Can I borrow passports?

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2022 | Immigration, Naturalization and Citizenship

For siblings close in age, you may have shared the other sibling’s state identification to get into bars or clubs. Indeed, this practice is common throughout many teen comedies, even though the practice is not legal. This is a fairly common trope throughout the world though, not just in the United States.

As such, siblings may feel like it should not be a big deal to share their passports either. However, nothing could be further from the truth. It can not only get you locked up and fined, but also, if you are going through the United States immigration process, you could be permanently barred or deported.

Is it really that common?

Probably. While the statistics on passport borrowing do not exist, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued an alert that status lying, which includes passport borrowing, has spiked this year, at least at the southern border. Specifically, the Laredo Field Offices report an uptick of 156% in year-over-year adverse status actions. This means that, even if the practice is not common, lying about one’s status is common.

The consequences

Regardless of your immigration status, misusing your passport or another’s passport could land you in prison for as much as a decade, in addition to six-figure fines. However, if you are not a native-born United States citizen, it could also lead to your deportation, and if you are seeking citizenship, you could be barred from legal entry. These are serious consequences.

It is not worth it

Illegal entry through a borrowed passport may seem harmless, and to society at large, it likely is harmless. However, the consequences to you and the family member who gave you their passport could be catastrophic. This is why passport borrowing is never recommended. Instead, consult with your Royal Oak, Michigan, attorney on how to travel abroad and enter the United States legally.