Commission Clarification: On July 9, 2007, the Federal Trade Commission began issuing refund checks to certain customers of USA Immigration Services. The letter accompanying those checks stated that consumers received a check because they paid the defendants for “green card” lottery assistance services. The letter should have stated that consumers received a check because, sometime between January 2001 and October 2003 they: 1) paid the defendants for “green card” lottery assistance services; 2) paid the defendants for passport, international drivers license, or other travel-related documents and services; or 3) paid the defendants for immigration forms, citizenship applications, temporary visas, permanent visas, affidavits of support, or other residency-related documents and services.
Those consumers who recently received a refund check did so because, according to records obtained from USA Immigration Services, they purchased some service from USA Immigration Services between January 2001 and October 2003.
On October 1, 2003, the FTC filed a lawsuit against USA Immigration Services and its operators alleging that they misled consumers into believing the defendants were affiliated with the United States government, and that for a fee they could help consumers register through the Diversity Visa (or green card) lottery for a chance to apply for a permanent resident visa (green card). In addition to green card lottery services, USA Immigration Services allegedly sold several other travel and residency related documents and services to United States citizens and to non-citizens.
USA Immigration Services purported to assist U.S. citizens with passports and passport-renewal services, international drivers licenses, and other travel related documents and services. USA Immigration Services purported to assist non-citizens with immigration forms, citizenship applications, temporary visas, permanent visas, affidavits of support, and other residency related documents and services. According to the FTC, the defendants had no connection to the federal government and misled consumers in a variety of ways about the services they claimed to provide.
For more information, consumers can call the FTC’s redress contractor at 1-877-265-3429. (FTC File No. X040001, Civil Action No. 03-CV-2031-HHK; see press releases dated November 10, 2003 and July 23, 2004.)
Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.