I've been working for a small company as a contractor for almost 6 months. Now they've agreed to hire me full-time, but said they would like to do so through a government program in order to qualify for wage subsidies. They provided me with some instructions for when I register: one of them is that I must write my employment status as "unemployed for at least 6 months", which is one of the requirements for the subsidy.

I'm new in the country and really want this job, but I don't know how I feel about lying for it. I'm worried it might cause me trouble in the future, and I also find the situation humiliating. My family thinks I'm being too dramatic and that it's not a big deal. Am I making too much a big deal out of it?

  • 32
    It's FRAUD and YOU will be accountable for that, not us from Internet, not your family, not the company that is suggesting you this unlawful behaviour. Is there anything to decide? Moreover IANAL but if you are "new to the country" then it's really a dumb move if you are also planning to live there for a while... Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 21:51
  • In the United States
    – sowoli
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 22:07
  • 15
    @sowoli beware, most visas can be revoked and green card renewals can be denied for lying on government paperwork, or accepting low income subsidies. Be very careful and consult an immigration lawyer before you do this (assuming you are not a US citizen)
    – Vality
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 0:15
  • 1
    @Sowoli, think in another way: if your company is asking you to FRAUD the law to get some advantage, is this the environment you want to work for? You can expect anything from them if they think they don't need you anymore. And you will be opening yourself to blackmail later in the road. No matter what they say or want, it is you that is risking a lot for their gain. It is not worthy to risk jail and/or deportation over this. i would emphatically recommend to not do that. Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 10:38

3 Answers 3


I would be very wary and careful with that. The company is essentially asking you to commit welfare fraud, which depending on the severity can carry serious penalties.

This is especially troubling because you're new to the united states, from which I assume you do not hold citizenship yet. Green cards, visas and residency can be revoked for welfare fraud, so you could very well end up having to leave (or in jail) when you do this and it is discovered.

I would give this a hard pass and search for something else.

  • This is correct. You will likely end up in jail, be financially liable for the fraud and then be deported. If you are deported, having defrauded the US government, it is unlikely that you will ever be able to return to the US as all visa applications will likely be denied
    – Dancrumb
    Commented Jun 6, 2019 at 13:17

If that country was for example the U.K., your lies would almost certainly be found it, with possibly drastic consequences for you. What your employer wants to do is fraud. You would be an accomplice to fraud, which is criminal. How safe is your status in the country, since you are new there? If you are not a US citizen, this could lead to removal from the country.


I once worked customer service for a hotel company. A customer called me and wanted to dispute a bill. After telling him the charge was for a movie, he asked me what ELSE such a charge could have been for. Not understanding what he meant, he clarified....he wanted me to help make up an excuse to tell his wife what the $6.95 charge was for other than a movie. I declined his request, telling him my faith prevented me from helping him craft a lie.

You're going to have to make this decision for yourself. Do you feel this is a moral issue or not? Do you want to stand by your principles or not? Is this something you have a conviction about?

That aside...from a legal point of view, I can imagine you could be held accountable for fraud if/when it's found out that you lied. Or they may never find out. Truth be told it's probably pretty common to do that.

But you need to decide if it's worth compromising your morals, and if you are willing to take the risk for whatever the penalty is.

  • 2
    He had never heard of the mini-bar?
    – Mawg
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 7:50
  • I think he was a bit "back-woodsish". :)
    – Keith
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 11:37

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