If you are an immigrant, a non-immigrant visa holder or someone who does not have any valid immigration status, you may find the immigration laws of the U.S. to be somewhat confusing. Still, it benefits you to know exactly what status you have at all times. It also benefits you not to claim to be a U.S. citizen until you are in fact one.
Making a false claim of U.S. citizenship is disastrous for your future in the U.S. Indeed, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a false citizenship claim likely makes you both deportable and inadmissible to the U.S.
What constitutes a false claim?
Anytime you say you are a U.S. citizen when you are not a citizen, you are vulnerable to accusations of making a false claim. Some false claims are more dangerous than others.
If you claim to be a U.S. citizen to gain an immigration benefit or any other type of benefit under the law, you may face harsh immigration consequences. Here are some common ways to make a false claim of U.S. citizenship:
- Completing a voter registration
- Voting in most U.S. elections
- Applying for means-tested financial benefits
- Working in certain jobs
Can you apply for a waiver?
You may know that many immigration-related infractions are waivable. With these, you ask immigration officials to overlook your immigration violations. Sadly, most false claims of U.S. citizenship are not waivable.
Because you probably cannot apply for a waiver for making false citizenship claims, you simply might have to live with the consequences. Ultimately, in addition to possibly facing removal proceedings, you may never be able to enter the U.S. legally again.