With an increase in the number of persons moving to other countries for better opportunities, there is a rise in immigration scams. Being a victim of scam or fraud can be distressing. Immigration scams or frauds can affect your eligibility for residency or visa. Therefore, it is important to stay safe.
To be safe, you need to be aware of the ways to avoid potential immigration fraud. This would help you avoid becoming a victim of fraud and the situations that could result in loss or any kind of consequences. Here is a list of few tips that can help you avoid the scams
- Read the Forms Thoroughly
Your signature on any agreement or form provides legal authorization to a business or a party. Therefore, whenever you are required to sign any form, ensure you read that form thoroughly before signing. Signing a form, without reading or knowing what it includes might put you in a problem. It might lead to denial of your immigration application. Along with this, it is advised to not sign a blank form ever.
- Take a Copy of All the Paperwork
Another important tip is to not hand over all the significant documents to anyone without keeping copies. It is crucial to have a copy of all the essential documents. In case the business or a person says that you need not have the copies, it is a red flag. That business or person is not a reliable source and they are trying to steal the identity or take the money.
- Never Pay for the Immigration Form
The USCIS (U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services) do not charge for any form. You can download the form from their website for free. In case any service claims to help you with an immigration case and asks you to pay a fee, do not trust them. Charging for the free form is a red flag that the business or service is trying to make money.
- Check the Credentials of Business or Person
Double-checking the credentials of the person or business is always a better idea to stay on the safer side. In case you are working with a person starting he/she is an attorney, ensure you check that person’s license and other details. If you are working with an individual or business, ensure they are recognized by the concerned department. In case the person or business doesn’t possess the claimed credential or licenses, do not deal with them.
- Be Aware of Services Requiring Cash Payment
The USCIS accepts certified checks, credit cards, or money orders for filing fees. It does not accept the fees in cash. In case the person or service asks to provide cash for the filing form, do not deal with that person or business. You might end up being a victim of immigration fraud.
Apart from this, getting a second opinion is a great way to avoid scams. In case you have any doubt, consider taking advice from a reputed professional who can provide you appropriate advice. If you require any legal help, it is advised to consult an experienced immigration attorney.