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Child citizenship after naturalization of immigrant parents

Parents can apply for a child’s citizenship in the form of a certificate of citizenship. This is possible after submitting Form N-400 and obtaining US Citizenship. Even if a parent has forgotten to apply for a child, the child can receive a certificate many years later. The child will have to fill out a form if he is 18 years old.

Child citizenship

Children’s Citizenship Act 2000

The Children’s Citizenship Act (CCA) came into force on February 27, 2001 and changed the attitude of immigration law towards children of naturalized citizens . With the implementation of the CCA, a child is a US citizen if all of the following conditions are met (or have been met) at the same time:

  • Child under 18;
  • The child is a legal permanent resident (green card holder);
  • At least one parent is a US citizen;
  • A parent of a US citizen has shared or sold legal and physical custody of the child.

If all four points are correct, the child in most cases receives citizenship from the parent. The parent US citizen must be the biological parent of the child or the parent through the legal adoption of the child. Citizenship cannot be obtained from a relationship with an adoptive parent. Applying for citizenship of a child also becomes more difficult if the father is a US citizen and the child was born out of wedlock or the father is no longer married to the biological mother.


The Children’s Citizenship Act 2000 applies to a child born on or after February 27, 1983. For children born before SSA, a different law applies. As a general rule, both parents of a child must naturalize before he or she turns 18, unless the parents have legally separated and the guardian parent has been naturalized before he or she turns 18. The death of a parent would also be an exception.

Proof of your child’s citizenship

Assuming a child meets the requirements of the law and has received 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 receive a certificate of citizenship, a US passport, or both. These documents are proof of your child’s US citizenship.

While it is not necessary to obtain this proof immediately, it is usually easier to do so now. Over time, people lose information. When they decide to apply several years later, they find it difficult to find the correct supporting documents to apply for US citizenship. It is wise to get a US passport and citizenship certificate for your child. Having both can help protect your child from problems later in life. But you are not required to receive both documents.

Certificate of Citizenship

Upon application, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may issue a certificate of citizenship to your child. Your child may not be able to use the certificate for travel, but it will come in handy throughout his life. The citizenship certificate never expires. The later certificate is also important evidence to apply for certain benefits such as Medicare.

US Passport

Passport can also serve as proof of US citizenship. This is a very practical document because a child can use it to travel abroad. Applications for a US passport are cheaper than a certificate of citizenship and are issued faster. However, the passport expires in 10 years.

Child citizenship

Apply for Child Citizenship Document

To apply for your child’s citizenship, you must file Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship. You can download the file from the USCIS website.

Typically, you need:

  • pay USCIS registration fee (currently $ 1170)
  • Form N-600 Citizenship Application
  • Parent’s Certificate of Naturalization (copy)
  • Two passport photos of the child
  • Child’s birth certificate (copy)
  • Parents’ marriage certificate (copy)
  • Child’s green card (copy )
  • Birth certificate of the parent – US citizen (copy)
  • Certificate of legal and physical custody of the child with the parent of the US citizen

Again, children born out of wedlock or to divorced parents may have additional requirements.

Apply for Child Passport

To apply for a child’s passport, you need to file Form DS-11, US Passport Application. You can find it online at the US Department of State website. In addition, some government agencies such as public libraries and post offices can help you.

Generally, 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:

  • Fee (currently $ 110)
  • Form DS-11, US Passport Application
  • Copy of Child’s Proof of Citizenship
  • Proof of Identity with a government-issued photograph of a US parent
  • One passport photograph of the child

Child citizenship