Using forged immigration documents — such as passports and visas — is not a good idea. However some people are so desperate to come to the United States that this lapse in judgment is often understandable. Fortunately, entering the United States using fraudulent immigration documents may not necessarily bar you from obtaining permanent legal residency under the right circumstances. Nevertheless, in the majority of cases, immigration document fraud leads to inadmissibility or deportation. Our NYC immigration attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP have remained on the cutting edge of this complex and fast-developing area of law. During our more than 20 years of experience, we have encountered numerous such cases and understand the options for clients in this position.
Recent federal court decisions have created a strange situation for immigrants who entered the country using forged documents. One requirement for obtaining a green card is that the applicant must have been inspected and admitted by immigration agents prior to entry into the country. This usually prevents those who entered the country surreptitiously from obtaining permanent residence. Under recent precedent, however; courts have interpreted that being inspected and admitted using forged documents still counts as inspection and admission as long as the person had contact with an immigration agent. While the forgery is grounds for inadmissibility, the applicant may seek a waiver under certain circumstances:
In nearly all cases, people caught attempting to enter the United States using forged immigration documents are turned away and likely deemed inadmissible should they attempt to enter the country legally in the future. Moreover, if the person is convicted of document fraud after being admitted to the United States, it usually constitutes a crime of moral turpitude, which can be grounds for deportation. Even if deportation does not occur, engaging in immigration fraud may prevent an otherwise qualified immigrant from being found to be a person of good moral character, resulting in a denial of citizenship.
In summation, while recent precedent has created a narrow avenue for those who previously entered the country using forged documents to obtain an adjustment of status, immigration fraud is much more likely to result in inadmissibility or deportation. Our attorneys can assist you if you are interested in learning how to enter the country legally or if you previously entered the country without documentation and want to know your options.
If you have entered the country using fraudulent documents or in another unlawful way, our experienced NY attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP can help you understand your remaining options for stabilizing your immigration status, avoiding deportation and even gaining permanent residency. Contact our experienced immigration lawyers in New York City today at 212-267-2555 or online for creative solutions to your complex immigration problems. For an office appointment in Metro Park, New Jersey, call 1 (732) 313-0075.