July 18, 2006

The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services’ Office of Fraud Detection and National Security has published its analysis of petitions submitted under the Religious Worker immigrant visa category in a recent six-month period.  Of the 220 randomly-selected petitions, USCIS determined one-third (32.73%) of those petitions to be fraudulent.  The study concluded that field inquiries (onsite investigations) into the Religious Worker immigrant visa petitions were important in identifying fraudulent filings.  Fraudulent filings in all visa categories create significant problems not only for government adjudicators, but particularly for legitimate visa applicants whose must endure longer waits, increased complexity, higher fees, and reduced availability as a result of the abuse.