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Can your I-9 form complicate your immigration case?

| Dec 1, 2020 | Permanent Residency/Green Cards

Most employers in the U.S. have a legal obligation to confirm the identity and work authorization of all new employees. They comply with this obligation by completing and retaining Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. When you start a new job, your employer may ask you to complete section 1 of the I-9 by the end of your first day of employment.

While most of section 1 covers basic biographical information, you must also check a box to indicate whether you are a U.S. citizen, a noncitizen national, a legal permanent resident or a person who has some other type of work authorization.

Admissibility and inadmissibility

Whether you have a family-based immigrant visa petition or an employment-based one, to become a legal permanent resident, you must be admissible to the U.S. Stated differently, you must not have done something to render yourself inadmissible. Individuals who are inadmissible under U.S. immigration law may not enter the country or remain in it.

There are several grounds of inadmissibility, including having certain health-related conditions, engaging in some types of criminal conduct or even being a member of a totalitarian political party. Falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen also may make a person inadmissible.

Your I-9 and a false claim to U.S. citizenship

While there are certainly exceptions, falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen on the I-9 may constitute a false claim of U.S. citizenship. Regrettably, this false claim may make you inadmissible to the U.S.

Consequently, to avoid complicating your immigration case or becoming inadmissible, you should probably make the correct selection in section 1 every time you complete an I-9.