Wanting to live in the United States may have been a dream of yours for some time. Maybe you were a small child when you first had the thought of moving to a new country, or maybe you had a negative experience that made you want to seek better opportunities elsewhere. Whatever, the reason, you started your immigration journey.
If you hope to obtain your green card, you likely know that you need to take certain steps, such as filing the correct paperwork, taking tests and attending interviews. This process can understandably seem overwhelming, and fortunately, you do not have to complete the proceedings alone. However, not everyone will have your best interests in mind along the way, so watching out for scams is important.
Common immigration related scams
Unfortunately, a number of scams exist with the purpose of confusing and taking advantage of individuals like you who simply want to gain a permanent life in the United States. Often, these scams take place in hopes of gaining money from unsuspecting people. Some common scams include the following:
- Phone and email payments: You may receive a phone call or email that requests for you to make payments to an individual in relation to your immigration forms. However, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service will never ask for payment in this manner.
- Websites: As you work to learn more about the immigration process, you may do a lot of research online. You need to remember that the USCIS website provides reliable information, and other sites may attempt to scam you by appearing to have a USCIS affiliation when they do not.
- Visa lottery email: The U.S. State Department conducts a visa lottery to determine who will have the chance to receive a visa. However, even if you are a part of the lottery, remain wary of emails stating that you have won because the USCIS will not send emails to provide this information.
Unfortunately, these three scams are only a few of the many that could have negative impacts on your life and your immigration journey.
Obtaining reliable help
Because pursuing a green card is a difficult endeavor, it is important that you have the right help along the way. An immigration attorney can help make sure that you have the right information and that you take the correct steps for your particular proceedings. If you ever receive emails or phone calls regarding your immigration status, you can also ask your attorney to determine whether they might be scam attempts.