Can I believe everything I read about immigration on the Internet?
Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration attorney here in St. Louis, Missouri. A lot of people who come to our office to talk about their immigration problems have done some research on the Internet. Sometimes that’s good thing but many times it’s a bad thing.
The Internet is awash in wrong information about immigration. There are many reasons for this and there’s many reasons why you should be very careful in considering what you read on the immigration matters.
One thing to keep in mind is that there are a lot of non-lawyers putting information out on the Internet. One of the worst places you can get immigration advice is on chat boards. We see this a lot in the H-1B employment visa context. A lot of people who are in the United States are very anxious about their immigration status and they’re very desperate to know everything they can about how immigration works and how their visa case might be processed.
You’ll find these message boards, where people will tell anecdotal stories about what happened on their particular case or where delays occurred in their particular case and you really need to be careful when reading over that. For sometimes, people don’t know what the real reason is their case was delayed, they don’t know the real facts of their case and they certainly don’t know the law.
Really be careful when you read these chat boards and ask yourself, “Does this person really know what they are talking about and are they trustworthy?”
Another reason that Internet isn’t the best place for you to find information is that the law is always changing. There’s developments in the law through case law and other rules and regulation changes that their might be information on the web that’s outdated or that times have changed.
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to immigration is that there are websites that look like official websites. A lot of these prepackaged form providers make themselves look a lot like federal government websites and it can be misleading. If there’s not a dot gov at the end of the website, you really need to be careful. A lot of times, these forms are outdated and the information is also outdated. You got to be careful about that.
Another thing to think about is the fake state department websites, with the diversity visa lottery there are a lot of fake websites out there and there’s a lot of misinformation about the diversity visa lottery and there’s outright scams that are being run on the diversity visa. That’s a whole other way that you can get taken advantage of on the Internet.
Your best bet is going to be to talk to a competent immigration attorney and I’m not saying you have to hire me or anything. I’m just saying that you need to think about wherever you are, using people who schooled in law, who understand your rights, who know the laws and how to apply them and who know how to prepare forms and applications properly.
Be very careful when you’re on Internet. Don’t believe everything that you read, there’s a lot of misinformation out there and we’ve seen more than one case where people have screwed up their immigration status because of misinformation that they relied upon that they got off the web.
Most immigration attorneys will meet with you and outline your position for free, if not you can always give us a call and you want to talk to us, 314-961-8200 or you can email me, firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try and help you out. Thanks.