THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO
The best advice that I can give as an immigration attorney is: DO NOT LIE !!! Especially to government agencies.
I have dealt with many clients whose lives are in chaos because they are in deportation proceedings, their cases were denied, or both. Some cases are due to changes in situations, which have led to changes in eligibility issues. However, some cases involve fraud issues. These clients filed certain petitions through some attorneys or "notarios" who used fraudulent information and documents. Now they are in trouble and they are in my office. Some clients "had no idea" that their attorney or "notario" used false information and documents for their filing. Even if the clients were unaware that the attorneys or "notarios" did such a thing, the clients are responsible. It is the client who ultimately signs his/her immigration application.
In certain cases, waivers for fraud may be available for some clients when their spouse or parents are U.S. citizens or are legal permanent residents (i.e. "Green Card" holders). These cases can be handled successfully if other elibility requirements are met. Nevertheless, you must consult with a competent immigration attorney (with a good reputation) who can successfully handle the case. It is not the time to "save" money or cut corners by hiring a notario. You also should be careful about attorneys who take the money, but do absolutely nothing for your case. Unfortunately, plenty of people would like to take your hard-earned money when you are in a desperate situation.
Life is about making decisions, both large and small, and you have to live with consequences. Many, many foreign nationals want to gain legal residency or temporary legal status in the United States. Some are so desperate that they would literally do anything. Desperation sometimes leads to making foolish decisions. I believe that the main reason why people lie is that telling the truth may work against them. However, the best way is being honest and up-front about the situation. If negative information exists, your attorney can present positives of your case to offset the problem. There is a big difference between well-presented immigration petitions and fraudulent immigration petitions. That is why a competent immigration attorney can make the best out of your positives and lead to approval of your case despite some negatives you may have.
NEVER LIE ABOUT THE FOLLOWING:
- Do not provide false work experiences
- Do not submit false credentials
- Do not hide or lie about changes in your situations
- Do not lie about circumstances during immigration interviews
- Do not use ghost companies as sponsors
- If you are not going to work for your sponsors, do not file for employment-based applications
- Do not marry someone just to get your green card (a.k.a. "fake marriages").
- Do not claim to be a US citizen when you are not.
- Do not use fake Social Security cards
- Do not use fake alien cards
- Do not lie or provide false information to any goverment official. (For example: police officers, ICE officers, immigration officers, etc.) Lying will make the officer in charge very, very angry. They will make a decision that works against you. Being courteous, truthful, and cooperative to your officer is always a good idea.
- Do not hide or lie about your criminal history or immigration history.
IF THERE IS NO LEGITIMATE WAY, THEN DON'T DO ANYTHING. JUST WAIT UNTIL SOME TYPE OF IMMIGRATION REFORM TAKES PLACE. You should be cautious about making decisions because it is rarely just about you. It's about your family members and their future as well.