False Claim to US Citizenship

The Immigration and Nationality act contains a provision that renders a person who has made a false claim to US citizenship deportable from the US and ineligible for many immigration benefits such as permanent resident status or US citizenship. There has been only a very limited exception available for persons did not know a false claim was being made if the person was under age 18 at the time and lacked the capacity to understand. The burden of proof falls on the individual to establish an affirmative defense with a standard of proof for admission to the US or adjustment within the US of 'clearly and beyond doubt".

Recently, the Office of the General Counsel conducted a review of the section of the Immigration Act (INA 212(a)(6)(C)(ii) and determined that only a knowingly false claim can support a charge that a person is inadmissible. This interpretation opens the possibility for obtaining resident status or US citizenship to many persons previously blocked from these possibilities.

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