Reporting Visa Fraud and Scams
The U.S. Embassy welcomes information from concerned citizens who are aware of visa fraud or scams. In this edition of our Ask-the-Consul article, we will discuss how you may report visa fraud and scams. We take all allegations of fraud seriously and work aggressively to ensure the integrity of U.S. visa services.
Q: What are some examples of visa fraud and visa scams?
Entering into a marriage for the sole purpose of receiving immigration benefits, being untruthful to an immigration or consular officer, and presenting false/fraudulent documents during a visa interview, are all forms of visa fraud.
Visa scams involve anyone who claims to represent the U. S. Embassy in visa matters or to have an “inside contact” at the U.S. Embassy and who promises to be able to facilitate visa issuance – for a fee far above the legally prescribed visa processing fee. Please know that no one can guarantee the outcome of a visa application in advance of an interview.
Q: How do I report visa fraud to the U.S Embassy?
There are several ways to report visa fraud. If you have information about a visa applicant committing or planning to commit fraud, please contact our Fraud Prevention Unit via email to FPUGeorge@state.gov.
To report visa fraud or violations from the United States or to report someone who is already in the U.S. through fraudulent means, you may email the United States Citizenship and Immigrant Services (USCIS) directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with tips, alleged violations, and other relevant information about potential fraud and abuse.
Q: What information do I need to provide when reporting visa fraud? Can I send an anonymous letter to the Embassy reporting visa fraud?
The report must contain factual information and details about the persons involved and the fraud they committed or plan to commit. Factual information such as legal birth names, dates of birth, addresses, photos and any other pertinent information, will help us ensure that the report is thoroughly assessed.
You can send an anonymous letter to the Embassy; however, we might need to contact you if we need clarification or if the letter is illegible. If we do not have your contact information and are missing critical information, we might not be able to conduct a proper investigation.
Q: Can I also report third parties or organizations offering counterfeit documents or promises of a visa or expedited appointment in exchange for large sums of money? How do you combat such crimes?
The State Department takes visa security seriously, and Special Agents and Consular Officers around the world work with local authorities every day to uphold the integrity of the visa system. If you were a victim of such a scam or if have information about such scammers, email us at FPUGeorge@state.gov.
Q: Would someone contact me with updates on the fraud investigation or the final results?
No. While we encourage and appreciate all the help we get in combating visa fraud, we are unable to disclose a decision taken on a visa applicant’s case as based on Section 222(f) of U.S. immigration law.
Q: What do I get for reporting visa fraud?
The U.S embassy does not offer compensation or rewards to individuals or groups reporting visa fraud. However, people who come forward to disclose information or evidence of fraud related to a visa application play a critical role in enforcing the law and stopping fraud. Without the information provided by these individuals, such fraud may go undetected. It is simply the right thing to do. You also ensure that legitimate applicants are not disadvantaged as a result of fraudulent applicants using valuable resources and appointments for visa processing to which they are not entitled.
“Ask the Consul” is a monthly column from the U.S. Embassy answering questions about U.S. immigration law and visa issues. Detailed information about visas and travel can be viewed at https://gy.usembassy.gov/, https://ais.usvisa-info.com/ and https://travel.state.gov/. Applicants are strongly encouraged to prepare their own documents and avoid third-party advice. U.S. Consular rules change frequently, and non-US government advisors often provide inadequate or inaccurate information. Please contact our Visa Information Service Center on toll free numbers: 1-877-246-6788 or 703-988-5765 if you have general visa questions.”