The U.S. Embassy welcomes information from concerned citizens who are aware of visa fraud. In this installment of Ask the Consul we will discuss how you may report visa fraud and why it is important to do so.
Q: What is considered visa fraud and why is it important to report visa fraud?
Entering into a marriage for the sole purpose of receiving immigration benefits, lying to an immigration or consular officer and presenting false/fraudulent documents during a visa interview are all forms of visa fraud.
The Department of State takes visa fraud very seriously. Visa fraud is illegal, unethical and unfair. It is unfair, because each month the Embassy schedules and allocates a certain number of interviews for each visa category. It is detrimental to honest and deserving applicants that might not get the chance to interview if a fraudulent case is scheduled instead of a legitimate one. The U.S Embassy needs your cooperation to combat visa fraud so that honest people have the opportunity to apply for a visa expeditiously.
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 the Inquiries Unit of the Consular Section via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also report fraud by calling 225-7965 or by writing a letter to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy.
To report visa fraud or violations from the United States and Canada, you can contact the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hotline at 1-866-347-2423.
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 i.e. legal birth names, dates of birth, addresses, photos and any other pertinent information, will help us ensure that the report is thoroughly assessed.
It is ok to 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 don’t have your contact information and are missing critical information, we might not be able to conduct a proper investigation.
Q: Would someone contact me with updates on the fraud investigation or the final results?
No, we will not contact or provide information about a visa applicant’s case to third parties without their written consent or without a court order. Disclosing visa applicant’s information constitutes a violation of the applicant’s privacy.
Q: What do I get for reporting visa fraud, what’s in it for me?
The U.S embassy does not offer compensation/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.
“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.