Now that the midterm elections are only a few months away, you may have some strong feelings about the direction the country is going. Regardless of where your views fall on the political spectrum, you are likely to want to participate in the electoral process. Until you are a U.S. citizen, though, you should not vote.
Registering to vote and voting in U.S. elections are privileges only citizens have. If you are a nonimmigrant visa holder, a legal permanent resident or someone who has no valid immigration status, voting in a U.S. election can lead to your deportation.
Making false citizenship claims
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. citizens enjoy a variety of valuable privileges. Among others, these include the right to vote in U.S. elections. Consequently, when you register to vote, you must answer whether you are a U.S. citizen. If you answer untruthfully, you make a false citizenship claim.
Unfortunately, your false citizenship claim gives immigration officials a reason to seek your removal from the country. If you register to vote or cast a ballot, you are also likely to become inadmissible. This means you may never be able to enter the U.S. legally again.
Exploring your options
There certainly is nothing wrong with wanting to influence your community. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you should explore your options for becoming one before you try to register to vote. Until you have your naturalization certificate in hand, though, it is advisable to stay out of the voting booth.
Ultimately, however, because the naturalization process takes a few months, you probably should plan not to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.