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Beware of These 5 Immigration Scams

Immigration Paperwork Scattered Across A Desk With The Word Scam Written Across It

Beware of These 5 Immigration Scams

Immigration Paperwork Scattered Across A Desk With The Word Scam Written Across It

Peri B. Edelman | March 30, 2021

In 2016, Josefa Siverio was charged in Miami for immigration fraud. Claiming to be an “immigration consultant,” she charged clients thousands of dollars in fees to prepare and submit petitions. Instead of directing their checks and money orders to the USCIS, she had her clients write checks to herself, and kept the money. Thus, the applications of her 100+ clients were denied.

While Josefa Siverio was eventually caught, she is not an anomaly. I have had hundreds of clients come to me after falling victim to immigration scams. Unscrupulous consultants and attorneys frequently take advantage of vulnerable immigrants coming to the U.S. Immigrants seeking visas and green cards must avoid these scams to prevent long-term consequences to their immigration status.

  1. Fraudulent Asylum Claims: Many clients come to me after their previous attorneys have filed them for asylum without a valid claim to do so. These attorneys promise hopeful immigrants that they can get an employment authorization; these clients have no clue that their attorney is actually filing a frivolous claim for asylum. Since these individuals are not actually eligible for asylum, their cases are placed under Removal Proceedings and they face deportation from the United States, resulting in the need for a deportation lawyer.
  2. H1B Visa Scam: Especially popular in India, the H1B job offer scam frequently preys on recent graduates and professionals looking for work visa sponsorship from a United States company. A fraudulent business will make a job offer and promise sponsorship, and make the worker pay the company to work in the United States.
  3. Notarios: In the U.S., a notary public is a person who witnesses people sign documents. In many Latin American countries, however, a “Notario” is a legal representative. This misleading translation enables individuals to pose as licensed representatives who are qualified to prepare and submit immigration paperwork. Unfortunately, these “professionals” are nothing more than fraudsters who charge immigrants to file false claims, incorrect forms, or, in some cases, nothing at all. These scammers frequently target small communities where they will be trusted because they speak Spanish.
  4. Copycat Emails and Websites: Some websites and emails bear striking resemblance to USCIS communications, but are in fact fraudulent. These websites will frequently charge for forms that are otherwise available for free and/or collect payments through money orders on their website. Emails claiming to be from USCIS will cite bogus laws in order to collect payments and/or offer to help immigrants “cut the line” in return for a fee. Remember, all web and email addresses from the USCIS will end in “.gov.”
  5. Scare Tactics: Unscrupulous attorneys and “notarios” (posing as attorneys) will often scare clients with false threats of deportation in order to charge egregious up-front fees. Similarly, individuals posing as ICE agents will demand money in order to avoid arrest. Attorneys may also promise a “golden opportunity” through the Diversity Immigrant Visa lottery program, and again demand urgent payment.

Unfortunately, falling victim to any of these scams can seriously threaten an immigrant’s finances and immigration status. Remember that only accredited representatives and licensed immigration attorneys are authorized to assist with immigration cases. My team and I pride ourselves on integrity and compassion, which is the reason I routinely have turned down potential clients where I see no chance of a successful outcome. An ethical immigration attorney will provide an honest evaluation of your case and not make any guarantees.

If you have questions about the immigration process, check out my guide on how to get a green card in NYC or contact my office.

Disclaimer: This newsletter is a public resource of general information only and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This website should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The information provided to you at this website is not intended to create and does not create an attorney-client relationship with Peri B. Edelman. Readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. Visitors to this website should not act, or refrain from acting, based upon any information available via this website, and should always seek the advice of competent counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. The existence of any particular link is intended solely to provide viewers with information which may be of interest to them. Peri B. Edelman takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of information contained on a linked site. Please be advised that information conveyed over the Internet may not be secure. Any information sent to the law office of Peri B. Edelman via electronic mail or through this website is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis. You're sending Peri B. Edelman or any of the firm’s personnel an email through this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Peri B. Edelman expressly disclaims any and all liability with regard to actions taken or not taken based upon the content of this website.

Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

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Department of Labor Proposes Delaying Prevailing Wage Rule – Immigration News for March 26, 2021

American Flag In Front Of US Department Of Commerce Building

Department of Labor Proposes Delaying Prevailing Wage Rule - Immigration News for March 26, 2021

American Flag In Front Of US Department Of Commerce Building

Peri B. Edelman | March 26, 2021

Three of my clients were issued green cards yesterday. One of my male clients received a green card under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and the other two clients through their T non-immigrant status (victims of human trafficking).

The USCIS has been scheduling many adjustment of status (green card) interviews throughout March and April.

Many clients have been calling me about the issuance of receipt notices after filing with the USCIS. The USCIS has had significant delays due to Covid-19. It has been taking sometimes 8 weeks for the USCIS to issue a receipt notice. Please be patient.

