Protect Yourself from Immigration Fraud By Knowing What to Look For

The immigration process can be a complex and lengthy one and it is often helpful to get assistance before putting in a visa application. It is necessary to understand all aspects of the various types of visas that are available before deciding how to move forward. Unfortunately, there may be people who try to take advantage of those who are unaware of the immigration laws and processes. If you are seeking a visa or have any other immigration matters it is important to protect yourself from immigration fraud.

Common Immigration Scams

Immigration scams are designed to take money from unsuspecting immigrants in return for a promise of immigration assistance. Becoming aware of these possible schemes ahead of time will help you avoid being victimized.

  • Notarios Publicos –Notarios publicos may advertise that they are able to process visa applications and assist with other types of immigration matters. It is important to realize that a notary public in the United States is very different from a notarios publicos. Notaries in the U.S. do not have any legal training or authority and are only qualified to witness the signatures on certain types of documents.
  • Phone Fraud – With phone or email fraud the immigrant receives a call stating that an immigration application can be accomplished by making a payment by check, money order or Western Union. The USCIS, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, does not take payments in these manners nor does it solicit via phone, mail or email.
  • Lottery Winner – The immigration provides some visas through a diversity lottery program. The USCIS only informs applicants of their status through their special website. Applicants should review status through this website and never by communication from another party.
  • Fraudulent Websites – There are a number of websites that claim to provide access to forms and help with immigration matters. Some of these sites may be fraudulent. All applications, petitions and forms necessary for immigration matters are available through the USCIS website and are free of charge. You can also visit your local USCIS office to pick up forms or request them by phone.
  • Deceptive Job Offers – Beware of job offers that promise to give you legal status in the U.S. Make sure that the offer is legitimate and research the company to ensure that it exists. A real company will not require job applicants to make a payment to them.

It is essential that immigrants be aware of the potential for scams. Never provide any personal information and do not send money to anyone promising to help you with immigration. Only a qualified legal representative is allowed to assist in these matters. Contact the skilled legal team at Udall Shumway PLC for help in all types of immigration issues.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Protect Yourself from Immigration Fraud, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.