Immigration Assistance in San Jose
Obtaining Citizenship for Children Residing Outside the U.S.
In some instances, a noncitizen child regularly residing outside the United
States may obtain U.S. citizenship upon the naturalization of his or her
parents. In order for a noncitizen child to be eligible to obtain citizenship,
he or she must meet the requirements of the Immigration and Nationality
Act (“INA”), as amended by the Child Citizenship Act. If you
are a U.S. citizen parent and would like to help your child gain citizenship,
our San Jose citizenship attorney at Verma Law Firm is prepared to help.
The requirements are as follows:
- At least one parent is a U.S. citizen or, if deceased, the parent was U.S.
citizen at the time of death;
- The U.S. citizen parent, or his or her U.S. citizen parent (or at the time
of death had) been physically present in the United States or its outlying
possessions for at least 5 years, at least two of which were after attaining
the age of 14;
- The child is under the age of 18 years;
- The child is residing outside of the United States in the legal and physical
custody of the U.S. citizen parent (or, if the citizen parent is deceased,
an individual who does not object to the application);
- The child is temporarily present in the United States after having entered
lawfully and is maintaining lawful status in the United States;
- An adopted child may be eligible for naturalization under the I(NA if the
child satisfies the requirements applicable to adopted children under
sections 101(b)(1)(E),(F), or (G) of the INA.
Understanding the Complex Qualifications
In order for a noncitizen child to qualify as a “child” under
the INA, the individual must be unmarried. Also, a child born out of wedlock
must be “legitimated” while under the age of 16 and while
in the legal custody of the legitimating parent. Further, a stepchild
who has not been adopted does not qualify as a “child” under
this INA section. In order to obtain citizenship, an Application for Citizenship
must be filed on behalf of an eligible child by the U.S. citizen parent.
If the U.S. citizen parent has died, a U.S. citizen grandparent or U.S.
citizen legal guardian may apply on behalf of the child within 5 years
of the parent’s death.
In order for the child to obtain citizenship under this section, the application
must be filed, approved, and the child must take the oath of allegiance,
if required to do so, before the child reaches 18. After naturalization,
the child will be eligible to obtain a U.S. passport.
Are you interested in learning more?
Request a consultation by calling our office at (408) 560-4622.