Irish students have been warned against doctoring their passports to gain access to bars in America – after several were arrested this summer.

The warning has been issued by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) after they were alerted to several stories relating to their members working in the U.S. on J1 visas.

The USI has confirmed that a number of Irish students have been arrested in the States and charged with attempting to modify the date of birth on their passports to make themselves appear older.

The Union revealed that students had been caught after placing laminates on their passports in order to change their dates of birth so they could enter pubs and nightclubs.
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Unlike Ireland where such an action is considered a criminal offence, under US law tampering with or falsifying a passport is a federal offence and can result in fines, imprisonment and a ban on future entry to America.

The USI has issued the warning after it became aware of several J1 Visa students who were arrested for altering their documents.

“I would strongly urge all students to cease using the modified documents immediately and have their passport replaced without delay,” said USI president Gary Redmond.

“If they altered their passport in any way, students should contact the nearest Irish embassy or consulate.

“I would also encourage anyone with family and friends abroad to make sure that they are aware of this potentially serious issue and to ensure that they take appropriate action without delay.”