San Jose Citizenship Lawyer
Citizenship of Biological Children Living in the U.S.
In some instances, a child whose parent(s) become naturalized citizens
of the United States, automatically gain citizenship to the U.S. A child
will automatically gain citizenship under the Immigration and Nationality
Act (INA), Section 320, as amended by the Child Citizenship Act (CCA),
if all of the following requirements are met:
- At least one parent of the child is a U.S. citizen, whether by birth or
- The child is under the age of 18 years old;
- The child is residing in the United states in the legal and physical custody
of the U.S. citizen parent based on a lawful admission for permanent residence;
- An adopted child may automatically become a citizen under section 320 of
the INA if the child satisfies the requirements applicable to adopted
children under sections 101(b)(1)(E), (F), or (G) of the INA.
In order to be considered a “child” under the Act, the individual
must be unmarried. Also, a child who was born out of wedlock must be “legitimated”
while he/she is under the age of 16 and in legal custody of the legitimating
parent. (See INA 101(c)(1) for more information). It is also important
to note, that a stepchild, who has not been adopted, does not qualify
as a child under this section.
A child who satisfies the requirements of section 320 of the INA, before
turning 18 years old, automatically obtains citizenship without having
to file an application. However, in order to obtain a certificate of citizenship
from USCIS, an individual must file a specific form, or obtain a US passport.