U.S. Citizenship for Children


Under certain circumstances, U.S. citizens are permitted to turn to American Consulates throughout the world to submit a request for U.S. citizenship for a child born outside of the U.S. borders as long as the parent can prove that he/she lived in the U.S. five years or more where, for two of these years he was above the age of 14 (as of November 1986).

Before 1986 the law delineated different conditions and periods of time where the right for children of American citizens was given to someone who could prove that a parent has lived in the U.S. for a period of ten years where, for five of these years he was above the age of 14.

The date of birth of the child requesting citizenship determines which law applies regarding his entitlement to citizenship.  The proof that is required to present is significant and without it the child will not be recognized for citizenship.



After the Child Citizenship Act of the year 2000, it was determined that in certain cases where a citizen, who does not fulfill the criteria set by the previous law from 1986, may, instead, submit a request to American Immigrant Authorities for American citizenship for a child based on the residence of a grandfather or grandmother as long as one of them meets the requirements of the law. Beginning with the Child Citizenship Act of the year 2000, the citizenship procedure must be completed before the child reaches age 18.  The process of grandparent recognition takes place only in the U.S. and not via an American Consulate abroad. Upon completion of the grandparent recognition process, the American parent must present himself/herself and the child to the U.S. Immigration Authorities where he is summoned to appear to receive American citizenship (the grandparent does not have to appear).

In most cases, the Certificate of Citizenship is issued on the spot (there are sometimes cases of a delay).

The 2000 law opened yet another path for children of American parents who do not fulfill the legal conditions described above.  Under certain circumstances, a child who enters the U.S. as a Permanent Resident accompanied by a parent receives citizenship. A child adopted by an American citizen can thus receive American citizenship by this express procedure.

A child who received American citizenship by one of the methods described above can submit a request for an American passport in the United States or in any American Consulate worldwide.

U.S Benefits has vast experience arranging advice and arrange the application for U.S. Citizenship for children and grandchildren of U.S. citizens.

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