Providing inaccurate or incomplete information on one’s US permanent resident (also known as greencard) application is generally not a good idea. Not only the applicant purges himself, he/she violates a number of immigration law regulations that can render one’s immigration status “inadmissible.” In both cases, this opens the door for the immigration officials to review the application again and revoke the privileges the greencard provides retroactively, which can make you a subject of deportation proceedings. In some cases, this may involve even criminal charges.
Lying on Immigration Application is a Perjury
Because pretty much every US permanent resident application you submit, whether it is greencard adjustment of status or petition for an alien, you has to certify, in writing, that all information supplied is full, complete and truthful. When such certification is given, and one still lies on the application, this is called perjury. In the United States, the punishment for perjury may involve a fine, imprisonment for up to five years, or both. This punishment is not immaterial. My recommendation is: Don’t do it!
Lying Can Make You Inadmissible
As I mentioned above, if during the immigration application review, an immigration officer discovers that the applicant is lying, that application could be automatically denied and one’s immigration status can be rendered “inadmissible.” The technical definition of inadmissibility is complex and is not subject to discussion in this post. However, in many cases it may mean that the applicant will be banned from visiting the United States or seeking any immigration benefits for 10 years or even for life.
Lying May Involve Criminal Charges
In some cases, lying on the U.S. permanent resident application may involve connection to more heinous unlawful activities, for example, terrorism. Here, the Wall Street Journal reports on two of such examples.
Two refugees from Iraq were arrested Thursday on separate charges that they lied to U.S. authorities about their alleged affiliations and activities with terror suspects.
If one’s immigration application involves false statements in order to cover up grossly unlawful or criminal activities, such violation may have serious consequences around one’s freedom. The question remains unanswered whether, if sentenced, such prison punishment will be carried out in the United States, or in the country where that person will be deported to. But to me, neither of these scenarios are workable. Don't do it!
The examples above may be extreme on the spectrum of immigration violations. However, having a well-prepared, accurate, complete and buttoned up application is key for the application approval. To ensure your application meets those criteria, please visit Green Card By Marriage to download the Green Card by Marriage guide and subscribe to our newsletter, or www.doityourselfgreencard.com/blog for further discussion of immigration and green card issues.