How Cash Payments Can Lead to Immigration Fraud Charges in the United States
Many people are attracted to cash payments in the United States for obvious reasons, but engaging in these payments can easily result in immigration fraud charges. This is a lesson that many workers across the United States have learned the hard way, and it highlights the strict nature with which immigration authorities approach illegal employment and certain visas.
Foreign National Faces Up to 25 Years for Facilitating Illegal Employment
On November 7th, the Justice Department announced that a foreign national was facing up to 25 years in prison for money laundering, and facilitating the illegal entry of noncitizens for the purpose of employment. The money laundering charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years, while the facilitation of illegal entry carries a maximum penalty of five years.
His scheme is something that immigration authorities have seen many times before, and it involved illegal cash payments. Beginning in 2011, the defendant helped Israeli citizens fraudulently obtain B-1/B-2 tourist visas – despite the fact that they were actually entering the country in order to work. After arriving in Virginia and Maryland, these Israeli citizens were put to work in kiosks across the states. They were subsequently paid “under the table” in cash or payment cards. This highlights the risks of working for cash in the United States – both for illegal workers and illegal employers.
Technically speaking, there is nothing inherently illegal about being paid in cash – or making cash payments to your workers. That being said, the IRS obviously understands that it represents an obvious tax evasion strategy – and immigration authorities understand that it helps obfuscate the illegal employment of immigrants.
The United States Offers Many Legal Options for Worker Visas
Even legal work visa programs may present the risk for unlawful activities. Even if you are paid via a proper payroll system, your employment can still be illegal if your visa does not permit you to work in the United States. A tourist visa is just that – a permit to travel the nation as a visitor. If you wish to work in the United States, you must obtain the proper visa.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of legal options for those who wish to work in the United States. Of particular note is the H-1B visa program, which is aimed at skilled guest workers. If you meet certain criteria, you may qualify as a skilled guest worker and enjoy certain advantages when you pursue your work permit.
Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Immigration Attorney in Palm Beach County?
If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Palm Beach County immigration attorney, look no further than the Devore Law Group. The best way to approach employment as an immigrant or migrant in the United States is alongside a lawyer. These legal professionals can provide you with all the advice you need to take advantage of work visas, gain legal employment, and pursue your immigration goals in an effective manner. Book your consultation today to learn more.