Lying to get a US visa

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Lying to get a US visa

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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THESE days, more and more Jamaicans are visiting the United States. Everyone knows someone who has got a visa, and everyone has heard stories about what you need to do to get one.

To apply for a visa, you complete the written application and attend a personal interview. For both of these steps, others will offer you advice about what to write and say. But the answer is simple: Tell the truth.

Whether the person advising you is a friend or a lawyer charging money for their assistance, telling a consular officer anything other than the truth is bad advice and can have serious consequences.

At a minimum, providing false information on the application or giving false statements or documents to the consular officer will cause the officer to refuse the visa. The details will remain part of your permanent record and will be seen by other officers if you re-apply in the future. Your reputation and credibility will be damaged. Additionally, providing false information may result in a life-long ineligibility that would disqualify you from obtaining a visa in the future.

It is also important to know that helping someone else to give false statements to a consular officer can have equally serious consequences. Providing someone else with false employment documents or making false statements about them, even over the phone, is considered to be human smuggling. These smugglers will have their visas revoked and will also be permanently ineligible to obtain a visa in the future.

Q: What is misrepresentation? What does the penalty mean?

A: A misrepresentation is a statement or manifestation not in accordance with the facts. Misrepresentation requires an affirmative act taken by an applicant.

A misrepresentation can be made in various ways, including in an oral interview or in written applications, or by submitting evidence containing false information, such as job letters or transcripts.

Q: My friend told me that I should just change the information on my application to improve my chances of being approved, should I do it?

A: Misrepresenting yourself or providing false information on the application or at the interview can lead to an ineligibility for fraud or misrepresentation. It is always a better choice to provide true and consistent information. Even if you have been refused in the past using the correct information, please use the correct information again. This will only strengthen your case by showing that you are an honest applicant and that you are not trying to misrepresent yourself.

Q: The travel agent who filled out my application made a mistake. Will this make me ineligible for a visa?

A: The only person held accountable for any signs of misrepresentation on your application is you. It is your responsibility to review your application before a preparer submits it on your behalf. If there are any errors on your application and you do not take steps to correct them, you could be permanently ineligible for a visa. Your last chance to do so will be on the day of the interview. You should inform the consular officer that you wish to make changes to your application before the interview ends.

Q: I have heard about others lying to get a visa and they still get approved. Why?

A: Even after being approved for a visa, applicants that misrepresented themselves in their past application or at the interview can still have their visas revoked and become permanently ineligible for a visa. The visa can be cancelled before the applicant travels to the United States and he or she will remain permanently ineligible for a visa in the future.

Q: The consular officer told me I am ineligible to receive a visa under 212(a)(6)(C)(i). What does this mean? What can I do?

A: Receiving a 6(C)(i) ineligibility means that the officer believes that you have either perpetrated fraud or that you have misrepresented yourself on your application or at the interview, or at some point in the past. Some actions that can lead to this ineligibility include: Providing false information on your application or during the interview; presenting someone else's passport at a port of entry in an attempt to gain entry into the United States; presenting a fake or improperly obtained identification document as a proof of identity; presenting altered or fake civil documents.

If you would like to apply for or renew your visa but you have had a problem with immigration or the police in the past that you think may cause an ineligibility, you should still go through the regular visa application process whether it be for a non-immigrant or an immigrant visa. The consular officer will inform you of any ineligibility during your interview. If you are ineligible, the officer will tell you if you qualify to seek a waiver from the Department of Homeland Security.

It is very important that you declare what happened with the police or immigration authorities on your online application and again with the consular officer during your interview. The consular officer may have additional questions for you, and you should answer those questions truthfully to the best of your knowledge.

For more information about visas, please visit our website https://jm.usembassy.gov/ and the website of our authorised service provider at www.usvisa-info.com. Keep on top of Embassy news on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/USEmbassyJamaica/ and by following @USEmbassyJA on Twitter. We also answer general visa questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.


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