Polygraph Use in Immigration Cases

Millions of people request the right to become permanent residents or citizens of the United States every year, but not all the requests can be granted. Often, much of the decision rests on the testimony of the individual making the request, and that’s where a polygraph examiner can come in. He or she can verify statements being made in order to make the decision about approving or denying the case easier for the federal courts. Here are the types of immigration cases where polygraph tests are making a difference:


Millions of people the United States offers asylum to are people who are here but are afraid to return to their home country because they will face persecution due to their race, nationality, religion, or political beliefs. By using results from a polygraph test as well as a physical exam and/or psychological exam, the government is able to determine the validity of claims made by the petitioner, such as occurrences of torture, abuse, or other forms of persecution, making it easier for a federal court to come to an informed decision on the matter.

Violence Against Women

Polygraph experts are also called in for visa petitions filed under the Violence Against Women Act. Immigrants who are abused, or who have children who are abused, by a spouse who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident can request that deportation proceedings be suspended, but only if they can show evidence of battering or extreme cruelty. Polygraph exams are now often used to verify the duration and intensity of the abuse.

Adjustment of Status

Under the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act, if you are qualified for permanent resident status but had immigration status violations, you can pay a penalty and apply for adjustment of status. Additionally, spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens who have petitions for immigration visas that have been pending for three years or more are allowed entry, and an adjustment to permanent resident status is given when the immigrant visa is approved. A polygraph examiner can be brought in to validate the petitioner’s needed elements in foundational briefs and arguments.

Marriage Fraud

In order to discourage fake marriages for purposes of immigration, the Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments state that aliens who gain their immigrant status from a marriage of less than two years are considered conditional immigrants. If they cannot provide proof that the marriage is valid, the immigration status can be terminated and they can be deported. Polygraph exams are being used to verify whether or not the unions are legitimate or fraudulent.


If the government has made allegations about a petitioner’s involvement with or support of a terrorist organization, a polygraph test can be used to verify that the claims are false in order to help with immigration issues.

Human Trafficking

Under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, those who are victims of the sex trade, slavery, involuntary servitude, and other types of trafficking are eligible for visas and work permits to stay in the country legally. These laws were enacted to protect immigrant women and children from violence. Polygraphs exams are often used to verify petitioners’ statements about their experience.

I-CARE Examiners

If you would like to have a polygraph exam to help in an immigration case, you should look for someone who has been certified as an Immigration Credibility Assessment Registered Examiner (I-CARE). These examiners have received specialized training in performing polygraphs for immigration cases and can even testify as an expert witness on your behalf.