Immigration scams are reportedly on the rise since President Obama's deferred action program went into effect last summer.
The deferred action program allows certain undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States and even receive work authorization if they meet stringent eligibility requirements.
However, scammers are apparently preying on vulnerable immigrants by offering "guaranteed" or "expedited" results for a hefty payment, and even requiring that some applicants pay money for a free government form.
Those potentially eligible for deferred action should know that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services does not offer an expedited service for determining deferred action. There are no "insiders" who can help you get swift approval. Instead, everyone is in the same boat -- and those who offer expedited or fast results are simply stealing your money.
In addition, there is no such thing as guaranteed approval. To qualify for deferred action, an individual must have:
- Entered the United States before having turned 16 years of age;
- Been under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012; and
- Lived continuously in the United States for the past five years, along with other requirements.
While someone may be able to help you determine if you are eligible for deferred action, no one can truly guarantee a result for you. If you do work with a third-party service, don't let your guard down and look out for signs of potential fraud.
If you have a specific question about the deferred action program, you can contact a qualified (and legitimate) immigration attorney in the FindLaw Directory.