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.
PPP Loans & Foreign Owned Companies
The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) is a federal loan program to assist small businesses in covering payroll and other specific costs. Small businesses apply for a loan and, if they meet certain requirements, they can request for forgiveness of the amounts owed.
When the PPP came out, the loan application included a question addressing whether the applicant was a US citizen (USC) or a lawful permanent resident (LPR). This was interpreted by many to mean that small businesses owned by non USC’s or LPR’s did not qualify for these loans. However, the actual law did not impose this requirement. In April, the loan application was amended and the question regarding immigration status was removed, making the form consistent with the wording of the law.
What this means is that PPP loans are available for small businesses owned by non USC’s or LPR’s. Of course, non USC or LPR small business owners have additional factors to take into consideration when deciding whether to apply for a PPP loan. Some of these factors include:
- Public charge issues: Will the administration consider the forgiveness of the loan when deciding public charge issues in future applications for immigration benefits?
- Forgiveness of loan and the requirement that a petitioning company be able to sustain itself and its employees
- Is there a benefit to applying for the loan and not seeking forgiveness (e.g., lower interest rates, no personal guarantee requirement)?
Non USC or LPR small business owner should consult with their immigration and business attorneys in order to consider whether applying for a PPP to stay in business is in their best interest.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any immigration issues you may be experiencing.