As an immigration lawyer in Houston, I often get questions about whether a person’s visa application will be denied. Sometimes the questions are legitimate. One common example is that people want to know if applying for a job or attending a job interview without a work visa is acceptable, and if a subsequent application for a work visa will be affected by this. Generally, the answer is “no,” but we strongly recommend that anyone coming for interviews or to apply for jobs be prepared to be questioned about it at the port of entry.
US Immigration Process: Honesty is the Best Policy
It’s not unusual for someone to ask me if something they do will affect their US immigration process or status in the U.S. – my job is to advise my clients and assist them with these decisions. My clients run ideas by me all the time, so it’s not unusual for a client to approach me and ask how anyone (meaning anyone in the U.S. government) would find out if they did something that might hurt their chances to stay in the U.S. Often I am asked travel-related questions such as this: “If the U.S. Customs and Border Protection people don’t stamp my passport when I leave the country, how would anyone know when I left the U.S.?” Usually people ask me this because they’re thinking they might be able to list a different date on an application. In citizenship applications, most people must show that they’ve spent a certain amount of time in the U.S. If someone hasn’t spent enough time here, listing a different date that they left the U.S. might help them appear to qualify even if they don’t.
The Fifth Circuit issued a published decision holding that a person seeking to adjust status to Permanent Resident who has committed fraud under INA § 212(a)(6) may not adjust status under § 245(i). The applicants in question were seeking to adjust status to permanent resident based on an approved employment-based petition, but had originally entered the U.S. with visas bearing other people's names. This is considered fraud under INA § 212(a)(6). Thus, while the applicants' time out of status might have been waiver under § 245(i) and an illegal entry would have been waived under § 245(i), the fraud committed when entering the U.S. is a separate matter. If the applicants had also been eligible for fraud waivers under INA § 212(i), they might have been able to adjust status in the United States.