Visa and immigration can be quite tricky for the most of us.
With a different immigration process in each country, to remain abreast with the latest developments is indeed a task.
With the right consultant on your side, you can easily wade through the intricacies of the visa and immigration process.
Nevertheless, the wrong help can often do more harm than good.
Taking note of the ever-increasing trend of visa scams and frauds, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued an advisory on its official website.
What are the common visa and immigration scams?
As per the USCIS, common visa and immigration scams include –
Winning the visa lottery. Commonly known as the visa lottery, the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program is managed by the State Department of the U.S. Department of State.
With reference to the DV program, always keep in mind:
If you have entered in the Diversity Visa 2019 program, you can check the status online from the DV website from May 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019.
Similarly, if you have entered in the Diversity Visa 2020 program, check the status online between May 7, 2019 to September 30, 2020.
Job Offers from overseas or through email. Be on your guard especially when you are asked to pay upfront for getting a job offer from a U.S.-based employer.
Do note that even if the job offer is legitimate, you cannot work in the U.S. unless you have either of the following:
Always be cautious when you receive such fake emails.
Payments by Email or Phone. USCIS will never ask you to pay any amount by email or on the phone. If USCIS requires you to pay some part of your immigration fees online, it will be only through the official USCIS account.
Keep in mind that USCIS does not accept:
USCIS will never ask you to make any payments to any particular individual.
Students and scams. USCIS advises all international students coming to the U.S. for study to ascertain if their school is listed on the webpage of the Council for Higher Education. Always ensure that the university or college that you are applying to is accredited.
Keep in mind the following:
A school that does not have the accreditation cannot sponsor your F-1 visa.
Fake websites. Certain websites claiming an association with USCIS often offer detailed guidance on completing USCIS petition or application. Always make sure that whatever information you solicit online is from the official website of USCIS. Take especial note that the website address has ‘.gov’ in it.
Also, USCIS will never ask you to pay for downloading any USCIS form. All forms are always free on the USCIS website.
Scams targeting those in India. As per the USCIS, there have been many cases reported of emails supposedly being sent by either the Department of State in India or USCIS New Delhi office.
Such fake emails will either:
All such emails come under visa and immigration scams.
In this regard, USCIS advises all to note that:
Regardless of which visa you might be applying for, awareness can save you from many a scam.
Take note of the USCIS advisory and protect your family and yourself from unwittingly falling prey to visa and immigration scam. Be cautious. Be safe.
If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to the USA, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No. 1 Immigration & Visa Company.
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