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How do you avoid immigration scams?

Posted on in family-based immigration

On one hand, it could be a good idea to contact multiple people when deciding how to proceed with your immigration case. On the other hand, this could open you up to being the victim of a scam.

It is not always easy to identify whether someone who offers to help you with your immigration process is legitimate. To make matters worse, the American Bar Association has observed that notario fraud —immigration scams, in other words —is on the rise.

Be skeptical

Perhaps the best thing you could do to avoid scams would be to maintain skepticism about any claims of future success. Of course, you should maintain hope — but it would typically be unwise to let it distract you from the reality of the situation.

Coming the U.S., everyone applying for a given type of visa has to follow the same procedures. Immigration is a highly bureaucratic process subject to the intense scrutiny of multiple agencies. Because there are rules for virtually every situation, there are no exceptions to these rules.

Look for warnings

Everyone has a different personality; some attorneys are more compassionate or optimistic than others. However, there are claims that go beyond optimism to intentionally mislead or misinform. It would be wise to be careful of any of these situations:

  • If someone asks you to submit information that does not precisely apply to your situation (this could count as fraud)
  • If one consultant suggests a radically higher chance of success or a shorter timeline than others
  • If one advisor asks for a fee that is very different (lower or higher) than others

Again, there is a relatively standard timeline, procedure, required effort and chance of success that would apply to your case. Most people familiar with the immigration process could predict this accurately after reviewing your details, giving you a relatively reliable picture of what you should expect.

If an immigration consultant offers an outlook that seems too good to be true in the context of other informed opinions, there are two probable reasons. First: The consultant does not understand your case. Second: The person is a scammer.

The third possibility:The person telling you exactly what you want to hear is right — and everyone else is wrong. As you might imagine by the rising numbers of scam victims, this is not usually the case.

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