If you have a relative who wants to immigrate to the U.S., you may be ready to file a family-based immigrant visa petition. This may be especially true if your loved one is your spouse or fiancé, as you may not have to wait for a visa number to become available.
Unfortunately, intending immigrants are sometimes inadmissible. This means even if the individual otherwise qualifies to immigrate, he or she is legally unable to do so. While some grounds of inadmissibility are waivable, a false claim of U.S. citizenship typically is not.
What is a false claim of U.S. citizenship?
Simply telling a friend or acquaintance that a person is a U.S. citizen probably does not meet the definition of a false claim to U.S. citizenship. For a claim to qualify, the person must claim to be a citizen for purposes of obtaining an immigration-related benefit or another benefit under state or federal law.
Here are some situations that may result in inadmissibility due to a false claim of U.S. citizenship:
- Falsely stating a person is a U.S. citizen at a border checkpoint
- Registering to vote or voting in a U.S. election
- Claiming to be a U.S. citizen on an I-9 form
What are the consequences of a false citizenship claim?
Not only may a false claim of U.S. citizenship render a person inadmissible to the U.S., but it may also lead to criminal consequences. An immigration official may also consider a false claim to U.S. citizenship to be evidence of poor moral character.
Whether your loved one falsely claimed to be a U.S. citizen may depend on both the circumstances and the law. Consequently, if you suspect someone may be inadmissible because of a false citizenship claim, you should be sure you understand all your options.