I Just Received My Citizenship, What About My Minor Children?
One of the requirements to apply for U.S. citizenship is that you must be at least 18 years old. This means that adults may qualify for naturalization, but their minor children will not. What happens to your minor child’s immigration status if you obtain citizenship?
Derivative Citizenship for Your ChildrenThe Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows children under 18 to obtain citizenship under certain circumstances. The following requirements must be met:
The child is a lawful permanent resident with a green card
One parent (at least) is a U.S. citizen by naturalization or birth
The child lives in the U.S. in the physical and legal custody of the citizen parent
In this situation, a child will automatically receive citizenship with no need for formal applications. If you receive citizenship while living with your child in the U.S., your child should also receive citizenship.
Certificate of CitizenshipThe government will not issue any formal documents regarding your child’s citizenship status upon your naturalization. Instead, your child must prove that they have a claim to citizenship and follow the right process to obtain proof of their nationality, called the Certificate of Citizenship. This includes filling out and filing Form N-600, along with the necessary filing fees and all relevant evidence of their claim to citizenship. You should not hesitate to discuss this process with an Orange County immigration attorney who can ensure all necessary steps are taken for your child to receive their Certificate of Citizenship.