Fraud or Misrepresentation

Willful and material misrepresentations or one or more outright fraudulent statements on visa applications or other related documents are common grounds for denial of admission of foreign nationals into the United States.  A willful misrepresentation is a statement that isn’t consistent with the truth.  Truthful representations are pivotal to the admissibility or inadmissibility of a foreign national into the United States. Some common examples of misrepresentations that might be found follow:

  • A visa applicant not telling the truth about his or her marital status.
  • Withholding the fact that a visa applicant has been in the U.S. in the past.
  • Failing to disclose the conviction of a crime involving a felony or moral turpitude.

The Waiver of Inadmissibility

If a person is determined to have committed fraud or to have made a material misrepresentation in the visa process, he or she will likely be determined to be inadmissible into the U.S. for life. That person might be eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility though, but the two following requirements must be met:

  • Denial of the waiver would result in extreme hardship to his or her qualifying relative who is a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen. If the person seeking the waiver was self-petitioned pursuant to VAWA, the extreme hardship would be to himself or herself.
  • It must be shown that a favorable exercise of discretion is in order. To be taken into special consideration is whether humanitarian relief to the qualifying family member and family unity override the negative factors that arise from fraud and willful misrepresentation.

Who is a Qualifying Relative?

In most cases, a qualifying relative is a lawful permanent resident or United States citizen, spouse or parent. A U.S. citizen fiancé visa sponsor petitioner for a K-1 or K-2 Visa.  VAWA petitioners don’t necessarily need qualifying relatives as the extreme hardship would be to that petitioner. That VAWA petitioner can also claim extreme hardship to a United States citizen, a lawful permanent resident or a qualified person who is noncitizen parent or child.

What is Extreme Hardship?

As USCIS has no definition of what extreme hardship is, it will take into account a number of relevant factors and the totality of the circumstances. Some examples of a few of those factors might include the following:

  • The availability of appropriate medical care and treatment for the qualifying relative in his or her home country.
  • Economic benefits and detriments to the qualifying person.
  • Family separation.
  • The qualifying person’s financial dependence on the applicant.
  • The presence of other family members of the qualifying relative in the United States.

Waivers of inadmissibility can apply to those who have been determined to have committed fraud or material misrepresentations in seeking admission into the United States and those who are in the U.S. now, but are in removal proceedings.  A California Central Valley immigration lawyer from Maison Law Immigration Lawyers can be invaluable in piecing together a strong waiver of inadmissibility case on your behalf. Contact us for a consultation, and we’ll advise you on inadmissibility waivers and how one of them might apply to your individual set of facts.