Chapter 4 - Exceptions and Waivers

A. Applicability

Inadmissibility on account of false claim to U.S. citizenship does not apply to:

  • Special immigrant juveniles seeking adjustment of status; [1] and

  • Applicants for registry. [2] 

B. Exception [3]

In 2000, Congress added a statutory exception to inadmissibility for false claim to U.S. citizenship. [4] Congress made the exception apply retroactively. 

The exception applies to false claims to U.S. citizenship made on or after September 30, 1996, if the applicant satisfies the following requirements: 

  • Each parent of the applicant (or each adoptive parent in case of an adopted child) is or was a U.S. citizen, whether by birth or naturalization;

  • The applicant permanently resided in the United States prior to attaining the age of 16; and 

  • The applicant reasonably believed at the time of the representation that he or she was a U.S. citizen.

Each of the applicant’s parents had to be a U.S. citizen at the time of the false claim to U.S. citizenship to meet the first requirement of this exception. [5] 

​This exception does not limit the alien’s ability to prove on other grounds that he or she did not know the claim was false. Rather, it is one situation in which it would be reasonable to find that the alien did not know the claim to U.S. citizenship was false.

C. Waiver [6]

The availability of a waiver to an inadmissibility ground depends on the immigration benefit. In general, there is no waiver for inadmissibility based on a false claim to U.S. citizenship [7] for aliens seeking lawful permanent resident status:​

  • As an immediate relative;​

  • Under an immigrant preference category (other than special immigrant juveniles);​

  • As a diversity immigrant;​

  • Under the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966; [8] or​

  • Under any other statute that does not provide authority to waive the ground. ​

An officer may grant a waiver to an alien seeking adjustment of status as a refugee or an asylee, as a legalization applicant, or under any other basis that specifically permits a waiver of this ground of inadmissibility. [9] 

​Inadmissibility based on a false claim to U.S. citizenship does not necessarily bar adjustment of status based on residence in the United States since before January 1, 1972. [10] It could, however, support a finding that the applicant is not a person of good moral character.

Nonimmigrants may seek permission to enter despite the inadmissibility. [11] 


1. [^] See INA 245(h)(2)(A)

2. [^] Registry is a section of immigration law that enables certain aliens who have been present in the United States since January 1, 1972, the ability to apply for lawful permanent residence even if currently in the United States unlawfully. See INA 249. See 8 CFR 249.

3. [^] See INA 212(a)(6)(C)(ii)(II).

4. [^] See Section 201(b) of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA), Pub. L. 106-395, 114 Stat. 1631, 1633(October 30, 2000).

5. [^] See INA 212(a)(6)(C)(ii)(II).

6. [^] For more information, see Volume 9, Waivers [9 USCIS-PM]. 

7. [^] See INA 212(a)(6)(C)(ii).

8. [^] See Pub. L. 89-732 (PDF) (November 2, 1966).

9. [^] See INA 209(c). See INA 245A(d)(2)(B)(i).

10. [^] See INA 249

11. [^] Under INA 212(d)(3)(A).

INA 212(a)(6)(C)(ii) - Illegal entrants and immigration violators - falsely claiming citizenship


No appendices available at this time.

Technical Update - Replacing the Term “Foreign National”

October 08, 2019

This technical update replaces all instances of the term “foreign national” with “alien” throughout the Policy Manual as used to refer to a person who meets the definition provided in INA 101(a)(3) [“any person not a citizen or national of the United States”].



POLICY ALERT - False Claim to U.S. Citizenship Ground of Inadmissibility

December 14, 2016

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing guidance to address the false claim to U.S. citizenship ground of inadmissibility under section 212(a)(6)(C)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). 


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