U.S. Religious Worker Visa Program Found to be Riddled with Fraud

July 11, 2006

Source: The Boston Globe


On July 11, 2006 The Boston Globe reported, "A special visa program that allows churches to bring thousands of foreign religious workers into the country each year is riddled with fraud, an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security investigation has found. The probe found numerous instances in which groups in the United States falsely claimed to be churches, and visa applicants lied about their religious vocations in order to get into the country . More than a third of the visas examined by investigators were based on fraudulent information. A report on the investigation, obtained by the Globe, said that instances of fraud were particularly high among applicants from predominantly Muslim countries, and the report raised concerns about potential terrorism risks... Under the program, churches, synagogues, and mosques can ask the government to grant visas to foreigners to fill vacant positions. The sponsoring group or the foreigner may file the application."