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What is a false claim to citizenship? What does it mean and what are the consequences?

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One of the questions on the N-400 application for citizenship asks: “Have you ever claimed to be a US Citizen (in writing or any other way)?”

This simple Yes or No question can present a major problem if the answer is ever “Yes“.

So when is the answer ever a yes? What is the full extent of this question, really?

False Claim to Citizenship Criteria

Here are some possible actions where the correct answer to this question may actually be a “Yes.”

  1. If you have ever marked “US citizen” on a job application.
  2. If you have ever stated that you are a US citizen for the purposes of entering the United States at the Canadian or Mexican border.
  3. If you have ever registered to vote in any government election in the United States.
  4. If you have, for the purpose of seeking government benefits, marked that you are a US citizen.
  5. If you have stated that you are a US citizen in a student or home loan application.
  6. If you have used another person’s identity to work, secure a loan, or any other benefit and that person happened to be a US citizen.
  7. If you have applied for an ID or a driver’s license using someone else’s Naturalization Certificate

If this answer is a “Yes” the bad news is that there are no waivers available for making a false claim to US Citizenship. It renders you inadmissible to the United States. Your application for Naturalization will be denied, but moreover, your green card may also be at risk for revocation.

Hope for False Claim to Citizenship Cases

The very few exceptions to that general rule is if you didn’t actually make the false claim to US citizenship voluntarily. For example, if you accidentally registered to vote, but did not state that you were a US citizen, and revoked the registration later on, you may be successful in making an argument that you didn’t voluntarily make a false claim to US citizenship. Furthermore, an exception may be available if someone else made this claim on your behalf without your knowledge or when you were a minor.

If you suspect that you might have made a false claim to US citizenship, it’s vital for you to contact an immigration attorney immediately before applying for any Naturalization application to see if there are ways for you to escape the tight grip of this rule.

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