Citizenship of a child after naturalization of immigrant parents: what you need to know
Children of naturalized US citizens usually automatically acquire citizenship. In other words, the current law extends US citizenship to children whose parents become citizens as a result of naturalization, writes Citizenpath.
After submitting Form N-400 and obtaining US citizenship, the parent can also apply for the child’s citizenship in the form of a citizenship certificate. Even if the parent forgot to apply for the child, the child may receive a certificate many years later. If the child is 18 years old, he will have to fill out a form.
Children Citizenship Act 2000
The Citizenship of Children Act (CCA) entered into force on February 27, 2001 and changed the attitude of immigration laws towards children of naturalized citizens. With the introduction of CCA, a child is a U.S. citizen if all of the following conditions are met (or were fulfilled) at the same time:
- Child under 18 years old;
- The child is a lawful permanent resident (holder of a green card);
- At least one of the parents is a US citizen;
- A US citizen parent shares or sells legal and physical custody of the child.
If all four points correspond, the child in most cases receives citizenship from the parent. A US citizen parent must be the biological parent of the child or parent through the legal adoption of the child. Citizenship cannot be obtained from a relationship with a foster parent. Applying for a child’s citizenship is also complicated if the father is a US citizen and the child was born out of wedlock or the father is no longer married to a biological mother.
The Citizenship of Children Act 2000 applies to a child born February 27, 1983 or later. For children born before CCA, a different law applies. Typically, both parents of a child must naturalize before he or she is 18 years old, unless the parents are legally separated and the guardian parent is naturalized before he is 18 years old. The death of a parent would also be an exception.
Proof of citizenship of your child
Assuming that the child meets the requirements of the law and has obtained citizenship from one of the parents, he or she needs proof of status. In other words, the child automatically becomes a US citizen, but the government does not automatically recognize him as a US citizen. Most people get a citizenship certificate, US passport, or both. These documents are proof of your child’s citizenship in the United States.
Although it is not necessary to obtain this evidence immediately, it is usually easier to do right now. Over time, people lose information. When they decide to apply a few years later, it is difficult for them to find the right supporting documents to apply for US citizenship. It is wise to get an American passport and citizenship certificate for your child. Having both of them can help protect your child from problems later in life. But you are not required to receive both documents.
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Certificate of Citizenship
Once you apply, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can issue your child a certificate of citizenship. Your child cannot use the certificate for travel, but it will be useful throughout his life. The certificate of citizenship never expires. Later, the certificate is also important evidence to apply for certain benefits, such as Medicare.
A passport can also serve as proof of US citizenship. This is a very practical document, because a child can use it for traveling abroad. Applications for a US passport are cheaper than a certificate of citizenship, and a passport is issued faster. However, the passport expires in 10 years.
Apply for a child citizenship document
To apply for your child’s citizenship, you must submit Form N-600, an application for a certificate of citizenship. You can download the file from the USCIS website.
As a rule, you need to:
- Pay USCIS registration fee (currently $ 1170)
- Form N-600, Citizenship Application
- Two passport photos of a child
- Copy of birth certificate
- Copy Green Card Baby
- Copy of US citizen's birth certificate
- Copy of parentalization certificate
- Copy of marriage certificate of parents
- US legal and physical custody certificate with parent of US citizen
Again, children born out of wedlock or parents who have divorced may have additional requirements.
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Apply for a child's passport
To apply for a child’s passport, you need to file DS-11, an application for a US passport. You can find it online at US State Department . In addition, some government agencies, such as public libraries and post offices, can help you.
Typically, for the N-600 application, you will need the same supporting documents as listed above. If you have already received your child’s citizenship certificate, the list of required documents is likely to be as follows:
- Collection (currently $ 110)
- Form DS-11, US Passport Application
- Copy of child's citizenship certificate
- U.S. citizen photo ID issued by government
- One passport photo of a child
Replacement of documents for parental citizenship
If a child applies for citizenship after the naturalization of the parent, application N-600 must contain evidence that the parent became a US citizen before the child was 18 years old. In most cases, this can be done by providing a birth certificate and a parental certificate of naturalization. But what if the certificate of naturalization was lost, stolen or destroyed?
When the original certificate of naturalization is no longer available, the parent can replace it by filling out Form N-565, an application for the replacement of the document of naturalization / citizenship. USCIS is charged for the N-565 application, and obtaining a new certificate may take 5-10 months.
If the parent has passed away, you cannot file Form N-565 on his behalf. There is a way to obtain evidence by requesting the Freedom of Information Act.
Request for Freedom of Information Act
Individuals can file Form G-639, requesting the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain copies of documents in the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) files. If a child requests parental immigration records, a death certificate must be submitted as part of the request. When filing a request as an alternative evidence for a naturalization certificate, request a copy of the application and approval of a US citizen parent N-400. Assuming parentalization has been provided, USCIS will provide a copy of this documentation. You can use this as proof of your parent’s citizenship in the United States and your citizenship date. There is no USCIS fee for this form, but it may take 2-4 months to get the documentation.
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