USCIS logo can put you in jail

A warning to all Regional Centers from the 6/30 EB-5 Stakeholder’s Meeting Presentation (slide 14): You are not free to use images of the USCIS/DHS logos on your website and promotional material. USCIS will be reviewing your material with the I-924a filing, and by law it can prosecute misuse of its logo leading to fines and/or up to six months in jail for the offender. 90% of regional centers, this means you! [Note: the slide doesn’t say the logo absolutely may not appear, just that it oughtn’t be misused. This shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s just a reminder to be as careful with the USCIS logo as you are with corporate logos.]

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Suzanne Lazicki is a business plan writer, EB-5 expert, and founder of Lucid Professional Writing. Contact me at (626) 660-4030.

3 Responses to USCIS logo can put you in jail

  1. Jerry Rider says:

    Would the penalties apply when using the official logo for informational purposes?

    My question relates to using the USCIS logo image to create a direct link to the USCIS website on a web page with information about the USCIS.

    Any thoughts/comments/suggestions are appreciated.

  2. Officially, I only know the info provided by USCIS on that slide in the 6/30 presentation, which quotes 18 U.S.C. 701 as follows:
    Whoever manufactures, sells, or possesses any badge, identification card, or other insignia, of the design prescribed by the head of any department or agency of the United States for use by any officer or employee thereof, or any colorable imitation thereof, or photographs, prints, or in any other manner makes or executes any engraving, photograph, print, or impression in the likeness of any such badge, identification card, or other insignia, or any colorable imitation thereof, except as authorized under regulations made pursuant to law, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

    Practically what that means I’m not sure. I assume that the general rules for displaying other people’s logos would apply. For example if you’re a real estate developer wanting to advertise the fact that you lease to Starbucks, you don’t just put Starbucks’ logo on your website, which could get you into trouble. Instead you photograph a Starbucks building or cup or something with the logo on it and then put that photo on your website. I assume that in the same way you could freely display your USCIS approval letter, highlighting the logo, but be cautious about using the logo itself. This is just my guess 🙂

  3. Jerry Rider says:

    Thank you for the response. Your comparison to using corporate logos was especially helpful.

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