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How dangerous is falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen?

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2022 | Immigration

As you probably know, being a citizen of the U.S. comes with some meaningful benefits. For example, as a citizen, you can vote in U.S. elections and compete for certain government jobs. You also have a U.S. passport, which enables you to travel freely to many countries around the globe.

Moreover, if you are a legal permanent resident, applying for U.S. citizenship may allow you to fast-track visa sponsorship for your relatives. Still, until you take the citizenship oath, it is critical not to falsely claim to be a citizen of the U.S.

Making false citizenship claims

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, if you make a false claim to U.S. citizenship for purposes of securing an immigration benefit or any other benefit under the law, you may become forever inadmissible to the U.S. You also may be deportable.

The following types of false claims are usually problematic:

  • Marking the U.S. citizen box on an I-9 form
  • Claiming to be a U.S. citizen to obtain public benefits
  • Saying you are a U.S. citizen to get a government job

Facing harsh penalties

U.S. immigration law does not look kindly on those who make false claims to U.S. citizenship. If you make one, immigration officials may try to remove you from the country. They also may prevent you from ever reentering the U.S., even for short visits.

Sadly, for most individuals, there is no waiver for false citizenship claims. This means after you make one, you may have no options for fixing the problem. Ultimately, because there are some limited exceptions to this rule, you probably want to talk to an immigration attorney before doing anything else.