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

On Behalf of Palacios Law Group

If you are not a U.S. citizen, it is important to understand your immigration status. Whether you are a legal permanent resident, a conditional resident, a nonimmigrant visa holder or an undocumented immigrant you have certain rights. Claiming to be a U.S. citizen, however, is not one of them.

Falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen has harsh immigration consequences. Therefore, while it may seem harmless to pretend to be a citizen of the U.S., you should think twice before doing so.

What is a false claim to U.S. citizenship?

A false claim to U.S. citizenship is simply saying you are a U.S. citizen when you are in fact not. For your false claim to have immigration consequences, however, you must make it for the purposes of securing either an immigration benefit or another benefit under the law.

Here are some false claims that may put you in danger:

  • Registering to vote in a U.S. election
  • Voting in a U.S. election
  • Checking the U.S. citizen box on an I-9 form
  • Saying you are a U.S. citizen to obtain public financial assistance

What happens if you make a false claim to U.S. citizenship?

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a false claim of U.S. citizenship renders you both inadmissible and deportable. This means immigration officials may use your false claim to deny your request to enter the U.S. or to remove you from the country. Sadly, there is currently no waiver for false claims to U.S. citizenship.

Ultimately, if you worry you may have made a false claim to U.S. citizenship in the past, it is advisable to explore all your legal options before filing any immigration-related paperwork.

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