Department of Labor (DOL) Proposes Delaying Prevailing Wage Rule for H-1B, H-1B1, E-3, and PERM Programs to November 2022

After taking public comments, DOL confirmed that the rule's original March 14 effective date would be postponed. Had the rule taken effect as planned, implementation of new prevailing wage levels would have begun on July 1. Days after moving the effective date of proposed prevailing wage increases to May 14, 2021, the Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed further delaying the final rule until November 14, 2022.

The final rule would have triggered a phase-in period of a year and a half for most jobs and three and a half years for workers on a path to lawful permanent residence, during which employers would be required to increase the wages offered to foreign workers in the H-1B, H-1B1, E-3, and PERM programs. DOL previously claimed that these increases were essential to protect U.S. workers.

DOL's most recent notice states that a further 18-month delay “will provide a sufficient amount of time to thoroughly consider the legal and policy issues raised in the rule, and offer the public, through the issuance of a separate Request for Information, an opportunity to provide information on the sources and methods for determining prevailing wage levels."

Proposed Affidavit of Support Rule Withdrawn

On March 19, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the withdrawal of the affidavit of support proposed rule introduced during the previous administration. The proposed rule would have would have imposed higher qualifying and evidentiary requirements, including production of tax returns, banking information, and credit reports for 3 years instead of one year. Moreover, these requirements would have placed new, costly burdens, estimated at $2.4 billion over the next decade, on U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents signing an affidavit of support on behalf of intending immigrants.

Vice President Harris is Leading Efforts to Curb Migration at the Border

Vice President Kamala Harris will take the lead for the Biden administration on the surge of unaccompanied minors and other immigrants seeking asylum along the US-Mexico border. Harris under her new role will be working on establishing a partnership with Mexico, and the northern triangle of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador to curb the flow of migrants to the U.S. More than 15,000 unaccompanied children were in US custody as of March 21.

If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.

Disclaimer: This newsletter is a public resource of general information only and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This website should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The information provided to you at this website is not intended to create and does not create an attorney-client relationship with Peri B. Edelman. Readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. Visitors to this website should not act, or refrain from acting, based upon any information available via this website, and should always seek the advice of competent counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. The existence of any particular link is intended solely to provide viewers with information which may be of interest to them. Peri B. Edelman takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of information contained on a linked site. Please be advised that information conveyed over the Internet may not be secure. Any information sent to the law office of Peri B. Edelman via electronic mail or through this website is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis. You're sending Peri B. Edelman or any of the firm’s personnel an email through this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Peri B. Edelman expressly disclaims any and all liability with regard to actions taken or not taken based upon the content of this website.

Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

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House Passes DACA & TPS Bills – Immigration News for March 19, 2021

American Flag In A Sunny Field

House Passes DACA & TPS Bills - Immigration News for March 19, 2021

American Flag In A Sunny Field

Peri B. Edelman | March 19, 2021

House Passes 2 Immigration Bills Yesterday that Could Establish a Pathway to Citizenship for Millions

This bill is for "Dreamers" that is recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and individuals who have Temporary Protected Status ("TPS"). The legislation stands to make up to 4.4 million individuals eligible for permanent residence.

Now, it will go to the Senate where it will likely face a tough fight.

USCIS Will Revisit Some H-1B Applications Denied Under Trump Administration

Last Friday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said it would reconsider applications for H-1B work visas that were denied under Trump administration policies recently rescinded by the agency.

USCIS will revisit some decisions based on two memos that made it more difficult for staffing firms to obtain H1-Bs for workers assigned to third-party sites, and a 2017 memo that narrowed the types of “computer workers” eligible for visas.

Biden Administration Cancelled Public Charge Rule

As of March 9, 20121, the USCIS is no longer applying the August 2019 Public Charge Final Rule required by the previous administration. As a consequence, among other changes, USCIS will apply the public charge inadmissibility statute consistent with the 1999 Interim Field Guidance. In other words, USCIS is not considering an applicant’s receipt of Medicaid (except for long-term institutionalization at the government’s expense), public housing, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits as part of the public charge inadmissibility determination.

USCIS will issue additional guidance regarding the use of affected forms. In the interim, USCIS will not reject any Form I-485 based on the inclusion or exclusion of Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency; and will not reject Form I-129, Form I-129CW, Form I-539, or Form I-539A based on whether the public benefits questions (Form I-129 (Part 6), Form I-129CW (Part 6), Form I-539 (Part 5), and Form I-539A (Part 3)) have been completed or left blank.

The Biden Administration has Deployed FEMA to the Mexican/American Border to Address the Surge of Migrants

The Department of Homeland Security said Saturday that the Biden administration is deploying the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the Mexican border to help care for thousands of unaccompanied migrant teens and children who are arriving in significant numbers and being transferred into detention cells and tent shelters.

