National Immigrant Justice Center
208 S. LaSalle St., Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60604
How to Avoid Immigration Fraud
Who Can Answer Your Immigration Questions?
- Private Attorneys - Call the American Immigration Lawyers Association at 1-800-954-0254 for a referral.
- Attorneys or Accredited Representatives at Board of Immigration Appeals-Recognized Non-Profit Organizations - A list of these organizations can be found at www.adminrelief.org/legalhelp.
What you should know:
- Notaries or Notary Publics are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice
- There is NO new amnesty
- There are proposed changes in immigration law but these are only proposals and are not laws; no one can apply for lawful permanent residency under those proposals
- You cannot apply for lawful permanent residency because you have been in the United States for a long time unless you have lived here continuously since January 1, 1972
- If you apply for employment authorization or lawful permanent residency when you do not qualify, the Department of Homeland Security will start removal proceedings against you, which may result in your removal from the United States
- A lawful permanent resident may lose this status if he/she commits a crime or if he/she is outside the United States for more than six months without advance permission from the Department of Homeland Security
How to Prevent Fraud
- Only go to an attorney or accredited representative if you have immigration questions
- Lawyers must have a license to practice law – ask to see their law license
- Accredited representatives have to be accredited and work for an agency recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals – ask to see their accreditation documents
- Never sign an application with false information
- Never sign a blank form
- Ask for copies of everything you sign
- Get a second opinion before filing any immigration application, especially if the advice sounds too good to be true
Fraud Alert: Avoid Green Card Lottery Scam
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently released this alert: Fraudsters will frequently e-mail potential victims posing as State Department or other government officials with requests to wire or transfer money online as part of a “processing fee.” You should NEVER transfer money to anyone who e-mails you claiming that you have won the Diversity Visa (DV) lottery or been selected for a Green Card. The Department of State does NOT notify successful DV applicants by letter or email. Read more about this scam on USCIS' website.
If You Are A Victim of Immigration Fraud, Report It!
People in Illinois and Chicago should report immigration fraud to the following offices:
Attorney General of Illinois
City of Chicago Department of Consumer Services
311 (Chicago Police)