Under section 212(a)(6)(C)(2) of the Immigration & Nationality Act, a false claim to United States citizenship renders a person inadmissible to the United States. The provision is particularly harsh as there is a waiver only for people whose natural or adopted parents were citizens and who permanently resided in the United States before the age of 16 and reasonably believed they were citizens.
On September 12, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to respond to concerns about its policy on False Claims to U.S. citizenship. In the letter, the Service indicates that in order to make a person inadmissible to the United States, a person must knowingly make a false claim to citizenship. In addition, the Service indicates that minors who make false claims are not considered inadmissible if they were under the age of 18 when the false claim was made and they lacked the capacity to understand the consequences of a false claim to U.S. citizenship.