The deployment marks another escalation in the administration’s response to the growing crisis at the border. This has been the largest surge in migration in more than 20 years. It is part of what DHS said would be a 90-day government-wide effort at the border, where an unprecedented number of minors are arriving without their parents each day and must be sheltered and cared for until they can be placed with a vetted sponsor, usually a parent or relative already living in the United States.

Border Closures Extended Through April 21

The U.S., Canada, and Mexico have agreed to extend their mutual border closures to non-essential travel by land or ferry through April 21, 2021, due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19. Air travel is not an issue.

If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.

Disclaimer: This newsletter is a public resource of general information only and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This website should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The information provided to you at this website is not intended to create and does not create an attorney-client relationship with Peri B. Edelman. Readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. Visitors to this website should not act, or refrain from acting, based upon any information available via this website, and should always seek the advice of competent counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. The existence of any particular link is intended solely to provide viewers with information which may be of interest to them. Peri B. Edelman takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of information contained on a linked site. Please be advised that information conveyed over the Internet may not be secure. Any information sent to the law office of Peri B. Edelman via electronic mail or through this website is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis. You're sending Peri B. Edelman or any of the firm’s personnel an email through this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Peri B. Edelman expressly disclaims any and all liability with regard to actions taken or not taken based upon the content of this website.

Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

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U.S. Supreme Court Throws Out Trump Public Charge Rule Fight – Immigration News for March 12, 2021

US Supreme Court Building

U.S. Supreme Court Throws Out Trump Public Charge Rule Fight - Immigration News for March 12, 2021

US Supreme Court Building

Peri B. Edelman | March 12, 2021

U.S. Supreme Court Throws Out Trump Public Charge Rule Fight

On Tuesday, the Biden administration notified the Supreme Court that it will no longer defend a government policy seeking to impose new limits on the admission of immigrants considered likely to become a "public charge." Biden administration agreed with the local governments challenging the policy that the cases should be dismissed.

Biden Grants Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Venezuelan Nationals

On Monday, the Biden Administration announced it would grant TPS to Venezuelans already in the United States. This will allow an estimated 320,000 people, who mainly reside in Florida, to apply to legally live and work in the United States for 18 months. To be eligible, applicants must show continuous residence in the U.S. as of Monday, March 8. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will announce a 180-day registration period when applications can be filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, is a temporary benefit that grants protection from deportation and permission to work to people who are unable to return to their countries because of natural disasters, violent conflicts and other conditions.

ICE Data Shows Immigration Arrests Have Fallen Significantly Under President Biden

President Biden’s orders to rein in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement led to a sharp drop in arrests by the agency last month, even though a federal judge in Texas has blocked the new administration’s 100-day “pause” on deportations.

The number of immigrants taken into custody by ICE officers fell more than 60 percent in February compared with the last three months of the Trump administration, according to data reviewed by The Washington Post. ICE statistics show deportations fell by nearly the same amount.

Biden Administration Seeks Foreign Aid to Slow Migration

The Biden administration is making a new push to address the causes of migration from Central America as it faces a surge at the southern border. The number of unaccompanied children stopped along the border has tripled in the last two weeks, according to multiple outlets. One would find a pathway for recipients of DACA. The other would establish a pathway for illegal migrant farm workers to secure legal status.

House to Debate Immigration Reform as Republicans Blame Biden for Border Crisis

Next week, the House will debate two bills aimed at fixing “our broken immigration system.” according to sources.

One, the American Dream and Promise Act, would establish a path to citizenship for DACA recipients. The other, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, would establish a pathway for illegal migrant farm workers to secure legal status.

If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.

Disclaimer: This newsletter is a public resource of general information only and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This website should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The information provided to you at this website is not intended to create and does not create an attorney-client relationship with Peri B. Edelman. Readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. Visitors to this website should not act, or refrain from acting, based upon any information available via this website, and should always seek the advice of competent counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. The existence of any particular link is intended solely to provide viewers with information which may be of interest to them. Peri B. Edelman takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of information contained on a linked site. Please be advised that information conveyed over the Internet may not be secure. Any information sent to the law office of Peri B. Edelman via electronic mail or through this website is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis. You're sending Peri B. Edelman or any of the firm’s personnel an email through this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Peri B. Edelman expressly disclaims any and all liability with regard to actions taken or not taken based upon the content of this website.

Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

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Congress Plans to Consider Stand-Alone Immigration Bills – Immigration News for March 5, 2021

An American Flag Painted On A Brick Wall

Congress Plans to Consider Stand-Alone Immigration Bills - Immigration News for March 5, 2021

An American Flag Painted On A Brick Wall

Peri B. Edelman | March 5, 2021

When I attended an adjustment of status interview (green card) interview on Monday, an Immigration Services Officer informed me that the New York City office pre-pandemic held 500 interviews per day, and since Summer 2020, it has held 200 interviews per day. Therefore, green card cases in New York City are taking longer to process. Please be patient. If you or someone you know want to file for a green card, now is the time!

