HAWAII'S ONLY WEEKLY FILIPINO-AMERICAN NEWSPAPER
SERVING THE FILIPINO COMMUNITY SINCE 1993
APRIL 7, 2018
LEGAL NOTES

Conditional Green Card May Be Terminated Due to Fraud

by Atty. Reuben S. SEGURITAN

“Honesty is the best policy” should be the life motto of someone who wants to live and work in the United States legally. Intentionally concealing the truth or knowingly lying to an immigration officer or to any official in the US embassy or on any document submitted could lead the US officials to conclude that there was misrepresentation.

If the US official or consulate officer finds that the applicant has committed misrepresentation, this could lead to the termination of any immigration benefit given or denial of any immigration benefit and a lifetime bar to receiving any visa or immigration benefit. Examples of misrepresentation are using a fake passport, using someone else’s name on the passport, lying on forms and entering into a sham marriage with a US citizen to get a green card.

If the immigrant has a green card that was obtained through misrepresentation then the green card will be revoked. If the immigrant has already become a US citizen, and the misrepresentation is discovered, the naturalization shall be revoked because the immigrant was not entitled to the naturalization in the first place. In both scenarios, the immigrant could be deported or allowed a voluntary departure because his status is no longer valid in the United States.

In one case, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denied an immigrant’s application for a good-faith marriage waiver of the joint-filing requirement for a Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence because of her misrepresentation.

Her marriage to a US citizen was less than two years old when she obtained her lawful permanent residence status so she was issued a conditional green card. She filed Form I-751 before the two year- anniversary of her green card in order to remove the conditions. She submitted documents, affidavits and bills to establish her relationship with her husband.

During her interviews with the USCIS, it was discovered that she and her husband had separated even before she arrived in the United States and they did not live together in Rhode Island, as she claimed. She herself also admitted to submitting fabricated documents, including an affidavit purportedly from her husband, telephone bills and other mails in their names addressed to the home in Rhode Island to make it appear that they lived together. The Immigration Judge found in favor of the USCIS and granted her voluntary departure to return to her country.

On appeal, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirmed the decision. On appeal to the New York Court of Appeals, the Court upheld the ruling of the BIA that her marriage was not a good-faith marriage and they did not cohabit. The Court also concluded that she was not able to meet her burden by a preponderance of the evidence that she entered into a good-faith marriage with her husband.

There can be catastrophic consequences if misrepresentation is committed. Hence, applicants and immigrants should always be truthful when filling-out forms, submitting documents and answering questions during interviews with the US consulate and USCIS.

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REUBEN S. SEGURITAN has been practicing law for over 30 years. For further information, you may call him at (212) 695 5281 or log on to his website at www.seguritan.com

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