Which Countries Are On The USCIS High Fraud List?
Many people that are going through the immigration process want it to go as smoothly as possible. However, in some situations, you may face a lot of setbacks, denials and being placed on administrative processing.
Administrative processing is a term used by the USCIS to indicate that your case needs further processing and review.
I can assure you that it is not as easy as it may sound. Administrative processing (AP) can either take a few weeks to complete or several years. The most frustrating part of this process is that you will not know how long it will last.
Who Is Most Likely To Be Placed On Administrative Processing?
Although anyone can be placed on AP, you will have a higher chance if you are applying from certain countries. This is due to the fact that immigration fraud tends to happen more in some countries than others.
There are few other reasons your case may be placed in AP:
- Your case is weak or you do not have enough evidence (and cant provide more)
- You (the beneficiary) have applied for an immigrant visa before that was denied
- You have an extensive criminal background (they will run a background check)
- USCIS does not believe your relationship is real
If the immigration officer interviewing you does not believe that your engagement or marriage is real, you have an uphill battle.
Provide as much evidence of your relationship as you possibly can! There is no such thing as too much evidence when you are fighting for your relationship.
Remember, immigration is a privilege and not a right. They can deny you and there will be nothing you can do about it.
What Countries Are Considered High Fraud?
When you see the list of high fraud countries you will notice that many of them are developing nations. Don’t be fooled though, there is still fraud committed from developed countries as well.
The list below is not a complete list of high fraud countries:
If you are applying from any of these countries, you must take care to submit a full and complete petition.
It is a good idea to “front-load” your USCIS petition by including a lot of communication documents, photos, letters and other proof of relationship items. It will take a bit more time upfront for you to put together your packet, but it will pay off greatly by reducing your chances of being placed on administrative processing.
Are There Low Fraud Countries That Get Approved Quicker?
The good news is that the USCIS does not treat low fraud countries more favorably. But instead, does not scrutinize them as much because of the lower chance of immigration fraud. So, just because you are from low fraud country doesn’t mean that you do not need to provide ample evidence of bona fide relationship, but instead it means that your interview may go a little easier.
Many of these low fraud countries have a similar standard of living to the United States. Immigration fraud is often times committed by those looking to find a better life in another country. Many consulates in low fraud countries have statistics on how many cases end up as being fraudulent and if this number is statistically low, they may not have to really dig deep into the beneficiary.
The list below are some potential low fraud countries:
- Britain (UK)
This is not a complete list but you can tell that many of these countries are developed nations that have a comparative living standard to the U.S. This makes sense because if your standard of living is the same, there is no reason to commit immigration fraud
Most of the countries that are part of the visa waiver program (VWP) are also on the low fraud list.
Being from these countries does not mean you don’t have provide a lot of evidence. It just means that your case will be looked at with an average amount of skepticism. You should always prepare for your interview as if the immigration officer already is suspicious of your relationship. That way, you will end up being completely prepared instead of stressed and missing documents.
There are many immigrants that are from less developed nations that are put through the ringer when it comes to evidence and the interview. It’s really unfortunate for those who have a genuine relationship.
If I Am Placed On AP, How Long Will It Take?
Unfortunately, there is no timeline set by the USCIS on the maximum length of time you will be waiting for approval.
The unknown is more difficult than actually being told you are now on AP. The problem with AP is that there is no set guideline on what is happening and how long it will take. I have heard some couples that waited for over 2 years before they got a resolution for their case.
But the vast majority of cases will not be in administrative processing for this long and will probably be approved within a few months. Yes, this is still going to be hard to deal with but it’s best to look at the bright side – once your approved you get to be with your loved one.
If you are applying for the K-1 visa, you have the option to get married and apply for CR-1 visa. Most immigrants from high fraud countries have a better chance of being approved for a spouse visa.
The only thing you can do is to keep yourself busy while you wait. Your U.S. fiance(e) or spouse is still able to visit you while you wait so book a flight and spend some time together.
It is important not to let this delay in your visa processing affect your relationship. Long distance marriages often fail due to the stress of the AP process.
Focus on your life at home and continue to go to school or work to keep your mind off of how long you have been in AP. I recommend calling the USCIS customer service number to get an update every 1-2 months to keep your case from falling into a black hole.
Ayan is the founder of the Migrant Academy community, the My Path To Citizenship Blog and Podcast.
After successfully navigating the hurdles of US immigration. She now dedicates her time to helping other couples achieve their goals of starting their new life together in the US.