Recently, there’s been a lot of buzz about immigrants being deported, even after they received an immigration benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This “news” has struck fear in some people’s hearts, especially in the hearts of individuals who know they were less than honest while applying for a Green Card, visa, or other immigration benefit.
“Can I be removed from the United States if U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or another government agency discover that I lied to obtain an immigration benefit?” It is possible.
“An applicant may be found inadmissible if he or she obtains a benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)” through fraud or willful misrepresentation, according to USCIS.
What is Willful Misrepresentation?
Willful misrepresentation occurs when an immigrant willfully (knowingly and intentionally) misrepresented a material fact. The elements of willful misrepresentation include:
- The person sought to obtain or obtained an immigration benefit under U.S. law.
- The individual falsely misrepresented something.
- The false misrepresentation was intentional.
- The false representation was of great importance (material).
- The individual made the false representation to a U.S. government official, such as a consular or immigration officer.
If the five above elements exist, the individual is by law, inadmissible to the United States as a direct result of their “willful misrepresentation,” which is another way of saying they lied about something important to obtain an immigration benefit.
Being Inadmissible Because of Fraud
When an immigrant makes a false representation of a material fact (an important fact) with the intention of deceiving an immigration or consular officer, he or she can be found inadmissible by immigration authorities.
If an immigrant obtains entry into the U.S., a visa, a Green Card, or any other immigration benefit under the INA by means of fraud, he or she can be found inadmissible. For the fraud to lead to removal proceedings, a U.S. government official must have believed the immigrant and acted upon their false representation by granting him or her the immigration benefit.