We recognize that the immigration process can be complex and that applicants, petitioners, and requestors are at risk of becoming victims of scams or fraud. We encourage you to use the information on this webpage to help safeguard your information and avoid becoming a victim.
When you need legal advice on immigration matters, make sure the person helping you is an attorney or an accredited representative working for a Department of Justice recognized organization. Nobody else is authorized to give you legal advice about immigration matters.
You can find the answers to some general questions below:
When applying for immigration benefits, you may have many questions, such as:
- What benefits are available?
- See our Explore My Options page.
- When should I apply for an immigration benefit or other relief?
- Before you file any application, or petition, or request, please read our Filing Guidance page and the filing tips for each form.
- Who can help ?
- The Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) provides a list of attorneys in your state who provide immigration services either for free or for minimal cost and a list of accredited representatives and recognized organizations. The American Bar Association also provides information on finding legal services in your state.
- See our Find Legal Services and Community-Based Organizations pages for more information.
You can chat with our virtual assistant Emma to get answers to general questions.
In the upper right corner of our website, you’ll see a box with the message “Need Help? Ask Emma.” Click on this box, and you can chat in English or Spanish; with Emma, our virtual assistant, about any immigration benefit question you may have. Emma can also help you navigate our website.
If you create an online account, our Tools page includes helpful links where you can:
- Check your case status;
- Find current case processing times; and
- Let us know when you change your address.
Other things you can do:
Consider attending an outreach event for general information about the immigration process.
Check our Form Filing Tips page before you submit your form.
Consider sending us an e-Request if you:
- Have a case that is outside the normal processing time;
- Have a document that contains a typographical error;
- Are missing a notice, card, or document that was supposed to arrive by mail; or
- Need an appointment accommodation.
Consider calling the USCIS Contact Center if you can’t find the answers you need after visiting our Tools page. (If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please use our text telephone (TTY) number: 800-767-1833).
Did You Get a Suspicious Email?
Forward it to the USCIS webmaster email box at the USCIS Webmaster email box. Our webmaster can confirm whether an email is a scam or not and provide useful information on how to report it. The webmaster cannot answer immigration questions.
Be aware that scammers:
- Try to confuse you by complicating the immigration process;
- Use social media, email, or phone calls to conduct their attacks; and
- Impersonate government officials to manipulate the victim into giving out personal information.
Be cautious of:
- Emails that look legitimate, but are sent by people you don’t know;
- Emails with typos and incorrect spellings;
- E-mails that do not end in .gov and end in (.net, .org, .com, or .info for example)
- Suspicious emails you don’t normally receive;
- Offers of assistance to expedite your case for money;
- Promises of a quick benefit; and
- Downloading or opening attachments from senders you don’t recognize.; and
- Requests from USCIS to transfer money to an individual or pay fees other than through your myUSCIS account
Have You Witnessed an Immigration Scam?
Reporting a possible scam being committed by someone else will not negatively affect your application, petition, or request in most cases, if you are not involved. Report it to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 877-FTC-HELP. You can also file a complaint online and report it to your local or state authorities.
Use These Non-USCIS Resources to Learn More About Immigration Fraud
- American Bar Association, Fight Notario Fraud
- The 2016 PINY Resource Guide from the Protecting Immigrant New Yorkers (PINY) Task Force
In general, reporting fraud committed by someone else will not negatively impact your application, if you are not involved. Protecting the integrity of the immigration process is a priority for USCIS. One way we protect the immigration system is by making it easy for you to for you to report immigration fraud and abuse.
To report fraud please visit our Tip Form page.
You can also report it to the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s Fraud and Abuse Prevention Program by calling 877-388-3840 or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.