Congress Plans to Consider Stand-Alone Immigration Bills, Not Biden’s Comprehensive Immigration Bill

On Tuesday, House Majority Leader announced that the chamber would take up immigration legislation during the week of March 15, following a push for an “immigration week” by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Sources take that these bills could find bipartisan support:

  1. Pathway to legal permanent residence and then citizenship for DACA holders also known as “Dreamers.”
  2. Provide legal permanent residence to farmworkers who can provide work history and the opportunity to apply for citizenship after three years.
  3. Expand business immigration through proposed initiatives including raising the cap on employment-based immigrants, not counting spouses and children in employment-based green card limits; and eliminating from immigration caps graduates from U.S. universities with doctoral degrees in STEM fields.
  4. Pathway to legal permanent residence and then citizenship for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients.

Trump Kept out Diversity Visa Recipients to Protect American Jobs. Now, They are Getting Green Cards

Ending a ban on legal immigration imposed last year, President Joe Biden reopened the country last week to thousands of people who won the 2020 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program but couldn’t come to the U.S. because of an order issued by former President Donald Trump. Biden’s stated that Trump’s order, aimed at protecting American jobs during the pandemic, did “not advance the interest of the United States.”

Supreme Court Makes it More Challenging for Some Immigrants to Fight Deportation

On Thursday, the Supreme Court made it harder for longtime immigrants who have been convicted of a crime to avoid deportation. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the opinion for a 5-3 conservative majority that ruled against a Mexican citizen who entered the U.S. illegally and has lived in the country for 25 years.

The man, Clemente Avelino Pereida, had been charged in Nebraska with using a fraudulent Social Security card to get a job and convicted under a state law against criminal impersonation. Gorsuch wrote, under immigration law, “certain nonpermanent aliens seeking to cancel a lawful removal order must prove that they have not been convicted of a disqualifying crime.”

Many immigrants who have been convicted of crimes are entitled to a Waiver of Inadmissibility. I have successfully prevailed on hundreds of waivers. Cancellation of removal is a relief from removal (deportation) where an immigrant cannot be convicted of a serious crime.

H-1B Electronic Registration Process Begins on March 9, 2021

Prospective petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, including for beneficiaries eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must first electronically register and then pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee for each beneficiary. Under this process, prospective petitioners (also known as registrants), and their authorized representatives, who are seeking authorization to employ H-1B workers subject to the cap, complete a registration process that requires only basic information about the prospective petitioner and each requested worker.

The initial registration period for FY 2022 will open at 12pm EST on March 9th and close at 12pm EST on March 25.

DOS Holds Briefing on Current Status of Immigrant Visa Processing at Embassies and Consulates

On Monday, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services Julie Stufft provided an update on the current status of immigrant visa processing at U.S. embassies and consulates globally. Ms. Stufft provided some statistical information: “In January 2020 there were about 75,000 immigrant visa cases pending at the National Visa Center ready for interviews. Thirteen months later, in February 2021, there were 473,000 - about six to seven times greater.” Further, the numbers do not represent all cases, she noted. For example, cases already at embassies and consulates that have not yet been interviewed, applicants still gathering the necessary documents before they can be interviewed, and petitions awaiting USCIS approval are not included in the total.

Ms. Stufft noted that while Trump’s rule has been rescinded, “there are still restrictions in place on visa issuance and entry into the United States for individuals physically present in those countries, which are China, Iran, Brazil, UK, Ireland, South Africa, and the 26 countries of the Schengen Area.” However, she added, there is a blanket exception to these geographical restrictions for individuals who possess valid FY2020 diversity visas. The Embassies have been scheduling interviews.

Some of my clients have received interview appointments. When your interview appointment is scheduled, the National Visa Center (NVC) and my office will notice you immediately. Mexico is taking a very long time to schedule visa interviews. Again, please be patient.

If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.

Disclaimer: This newsletter is a public resource of general information only and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This website should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The information provided to you at this website is not intended to create and does not create an attorney-client relationship with Peri B. Edelman. Readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. Visitors to this website should not act, or refrain from acting, based upon any information available via this website, and should always seek the advice of competent counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. The existence of any particular link is intended solely to provide viewers with information which may be of interest to them. Peri B. Edelman takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of information contained on a linked site. Please be advised that information conveyed over the Internet may not be secure. Any information sent to the law office of Peri B. Edelman via electronic mail or through this website is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis. You're sending Peri B. Edelman or any of the firm’s personnel an email through this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Peri B. Edelman expressly disclaims any and all liability with regard to actions taken or not taken based upon the content of this website.

Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.