Does lying affect immigration procedures?

In this week's Consulta Migratoria® column I answer a reader's question.

Each case is different and the answers vary depending on each person's immigration history.

Here I provide general answers to your questions. Please consult with an immigration attorney to receive personalized legal advice before starting any procedure.

This is the column:

Thank you for your column which is very helpful to all immigrants. I am an American citizen and I am petitioning for my husband who is from Honduras. Recently, the government denied my husband's application for a pardon for having been in the United States illegally. The denial letter says that they did not approve the waiver because my husband filed an application for TPS in 2002 and put that he entered the U.S. in 1998, when in fact he entered illegally in September 1999. The government never approved my husband's TPS application or gave him a work permit.

When we filled out the family petition and the waiver we put the actual date that my husband entered the United States. The government has already sent an appointment for my husband to go to the Honduran embassy to continue processing the case. What is my husband's chance of returning with his residency if he travels to Honduras? - Tania C.

Tania, your husband should not travel to Honduras without first consulting with an immigration attorney. His case is complicated and needs to be carefully evaluated to determine several things, including whether he committed immigration fraud when he applied for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in 2002 because he provided incorrect information.

Since your husband lived in the U.S. illegally, he will have to apply for permanent residence abroad through the family petition that you have filed, unless he is covered by 245(i). When he leaves the country, your husband will be subject to the 3 or 10 year bar for having lived in the U.S. illegally. There is a waiver of the bar that can be requested inside or outside the U.S.

Only undocumented immediate relatives (parents, spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age) of U.S. citizens may apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver within the United States.

The provisional waiver of punishment law is requested once the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves a family petition and before traveling to the applicant's home country to seek an immigrant visa.

In order to apply for a provisional waiver of the penalty law, several requirements must be met, including a showing that denying permanent residence to an immigrant would result in extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent.

The provisional waiver of the penalty law only pardons an immigrant's unlawful stay in the U.S.

USCIS does not approve this kind of waiver if the immigrant has committed any other offense that would make him or her inadmissible to the country, such as lying on past immigration applications.

In 2002, your husband submitted a TPS application to USCIS with incorrect information. This act may be considered immigration fraud and make your husband inadmissible to the country, unless he is granted a waiver for what he has done.

Your husband's immigration file should be carefully reviewed by an immigration attorney to determine if your husband has committed immigration fraud. Also, your husband's chances of seeking a waiver for having lived in the U.S. illegally or lying in immigration proceedings in the past should be analyzed.

It is important to emphasize that lying on any immigration application is punishable by law and could prevent you from obtaining immigration benefits in the future.

For more information and immigration tips, read my blog

Send your questions to Include detailed information about your situation to better answer your questions.

Nelson A. Castillo, Esq. is an immigration attorney and author of The Green Card: How to Obtain Permanent Residency in the United States. He is a past president of the Hispanic National Bar Association and current president of the Westlake South Neighborhood Council of Los Angeles. To contact Mr. Castillo's office, please call (213) 537-VISA (8472).

The purpose of this column is to provide general information. There can be no guarantee or prediction as to what will be the outcome of the information presented by Dr. Nelson A. Castillo. The information should not be taken as legal advice for any individual, case or situation. Consult with an immigration attorney for personalized legal advice before beginning any immigration proceedings.