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How can one sibling be a US citizen and the other is not?

Bronx, NY |

My boyfriend and his sister who is one year younger came here with their mom at ages 7 and 6. He is currently in jail fighting to prove his U.S. citizenship but they have not bothered his sister. He and his sister applied for US passports at the same time and were both issued them. He was arrested shortly after and charged with perjury for claiming to be a citizen. His sister is free and still travels freely on her US passport. Both siblings became citizens through "derivation" after their mom became a citizen. How can Homeland Security say that one sibling is a citizen and one is not if they came here together under the same circumstances and the same parent?

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Attorney answers 5


I think you need a consultation with an immigration attorney. This quesiton is very fact intense and would require knowledge of the entire record in order to answered correctly.

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Sounds wierd. You should take your boyfriends documents to a lawyer or law firm asap to examine this further. It may be a mistake or negligence by the government or it may be something affected his derivation that did not affect his sister. Get in touch with a lawyer for your boyfriend right away so he doesnt waste too much time in jail or risk being deported.

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Acquired citizenship is automatic upon completion of a number of requirements. My colleagues are correct and this is why an attorney needs all of the facts before providing you with an opinion. I have seen the government fight and lose after claiming my client had not acquired citizenship so it is quite possible the government is mistaken. Have the following information ready: date of birth and birth certificate, date lawful permanent residence was granted, date mom became a us citizen, custody papers if applicable, and marriage certificate of parents if applicable. Good luck!


Have an Immigration lawyer look at the situation. There is a timeline involved as to how old he was when his parents became US citizens...

Att. number 917-885-2261 This advice does not create an attorney client relationship. No specific legal advice may be offered by the lawyer until a conflicts check is undertaken. Information sent through a web form or via email may not be treated as confidential. Please accept my apologies for spelling mistakes. Law Office of Alena Shautsova , New York Immigration Attorney Blog:


A passport is issued by the Department of State; USCIS is part of the Department of Homeland Security. Their systems are not connected, and the fact that he obtained a passport doesn't mean that USCIS must know he is a USC. Sad, but true. I agree with my colleagues that you need a consultation with an immigration attorney asap to try to straighten out his situation. Good luck.

[This answer is for general purposes only; it does not constitute advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.]

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