Integrity Legal

10th Aug 2009

On August 6, 2009 the American Immigration Lawyers Association is reporting that two people in New York City have been arrested as a result of a fraud investigation targeted at a fraud ring headed by TONG HUI YOU (a/ka KEVIN YOU), 50, and XIAO LING CHEN (a/k/a LINDA CHEN), 36. According to the indictment these two were actively holding themselves out to the public as attorneys even though they had not been licensed as such. Further, the indictment alleges that these defendants were involved in a scheme to defraud by promising immigration benefits that they could not deliver.

Apparently, these two would bring victims to their office and, as AILA’s website reports,

“Once inside, the victim met YOU, who stated in substance that he was a lawyer specializing in express immigration. CHEN also told the victim that YOU was a lawyer. YOU represented to the victim that he had special connections in the U.S. immigration agency and in the U.S. Embassy in China. YOU guaranteed that the victim’s petitions for his family members in China would be approved within six months and that his family members in the U.S. would get green cards through a particular program even though they had not applied and did not qualify.” [Emphasis Added]

I placed sections of the above quote in bold and italics in order to underscore some important points. First, this type of scam is far too prevalent in Thailand. Many so called “lawyers,” “attorneys,” and “visa consultants,” cause all kind of problems for victims in Thailand. As if falsely claiming to be an attorney were not enough, these firms also promise many immigration benefits that the applicant is either ineligible to receive or would be improper to obtain based upon the victim’s situation. Another common claim is the “100% Guarantee.”

A variation on this scenario that is often played out in Thailand also involves the “visa company” creating false documentation in order to cover up facts that could be negatively construed. It is never wise to provide documents that attempt to cover up a fact material to the visa application. This authors has personally seen instances where doing so has lead to findings of inadmissibility that would otherwise have not arisen had it not been for the fact that the “visa agent” encouraged the couple to lie on an application.

The actions taken by the authorities in New York are commendable, but more needs to be done in order to eradicate the “visa agent” phenomenon which has become extremely prevalent in Thailand and on the internet. For those who have been adversely affected by an unscrupulous operator purporting to be an attorney or otherwise claiming to be able to assist with US Immigration matters, please see this link which provides information about where to go to complain about an “Immigration Consultant.”

For information on Getting a USA Visa from Thailand please see:

K1 Visa Thailand or K3 visa Thailand

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