Thanks to the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, any child born on U.S. soil is automatically granted citizenship, ensuring that children of parents residing in the United States, regardless of their immigration status, can enjoy the privileges of citizenship. When they reach the age of 18, individuals with legal immigration status can apply for naturalization to become full-fledged citizens. Navigating the complex process of acquiring citizenship can be made much more manageable with the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney.
Understanding the Routes to Citizenship
The Child Citizenship Act offers a means for children to obtain citizenship through their parents. You may be surprised to learn that you or your loved ones could already be U.S. citizens through one of these three pathways:
This is the most common method of achieving U.S. citizenship. Lawful permanent residents typically need to demonstrate their residency for the required number of years, good moral character, physical presence, knowledge of American history and customs, and a basic understanding of English.
Individuals born outside the United States can acquire U.S. citizenship if at least one parent is a U.S. citizen. Different rules and requirements apply to different circumstances and eras, making this pathway complex to navigate.
When a lawful permanent resident’s parent or parents become naturalized U.S. citizens, the resident’s status may automatically change to that of a U.S. citizen. Those who acquire citizenship through acquisition or derivation are exempt from taking a citizenship test since they are already U.S. citizens.
The Child Citizenship Act of 2000
This act, signed into law by President Clinton and effective since February 27, 2001, stipulates that the children of legal permanent residents automatically become U.S. citizens if the following conditions are met:
– The child has at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen (by birth or naturalization).
– The child is under 18 years old.
– The U.S. citizen parent has legal and physical custody of the child, who is now a permanent resident of the U.S.
Upon meeting these requirements, the child is considered a natural-born U.S. citizen through their parents. While no naturalization application is needed, proof of citizenship can be obtained through a Certificate of Citizenship (using Form N-600) or a U.S. Passport application.
Added Benefits of Citizenship
In addition to enjoying the rights and benefits of U.S. citizenship, citizens are safeguarded from deportation, providing security in the face of legal issues that may arise.
The Significance of Legal Guidance
Submitting a citizenship confirmation request does not guarantee approval. A thorough understanding of requirements and necessary documentation is essential. Immigration officers evaluate each application to determine whether lawful citizenship has already been achieved. Having robust legal advice from an immigration attorney significantly enhances your chances of success.
Consult an Experienced Immigration Attorney
If you have questions about eligibility requirements for confirming citizenship, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office. Rijal Law Firm’s immigration attorneys have assisted countless families in securing citizenship for their children. Choosing the right law firm is paramount when it comes to your child’s citizenship. Contact us today to ensure a smooth and successful citizenship process.