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Consequences for False Claims to US Citizenship

Consequences for False Claims to US Citizenship

Consequences for False Claims to US Citizenship

An alien may be considered inadmissible or invalid because of a false claim to U.S. citizenship. A false claim includes;

  • A false representation of being a U.S. citizen, and
  • A false claim in order to get benefits that the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) or any other federal or state law offers.

Overview of Inadmissibility Determination

An officer should examine an alien that is considered inadmissible for falsely claiming U.S. citizenship. The officer should determine;

  • If the alien falsely claimed to be a S. citizen;
  • If the alien falsely claimed to be a U.S. citizen for the purpose of receiving benefits under the INA or any federal or state law;
  • If the alien withdrew the false claim;
  • If the alien is exempt inadmissibility because a statutory exception applies; and
  • Determine whether a waiver of inadmissibility is available.

Claim to U.S. Citizenship

  • An alien may claim to be a U.S. citizen in oral interviews, written applications, or by submitting evidence.
  • The alien can make the false claim to any federal, state, or local official, or even to a private person.
  • An alien who falsely claims to be a U.S. national, a person owing permanent allegiance to the United States, but not a U.S. citizen is not inadmissible for false claim to U.S. citizenship. The alien, however, may be inadmissible for fraud or willful misrepresentation.

Intent to Obtain a Benefit

Whether an alien made a false claim of being U.S. citizen with the intention of obtaining benefits is dependent on the circumstance of the case.

  • If the alien did not have the intention of claiming his status of being a U.S. citizen for benefits than the alien can prove, either with direct or circumstantial evidence, that he or she did not have the intent of receiving benefits.
  • However, if the benefit requires a U.S citizenship, than the aliens false claim is inadmissible. It is the aliens responsibility to show that the status of U.S citizen is not relevant to obtaining the benefit.
  • Benefits that one might want to obtain include;
  • A U.S. passport;
  • Entry to the United States; and
  • obtaining employment or loans that require citizenship to be eligible to the alien.

Intent to Achieve a Purpose

An alien might make a false claim in order to achieve a purpose. The alien must provide either direct evident or circumstantial evidence, that he or she did or did not make a false claim to achieve a purpose. A “purpose” includes avoiding negative legal consequences. Some negative legal consequences that an alien might want to avoid by claiming falsely U.S. citizenship include;

  • Removal proceedings;
  • Inspection by immigration officials; and
  • Prohibiting unauthorized employment

Timely Retraction

An alien who is inadmissible for fraud or willful misinterpretation is not inadmissible if he or she timely retracts the fraud or misrepresentation. If an alien timely retracts his or her claim, a USCIS officer would then treat the case of fraud and misinterpretation like it never happened. The retraction has to be voluntary and timely in order to be effective. Admitting to the false representation and fraud to a USCIS officer is not considered timely retraction. A retraction can only be timely if the alien comes to the same proceedings that he or she falsely claimed to be a U.S. citizen.

Consequences for falsely claiming U.S. citizenship

An alien would falsely claim U.S. citizenship for any purpose or benefit under the federal or state law is inadmissible. Someone who is inadmissible is prohibited from receiving a green card, even if married to a U.S. citizen. Also, an alien can also criminally convicted, fined or imprisoned. In the conditions of naturalization, if a false claim was made, an applicant may be denied naturalization due to the lack of “good moral character”.

Contributed by Svetlana Prizant, an Award Winning New York Immigration Lawyer

Call or Visit Prizant Law Today At:
Prizant Law
118-21 Queens Blvd Suite 507
Forest Hills, NY 11375

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