Immigration Attorneys Who Are Distinguished

US Citizenship for Children Born Outside the US - Part 2


If you are a US citizen parent of a child who was born in a foreign country who resides in the US, your child may have acquired automatic US citizenship, or may be eligible to acquire citizenship on approval of an application for a certificate of citizenship. If you have questions about obtaining US citizenship for your foreign born child, the attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA have decades of combined experience in these matters. Contact us for a complete evaluation of your case.

Requirements for US Citizenship

The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA) sets forth the rules addressing automatic citizenship of foreign born children with a US citizen parent. To qualify for automatic citizenship, your child must have resided in the US pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence. Admission in any immigrant classification will satisfy this requirement. To qualify for citizenship on approval of an application for a certificate, your child must be temporarily inside the US pursuant to a lawful admission and is maintaining such lawful status. You must have physical and legal custody of your child.

What does it mean to be “residing in” the United States for purposes of the CCA?

According to the CCA, “residence” is defined as “the place of general abode; the place of general abode of a person means his principal, actual dwelling place in fact, without regard to intent.” However, a foreign national with permanent resident status may live abroad without losing that status in certain situations, and in some cases US citizens living abroad are considered to have a US residence, for purposes of immigration laws.

What is a “lawful admission” and “lawful status” for purposes of the CCA?

To qualify for US citizenship upon application, you child must have been lawfully admitted to the United States, in any nonimmigrant classification, and your child must have maintained such status until your application for certificate of citizenship is approved and the oath of allegiance is administered.

What qualifies as “legal custody” under the CCA standard?

For your child to qualify for US citizenship either automatically or upon application, you must establish that the child is in your legal custody. It is presumed that you have legal custody in three different circumstances, (1) if your child is your biological child, and your child lives with both natural parents who are married and living in marital union, or (2) if your biological child resides with you as a surviving natural parent of a deceased parent, or (3) if your biological child was born out of wedlock and was legitimated and resides with the natural parent.

Contact us for a consultation

If you have questions about obtaining US citizenship for your foreign born child, or any other immigration matter, please contact our immigration attorneys or call The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA at the nearest office close to you to consult with an attorney. The competent attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates are experienced in US citizenship applications, as well as other areas of immigration. We represent clients nationwide in various matters including green cards and permanent residence, family immigration, immigrant visas, non-immigrant visas, employment visas and H1B visas, investor visas, PERM applications, and many more. We will not tire until we get the desired results for you within the bounds of the law. Contact us for a consultation.

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