How to report visa violations

Updated February 21, 2017

Breaching an immigration law is a serious offence that should not go unrecognized. Reporting a visa violation can be confusing--immigration agencies and laws are constantly changing--but can be done after conducting the appropriate research. Before reporting a violation, gather pertinent information, seek advice and contact the proper institutions.

Familiarise yourself with current visa regulations before drawing any conclusions. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) website provides you with all the information you'll need before filing a report. You also can call to consult a USCIS expert for free.

Gather necessary details about the visitor or immigrant committing the visa violation. Any agency or institution you report to will need a name, a home or work address, business name and a description of the alleged violation. Common examples of visa violations are staying in the country on an expired visa, being employed or conducting business without a valid work visa (green card), pursuing formal education without a student's visa, or staying on an unauthorised family visa. In most cases, an illegal immigrant or illegal visitor has simply exceeded the duration of his or her stay as indicated by the expired visa.

Contact your local Department of Homeland Security (DHS) office and ask to speak with an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer. This is mandatory in reporting a suspected visa violation. You can find a complete list of Investigation Field Offices for locations and contact information on the DHS website.

Contact an agent at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if the visa violation involves a workplace. Employers who hire illegal immigrants or workers with expired visas are not only violating immigration laws, but tax laws as well. Complete Form 3949-A to report suspected tax fraud and mail it to Internal Revenue Service in Fresno, CA 93888.

Inform the FBI if you prefer an easy method of reporting a visa violation. You can either call Immigration and Customs Enforcement at 1-866-347-2423 to report suspicious activity or use the online tip submission form. In both cases, you will be required to provide your own basic information (name, address, contact information) and as much detail about the incident as possible. There are no specific guidelines for what to report because any tip about immigration law violations is appreciated. The FBI investigates all forms of criminal activity and can also refer a violation to the appropriate agency. However, because of the high volume of reports they receive, they may or may not reply to your submission.

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