Fraud and Misrepresentation
Among the more common grounds of inadmissibility faced by visa applicants is misrepresentation. The immigration law defines misrepresentation as seeking to procure a visa, other documentation or admission into the United States (or other immigration benefits) by fraud or willfully misrepresenting a material fact. Generally, material facts include facts that directly relate to eligibility for a particular visa classification.
Another form of misrepresentation is falsely representing oneself to be a United States citizen for any purpose or benefit under the immigration laws or any other federal or state law. There is an exception to this type of misrepresentation for an alien whose natural parents are or was a United States citizen, and the alien permanently resided in the United States before turning 16 years of age and reasonably believed that he or she was a citizen at the time of making the representation.
A waiver for both nonimmigrant and immigrant visas are available for aliens who are found inadmissible for fraud or willful misrepresentation of a material fact.
Nonimmigrant Waiver Application
An applicant who has committed fraud or willful misrepresentation may submit a general waiver for nonimmigrant visa denials. The applicant must be able provide a persuasive argument for a positive finding in weighing the following factors:
- The risk of harm to society if the applicant is admitted;
- The seriousness of the applicant’s immigration law violation; and
- The nature of the applicant’s reasons for wishing to enter the US.
Immigrant Waiver Application
An applicant who is denied an immigrant visa based on fraud or willful misrepresentation of material fact may apply for a waiver if he or she is the spouse, son or daughter of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident and if the applicant can show that the refusal of the applicant’s admission to the United States would case extreme hardship to the United States citizen (or lawful permanent resident) spouse or parent.