Lying during an interview with USCIS can have serious repercussions, such as an accusation of inadmissibility based on material misrepresentation.
A material misrepresentation charge can seriously jeopardize and end your chances of getting legal permanent residence (i.e. a green card) in the United States.. If this happens to you, it's crucial that you take measures to rectify the mistake promptly and with caution.
A Recent Couple Who Lied to USCIS
About a year ago, I had a couple come by my office in distress. During their marriage-based interview with USCIS, they got flustered and gave the wrong answer to a question about the timeline of their engagement. To cover up their mistake, they lied – big no-no. As expected, it didn't fly and the USCIS adjudicator held their application and requested evidence regarding the point of misstatement.
Understandably, the couple was concerned about what could happen. So, I laid it out for them: lying during a USCIS interview is a big problem since immigration fraud or material misrepresentation can lead to inadmissibility and ultimately denial of a green card. In short, it's vital to tell the truth at all times during an interview with USCIS. No exceptions!
Understanding “Material Misrepresentation”
A “material misrepresentation” is a lie about something that matters in deciding whether a person is eligible for an immigration benefit. The misrepresentation part in “material misrepresentation” means the lie. The material part in “material misrepresentation” means the lie is one that is important to the case.
Misrepresenting facts that are critical for immigration purposes must be avoided - even if telling the truth leads to a difficult interview. This type of lie could mean the denial of your green card or other benefits, so you must stay honest during any USCIS interview. Lying about essential details can result in material misrepresentation allegations from USCIS.
Responding to a Request for Evidence
If USCIS suspects you’re lying at a green card interview, they may send you a request for evidence (“RFE”) or a notice of intent to deny (“NOID”) as a response. How you can respond depends heavily on how important the mistaken answer was to your eligibility. This is the “materiality” of the misrepresentation.
On one hand, the situation may just require a tweak to your answer. On the other hand, your response may require careful expert guidance from a lawyer to navigate a figurative minefield in your response. Knowing the difference - and the risks - likely requires consulting with a qualified, experienced immigration lawyer.
Making a Timely Retraction
Another way to rectify a false statement is to retract it ASAP. This involves withdrawing what you said and amending your response speedily. If you act quickly enough, it's possible that no accusation of uttering lies will be made against you. Nevertheless, there are certain criteria for considering an act as 'timely' and it's essential to get legal advice in order to determine the most suitable action.
Request a Consultation with Malakouti Law
If you told a lie during your USCIS interview, it's crucial to seek the expertise of an authorized immigration attorney. These professionals can explain precisely what consequences might arise from your misstatement and work with you to sort out the problem.
A timely retraction, made voluntarily, may be a possible solution in such situations. Seeking legal assistance from a licensed immigration attorney is highly recommended for those facing immigration-related issues.
To find out what can be done in your situation, request a consultation with Malakouti Law by clicking this link.
Each immigration and citizenship case is particular and you should consult with a qualified immigration and citizenship lawyer about your case before taking any steps. The Law Office of Parviz Malakouti does not guarantee the accuracy of information presented nor assume responsibility for actions taken in reliance of this information. The information in this page could become outdated. Attorney marketing.