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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawVisa Processing at US Embassy Bangkok: The Fraud Prevention Unit

Visa Processing at US Embassy Bangkok: The Fraud Prevention Unit

Transcript of the above video:

This video will briefly discuss the fraud prevention unit and how it plays a role in US Immigration matters. In a previous video on this channel, I briefly discussed the US visa process, specifically the visa interview process, the process of interviewing for a US visa, specifically in the context of interviewing for a family based cases so spouses and fiancées of United States citizens and/or lawful permanent residents. This video will discuss the fraud prevention unit, briefly.

The fraud prevention unit is essentially a task force within the United States Immigration apparatus, specifically within the Department of State and there’s generally a fraud prevention unit at any US Embassy or US Consulate General abroad and when I say within, it is usually in the Immigration units, the Immigrant visa units and non immigrant, maybe the non immigrant visa unit I guess. Fraud prevention units are specifically tasked with sort of a heightened level of due diligence in these matters as I explained in the interview video on this channel. Most interviews are fairly routine in a sense, they are there to provide a level of due diligence in the case and ensuring that the applicant is a bona fide applicant and that the relationship is a bona fide relationship and pursuant to the adjudicatory process of the Department of State, the visa is duly issued and legitimately issued. A fraud prevention unit is sort of an extra level of protection to ensure that those seeking visas to the United States are not doing so fraudulently or with some form of illicit intent. It’s been my experience that there are certain red flags that sort of will “red flag” a case to the fraud prevention unit and under those circumstances, usually, again, an honest explanation of the facts of the case will usually result in everything sort of being adjudicated smoothly, as long as things are explained to the FPU about the specific facts in the given situation. Under certain sets of circumstances, there’s going to be grounds of inadmissibility in a given case, just factually speaking and where there’s factual grounds of inadmissibility or legal grounds of inadmissibility, one has to deal with them.

The thing to keep in mind, just specifically on immigration in general and with respect to the fraud prevention unit, the biggest issue in my opinion is this: tell the truth, there is no reason to lie to the Department of State personnel when going through the visa process, the visa application process. In fact in lying about a given set of circumstances can and does result in worse consequences than simply telling the truth. In many cases involving a ground of inadmissibility, telling the truth and seeking a waiver is often times the smoothest way through the process. Yes, it can take more time, but the ultimate results are going to be far more beneficial than taking the risk and just in general undertaking the act of misrepresenting oneself before officials of the United States Government; it’s just not a good idea.  But in those cases, where one simply tells the truth, in those cases where one sort of understands the process or sort of has an immigration attorney that understands the process, and can guide one through, yes, dealing with fraud prevention unit is a stressful endeavor; it is somewhat akin to being audited by the IRS although on a far less high pressure level. It’s usually a sort of an acute moment within a given case that lasts for a couple of days and once the adjudicators have ascertained what they need to ascertain, usually as long as the truth has been told, either a ground of inadmissibility may be found and it can be usually dealt with and remedied through things like an I-601 waiver or conversely, if there is no ground of inadmissibility but there is just factual situation in a case that is again a “red flag” but can be explained, going through the fraud prevention, unit telling the truth and explaining the circumstances of the case will oftentimes result in eventual visa issuance but to be clear if one gets nothing else from this video, do not lie to the United States Embassy. Fraud misrepresentation added on to another legal ground of inadmissibility not only compounds the threshold that one has to overcome to obtain a waiver, but it also creates problems just in general. Strictly speaking, immigration fraud is a criminal offense and one who is caught engaging in immigration fraud, especially an American citizen, could face criminal penalties, fines and even possibly incarceration for engaging in immigrating fraud. So for that reason, don’t lie to the US Embassy. In most cases, Yes, interviews are rather routine but there are those limited cases where the fraud prevention unit feels it’s necessary for a heightened level of scrutiny to be placed on a case and under those circumstances, simply moving forward, telling the truth, Yes assistance of legal council is helpful in most of those cases to be able to concisely explain one’s situation, but lying about a set of circumstances or lying about one’s legal status as far as perhaps having a criminal background check or having say overstayed in the United States on a previous trip to the US, none of that is going to be helpful when it comes to dealing with the fraud prevention unit.