What Are Some Methods for Investigating Immigration Fraud?

The Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate investigates immigration fraud by coordinating information with other law enforcement agencies, searching databases and conducting on-site investigations, reports U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force maintains offices in many U.S. locations to conduct investigations of criminal organizations exploiting the immigration process, notes U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. USCIS authorities conduct marriage fraud document reviews and interviews on a case-by-case basis, states Nolo.

Officials of the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate verify the background information that immigration applicants submit on their petitions and applications, according to USCIS. They look for patterns in types and amounts of fraud in various programs and hold compliance reviews to maintain the integrity of the overall system. Officials also perform unannounced inspections to verify information that applicants submit on documents. The Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate focuses on most inquiries into individual cases, while U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement targets larger fraud conspiracies.

USCIS immigration officials investigate marriage fraud by cross-checking information on application forms, explains Nolo. If they suspect marriages are not legitimate, they may visit couples at home and interview their friends, relatives and employers. They may also call couples in for marriage fraud interviews in which they separate the members, ask them questions about their courtship, wedding and home life and then compare the answers. Officials may be very intimidating and coercive in attempting to get couples to confess to marriage fraud.