Many people all over the world have hopes and dreams of becoming a U.S. citizen. They may want to flee their homelands because of religious persecution there or to obtain a better education or career path here. In some extreme cases, foreign nationals are desperate to escape a dangerous situation. If the proper legal steps are not taken to lawfully enter the United States, criminal charges can result. For example, falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen can carry significant consequences.
Penalties for False Claims of Citizenship
Falsely claiming citizenship is a serious offense in the United States. The most common wrongful claims to citizenship occur in the below scenarios:
- Registering to vote in a local, state, or federal election if prohibited from doing so
- Checking “U.S. citizen” on an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form
- Claiming to be a U.S. citizen on a student loan application
- Attempting to obtain a U.S. passport
- Claiming to be a U.S. citizen in order to obtain a citizenship benefit
Regardless if you misunderstood the directions on a form and mistakenly made a false claim to U.S. citizenship, you can be “removable” from the United States. The forms of punishment can include:...