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How To Avoid Common Immigration Scams, Part 1

When you turn on the television, check your email, browse the Internet or simply drive down a road, there are advertisements prominently displayed offering some kind of product or service. Often these ads are for weight loss programs, insurance discounts, skin care products, or cruise ship vacations. There are also a growing number of individuals and businesses offering help with immigration services, particularly in cities like Houston with a large immigrant population. They will often claim they can expedite the immigration process or ensure the successful acquisition of a green card or visa. The services or advice offered are typically from people not authorized to provide legal services, using their business to scam money or personal information from unsuspecting victims.

It is critical to only get legal advice on immigration matters from someone authorized to do so. Immigration attorneys and representatives accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals can help individuals and families obtain factual and legal assistance during the immigration process. Before beginning the immigration process for you or a loved one, it is important to familiarize yourself with common immigration scams to avoid being a victim. This blog post will look at two of the most common immigration scams, and the next blog post will discuss the other less common, but still harmful, scams to avoid.

One of the more common scams regarding immigration services involves local businesses or storefronts that advertise guaranteed benefits such as green cards, immigration visas, or documentation for employment authorizations. These unscrupulous businesses will often claim to expedite the immigration process, or guarantee that their loved one will be able to enter the U.S. without complication. Unfortunately, many of these businesses simply file the same paperwork that the individual could file on their own, but charge much higher fees. Some individuals and families also fall victim to scam artists that claim they can quickly obtain employment authorization documents, such as work permit, for those who would otherwise be ineligible. These unscrupulous businesses prey on individuals and families that are desperate to be reunited with loved ones still overseas, or are in dire need of employment.

Many people, especially older immigrants, will also fall victim to scams where a person will pose as an immigration official and call asking for sensitive information or even demand an immediate payment. Too often immigrants will give out their social security number, personal details, or even credit card or banking information out of fear that they could delay or even cancel the immigration process for themselves or a loved one. In reality, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services department that oversees the immigration process will never call and ask individuals for personal information or immediate payment.

Individuals and families in need of immigration services can get accurate, honest and experienced legal assistance from Christiansen Law Firm. With offices in Houston, San Antonio and Lufkin, the immigration attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm have extensive experience with a full range of immigration matters, including visa applications, adjustment of visa status, marriage, adoption, citizenship, and deportation and appeal hearings. Contact the Christiansen Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation, or for more information regarding their immigration law services.

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