Consequences of Falsely Claiming US Citizenship

Consequences of Falsely Claiming US CitizenshipCitizens of foreign countries can obtain US citizenship. In order to become US citizens, they need to become permanent residents or Green Card holders. A Green Card will not make a person a US citizen. Permanent resident status and US citizenship are both different. Many wrongly believe that having a Green Card is the same as being a US citizen. But that is wrong and there are several differences between the rights and privileges granted to permanent residents and the US citizens.

Falsely claiming US citizenship is an offense under the federal immigration law. Immigrants who falsely claim US citizenship will be permanently barred from entering the United States. Criminal charges will be filed against people who do so.

If an immigrant is deported from the United States for this reason, he will never be permitted to re-enter the country. There are waivers for certain other offenses, but no waivers are available for false claims to US citizenship. Immigrants who claim citizenship to receive federal or state benefits will be deported from the United States.

Permanent residents are granted several rights but they are not given the right to take part in the civic life by casting their votes in federal elections. If the immigrants who are prohibited from doing so, register to vote, they will be removed from the country.

While completing Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification form, immigrants should mention their exact status in the country and not state that they are US citizens. Similarly, it is an offense to obtain a US passport. Only the US citizens can obtain US passports.

Certain federal and student loans are available only to the citizens of the United States. Claiming to be a US citizen on loan applications and to obtain other benefits that are meant only for US citizens, are offenses under the federal immigration law. These offenses would result in deportation.

However, there are few exceptions and in certain cases, waivers will be granted. The Child Citizenship Act prevents the deportation of children, who falsely claim US citizenship. A child who falsely claims US citizenship will not be deported, if his/her parents are US citizens. Likewise, children below age 18 and children who are permanent residents, will not be deported from the country if they believe that they are US citizens just because their parents are US citizens and if they claim US citizenship.

Undocumented immigrants and people who overstay their non-immigrant visas, at times falsely claim US citizenship to remain in America. These foreign nationals will be granted waivers if they immediately retract the false claim and may not be deported for claiming citizenship. Though they may not be removed from America for this reason they will be placed in removal proceedings for unlawful presence or for other reasons.