USCIS Policy Update regarding False Claim of Citizenship
On April 24, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it is updating its policy in order to follow the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (BIA) decision in Matter of Zhang. This decision held that false claims of U.S. citizenship do not need to be knowingly made to make a non US citizen (USC) deportable under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This will also apply to the false claim to U.S. citizenship ground of inadmissibility.
Under the INA, a non USC is inadmissible or deportable if they falsely claim to be a citizen of the United States for any purpose or benefit under immigration law or under other federal or state law. A waiver may be available for some individuals.
Under the change in policy, is not necessary for the government to show that the individual had the intent to claim to be a USC. This could have been done without knowing that they were falsely claiming to be a USC.
Non USC’s should consult with an immigration attorney before applying for immigration benefits in order to consider the possibility that this ground of inadmissibility or deportability could apply to them. This is especially important for those individuals that have signed Form I-9 as part of the hiring process and might not have realized that the employer selected the USC option.
If you have questions about your immigration case, it’s important to speak with an experienced immigration attorney to discuss your specific case and circumstances. Attorney Evelyn J. Pabon Figueroa is an Associate in the Orlando office of CPLS, P.A. She is a member of the firm’s Immigration Practice Group. Contact Attorney Evelyn today at email@example.com to discuss any immigration issues you may be experiencing.