out is they see what are publicly available on local court databases. They also check you out on social media. We've had plenty of cases where information has come to light at an interview that was discovered by USCIS after running someone's social media profile. If you have things that are public on Instagram, on Facebook, on other social media platforms, TikTok, Twitter, whatever, they will find it. It's sort of like Liam Neeson in Taken saying, "I will find you." USCIS doesn't work that hard, but if you peak their interest, if there's something about your case that makes them suspicious, then they're going to go ahead and start looking at you on social media.
Then of course, the main way that they research you and check you out is by looking at your fingerprints and running reports, FBI background check, and looking into all of your criminal history, if any. Then the last thing is every field office has a fraud unit or has access to a fraud unit. If the officer believes that you are involved in some kind of immigration fraud, they could refer the case to the fraud unit and the fraud unit would then go out and do actual investigations. We've had them check with landlords. We have them check with employers. We've had them do site visits. We've had them knock on people's doors early in the morning to make sure that the couple is both there. They also go and review all other kinds of records when you apply for citizenship. These are the ways that they check you out. These are the ways that USCIS does their due diligence in tracking you down, figuring out when did you arrive? When did you fall out of status, perhaps? When did you get married? Timelines are really important at USCIS. It's always important to look at the timeline and we probably need to make a separate video just about that, but these are the ways that USCIS checks you out.
If you have questions about this, or if you're getting ready to apply for an immigration benefit and you need our help, give us a call, 314-961-8200. Email is [email protected]. Be sure to join us on our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. If you liked this video, we ask you to please share it out on social and that you subscribe to our YouTube channel, so that you get updates whenever we make videos just like this one. Don't forget on Tuesdays and Thursdays, usually at noon central, you'll find me live in our Facebook group and on the YouTube channel answering as many of your immigration law-related questions as possible. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.