USCIS Issues Warning on Unauthorized Use of the DHS Seal

08.18.15 | Archived

 

On August 14, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Public Engagement Division sent an e-mail reminder to industry stakeholders that use of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seal without first obtaining written approval from the Secretary of DHS is prohibited. The Secretary’s approval is also required to use the DHS logo coupled with the USCIS signature. Below is the message reprinted in full:

 

USCIS would like to remind you that no one, including EB-5 regional centers, may use the official U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seal without first obtaining express written approval from the Secretary of DHS or the Secretary’s designee. The Secretary’s express written approval is also required to use the DHS seal coupled with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) signature.

If an EB-5 regional center or related entity displays the DHS seal or USCIS signature on its website, electronic and printed forms, or promotional and marketing materials without express written approval, USCIS may refer the regional center or related entity to the Department of Justice or the Federal Trade Commission for further action.

If you use the DHS seal or USCIS signature without approval, you may be:

  • Improperly implying that the U.S. government is endorsing the regional center,
  • Inaccurately suggesting a special relationship with USCIS,
  • Engaging in unfair or deceptive trade practice under 15 U.S.C. §§ 45 and 52, and
  • Violating U.S. criminal statutes which protect the DHS seal and USCIS signature and which address the improper use of federal agencies’ seals, official badges, identification cards and other insignia. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 506, 701 and 1017.

Improper use of the DHS seal and USCIS signature can confuse the public and prevent them from being able to identify what communications are officially from DHS or USCIS. This negatively impacts DHS’ and USCIS’ ability to effectively communicate with the American public. Therefore, DHS only permits the use of the DHS seal and USCIS signature for very specific purposes.

For information on how to request approval to use the DHS seal, visit this DHS page.

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