If an individual who is not a legal United States citizen or permanent resident falsely declares citizenship, they may find themselves in serious trouble. Any individual who falsely claims citizenship may be deported and deemed permanently inadmissible. If declared permanently inadmissible, an individual cannot return to the U. Additionally, anyone who falsely claims citizenship is not eligible for a waiver and only limited relief from removal proceedings.
If you are not a U.S. citizen or a green card holder, it is essential that you prevent yourself from falsely declaring citizenship and permanently impairing your chances of living lawfully in the United States. Therefore, it is in your best interests to understand what the government considers false declarations of citizenship and how to protect yourself.
What Are Considered False Claims of U.S. Citizenship?
Every day non-citizens make deliberate choices that involve false declarations of citizenship. However, unfortunately, many well-meaning individuals also find themselves running afoul of U.S. laws because they do not understand what actions could get them in trouble.
The U.S. government considers that following actions to fall under the category of false claims for citizenship:
- Declaring citizenship on an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification document or similar forms.
- Registering to vote in any election.
- Attempting to obtain a U.S. passport.
- Declaring citizenship to obtain government benefits.
- Applying for student loans.
It would be wise to reconsider if you contemplate performing any of the above-listed actions, as it could lead to your permanent removal from the United States.
Are There Any Legal Defenses to Falsely Claiming Citizenship?
Even though the U.S. government takes a hard stance on non-citizens making false declarations of citizenship, certain circumstances are considered exceptions. Typically, these exceptions are made for children who falsely claim citizenship. In most cases, false claims made by children will not lead to deportation if specific legal criteria are met.
Possible exceptions include:
- The child’s parents are U.S. citizens by either birth or naturalization.
- The child was a permanent resident before they turned 16.
- The child made a false claim when they were under 18.
- The child reasonably believed they were a U.S. citizen when making the false claim.
Even though there are possible exceptions to making false claims of U.S. citizenship, it is never a good idea to take such a risk. Individuals could also risk being criminally charged depending on the circumstances involved in the false claim.
If you are still trying to figure out actions you may have taken in the past and the possibility of them leading to false claims, contact our law offices and ask to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.
Is a False Claim of the U.S. Citizenship Grounds For Inadmissibility?
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), individuals falsely claiming U.S. citizenship can cause non-citizens to be deported and permanently bar them from returning to the United States.
One of the provisions in the INA stipulates that individuals falsely claiming citizenship are grounds for inadmissibility. Furthermore, these same individuals may also face criminal and civil penalties. For example, falsely attesting to citizenship on an employment verification form can lead to document fraud charges.
Additionally, any individual who falsely represents themselves as a U.S. citizen may face criminal charges that could result in imprisonment for up to three years.
Can Your Law Firm Help Me if I Have Made a False Claim in U.S. Citizenship?
Making false citizenship claims can lead to grave consequences for you and your family. You must understand all formal documents, such as an employment verification form, to ensure that you comply with federal laws.
Fortunately, some non-citizens may still obtain a waiver if the false claim occurred before 1996 or for refugees or those who have applied for U visas. In addition, in some cases, an individual who has made a false claim and qualifies for the 10-year Cancellation of Removal law may also avoid deportation. However, this only applies if the non-citizen made a claim so they could work to support their family.
If you believe that you have made a false claim, you must consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can review your case and determine what legal options may be available. Contact SwagatUSA LLC at 773-825-8695 immediately to learn how we may be able to protect your freedom and pathway to citizenship.