Visa and Immigration Scams

Emigration is bureaucratic and confusing. Scammers are ready to take advantage of you.

Millions of people every year emigrate from the countries of their birth to build new lives in new lands. Motivations vary among individuals, but in most cases people emigrate from one country to another to improve their economic, professional or educational prospects.

The challenge is that popular destination countries rarely have open door policies. If you want to work, study or live in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and many other desirable destinations, you need a special visa enabling you to do so.

That’s where the scammers come in. Sleazy criminals have invented numerous strategies to separate potential immigrants from their money.

Government Impostors

If you’re not careful, your Google search for the immigration or visa services of your destination country may pull up some deceptively legitimate-looking websites. In all likelihood, however, affiliated with the government of the country to which you seek to immigrate. In the best case, they’ll simply provide the exact same forms that a government site does. And charge you two or three times more than necessary to forward them to the appropriate address. It’s literally no service at all, just a sucker’s toll.

But it can get worse. In addition to stealing your money they may use of the information you provide them to steal your identity as well. That can potentially result in massive financial losses, as well as ongoing or even permanent damage to your credit score. Not to mention your eligibility to receive a real visa legitimately.

Phony Consultants and Agents

These scammers might pose as lawyers, authorized immigration consultants or some other official with an impressive and intimidating title. To tempt you, they may guarantee your acceptance into the country of your choice … for a price. The truth, however, is that no one, no matter who they are, can guarantee any such thing. If they do, it’s a guaranteed scam.

Employment Visa Scams

Many countries, the United States and the UK among them, offer special work visas for qualified applicants. In the U.S, this requires an H-1B visa.  In the UK it requires a Tier 2 visa.  These visas, however, are granted upon endorsement from an employer seeking a hard-to-find highly skilled employee.  Knowing that, scammers often pose as an employer or a recruiting agency. Either way, they’ll tell you that you’ll get a great job plus legal residency if, of course, you just pay them a processing or application fee. The amount of their fee, however, can reach thousands of dollars. But in truth, there is no job. Nor is there a visa. Worse yet, falling for this trick can potentially result in being blacklisted from getting a real visa for years.

Investor Visa Fraud

Numerous countries operate immigrant investor programs. These are designed to stimulate their economies by allowing foreigners to legally immigrate in exchange for a large investment. In the U.S. this requires an EB-5 visa, and typically an investment of between $500,000 and $1 million in a project that will employ at least 10 Americans.

A notorious case involved the August 2019 arrest of a California businessman. Thomas Henderson and several co-conspirators allegedly defrauded numerous foreigners out of more than $100 million. Henderson apparently convinced his victims to invest their money with him in exchange for EB-5 visas. But no jobs were created. Henderson is accused of pocketing the money instead. The victims lost hundreds of thousands of dollars each. And they face deportation. Many similar cases have been reported over the years.

If you think you’ve been the victim of a visa or immigration scam, contact the fund recovery experts at MyChargeBack.