Claiming U.S. Child Citizenship at Birth

By: JennyMartin | Posted: 22nd November 2011

Becoming a US citizen is the ultimate dream of many immigrants. It is not an easy process and cannot be achieved in a short period of time. One has to first become a permanent resident and satisfy several eligibility criteria in order to get the citizenship status. However, people who are born in the US are lucky in this aspect as they automatically become US citizens by being born in the US.

How to acquire US citizenship by birth?

When a child falls under any of the below mentioned category, then it indicates that the child has become a US citizen by birth.

*The child should have been born in the US or the outlying US territories

*In case the child is born outside the US, it should have one parent or both the parents as US citizens at the time of its birth.
In order to document their citizenship they need to file in Form N-400 (Naturalization certificate) if they were born in the US and Form N-565 – Certificate of citizenship if they were born outside the US to US citizen parent/ parents. The latter type is referred to as derived or acquired citizenship.

What happens when a child is born abroad to US citizen parents?

This kind of a birth should be immediately reported to the nearest US embassy so that an official record of the child’s birth can be issued in the form of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. This can be obtained overseas when the child is still under 18 yrs of age. Both the Consular Report of Birth and the Certificate of Citizenship are equally acceptable as proof of the US citizenship status.

Process of claiming US citizenship

Using N-600

When a person has been born outside the US to US citizen parent/parents, then he/she automatically becomes a US citizen if

*At least one parent is a US Citizen by birth or through the process of naturalization process

*The child currently resides in the U.S. with his/her US citizen parent

*The child is still under 18yrs of age

*The child is the biological offspring who is now in the legal custody of the U.S. citizen parent prior before reaching his/her 16th birthday

*The child is the biological offspring who was born out of wedlock without having been legitimated and whose mother has become US citizen through the process of naturalization process

*The child has been living consistently in the US after becoming a permanent resident

*If both the child’s parents, the parent who has been awarded both the legal and physical custody of the child should be a US citizen

*The only surviving parent should be a US citizen by naturalization

*If both the child’s parents are US Citizens and one of them has resided in the US prior to the child’s birth

*If one of the child’s parent is a foreign national and the other is a US citizen who had been physically present in the US for a period not less than five years before the child’s birth. At least two of those years should have been after the parent’s 14th year

If the child who is claiming for citizenship is below 18 yrs of age on February 27, 2001, but does not meet up with all the above mentioned criteria, then the child can file in Form N400 to get naturalized as a US citizen. For that he/she needs to become 18 years or older than that and become a permanent resident besides satisfying several other criteria and qualify for it.
This article is free for republishing
Printed From:

Back to the original article

Tags: period of time, short period, citizens, time one, immigrants, latter type, eligibility criteria, us citizenship, permanent resident, form n 400, citizenship status