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Thread: Citizenship through a parent?

  1. #1
    First let me say I am extremely frustrated by the conflicting answers I have received from the USCIS office. I've gotten at least 3 different responses from them.

    This is my situation:
    I am currently a permanent resident of the US, I came here as a permanent resident in 1994. My father who is a naturalized citizen for over 20 years filed for my brother and sisters, therefore we entered legally. We were all minors at the time of our arrival into the country.

    Fast forward to 2007 and we are all adults and in the process of filing for our US citizen, however we were told that we are already citizens under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) which they revised in 2000 and is now called the Child Citizen Act (CNA). All we need is documentation supporting our residency and father's citizenship to get a US passport and/or a naturalization certificate.

    My questions are:
    Since we are adults now, does this still apply to us?
    Does my birth year come into play with any of these laws? I was born in 1976.
    If I do qualify for derivative citizenship as it is called, how do I get the process underway?
    And lastly, do I need both a US passport and a naturalization certificate?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    First let me say I am extremely frustrated by the conflicting answers I have received from the USCIS office. I've gotten at least 3 different responses from them.

    This is my situation:
    I am currently a permanent resident of the US, I came here as a permanent resident in 1994. My father who is a naturalized citizen for over 20 years filed for my brother and sisters, therefore we entered legally. We were all minors at the time of our arrival into the country.

    Fast forward to 2007 and we are all adults and in the process of filing for our US citizen, however we were told that we are already citizens under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) which they revised in 2000 and is now called the Child Citizen Act (CNA). All we need is documentation supporting our residency and father's citizenship to get a US passport and/or a naturalization certificate.

    My questions are:
    Since we are adults now, does this still apply to us?
    Does my birth year come into play with any of these laws? I was born in 1976.
    If I do qualify for derivative citizenship as it is called, how do I get the process underway?
    And lastly, do I need both a US passport and a naturalization certificate?

    Thanks in advance

  3. #3
    You need to file N-600. I understand that you are a US Citizen. You do not need an attorney to file N-600.

  4. #4
    You do not qualify for the Child Citizenship Act because the law is not retroactive. The only children of citizens who qualify under the new law are those who met the criteria (including being under 18) after February 27, 2001. Since you were born in 1976, you were over 18 at that time.

    Under the former law (which is what would apply to you), you would qualify for derivative citizenship if: 1) Your father naturalized when you were under 18; 2) You were residing in the US as LPR in that parent's custody; 3) Your parents were previously married and divorced or separated and you were in legal custody of US citizen parent.

    It would probably be easier for you to apply for Naturalization on your own than to try to proceed under the former derivative citizenship law.

  5. #5
    I thank you both sincerely for your responses.

  6. #6
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by keh:
    You do not qualify for the Child Citizenship Act because the law is not retroactive. The only children of citizens who qualify under the new law are those who met the criteria (including being under 18) after February 27, 2001. Since you were born in 1976, you were over 18 at that time.

    Under the former law (which is what would apply to you), you would qualify for derivative citizenship if: 1) Your father naturalized when you were under 18; 2) You were residing in the US as LPR in that parent's custody; 3) Your parents were previously married and divorced or separated and you were in legal custody of US citizen parent.

    It would probably be easier for you to apply for Naturalization on your own than to try to proceed under the former derivative citizenship law. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>I am assuming it would be harder to prove and time consuming? The 3 qualifications you mentioned we all fall under them. So pretty much go ahead and file the N-400 instead?

  7. #7
    You're right. It is easier. There is no mechanism for you to file because you don't qualify to file an N-600. Unfortunately, you have to pay the bigger N-400 fee. File soon because they are probably raising the filing fees this year!

  8. #8
    Review the Chart to see if you qualify for derivative citizensip: http://www.corporateprobono.or...ces/resource1343.pdf

    If you feel you do you may apply for a US Passport (which is much easier and faster than the certificate). You do not need a certificate to apply for a US Passport, although you will need the certificate of your USC parent, and your Green Card. The CCA (Child Citizenship Act) came into effect in Feb. 27, 2001 and is not retroactive. You must meet the criteria for derivative citizenship as is was prior to your 18th bday (review the Chart I posted). You do not mention your mother so I assume you were in your fathers' sole custody at the time (joint custody will also suffice, at least with the State Dept when applying for a US Passport.)

    To answer your direct questions:
    1. the CCA does not apply to you. You must go by the INA law that was in effect at the time (see Chart link)
    2.Your birth year does not come into play directly. There are multiple requirements for derivative citizenship and what is important is when you met all the requirements (you may have only met some requirements early in life but only met all the requirements later but it must be before you were 18, also does not matter how old u r now, only that u met the req.'s while u were still under 18.
    3. If you did meet the req's for derivative citizenship you are already a citizen-there are no applications for this type of citizenship as it happens as an operation of law. HOWEVER, you still need to prove that u r a USC and there are only 2 ways: apply for a passport or a certificate.
    4.No, you do not need both. Both a US Passport and a Certificate are proof of UCS.
    I suggest you apply for a passport as that is the quickest way. The certificate application process is much more stringent.
    Lastly, I just went through this entire process myself. After a couple months of research and lawyer consultations I felt I met the req's for derivative citizenship so I applied for a US passport using my green card, my father's certificate, and my parents divorce decree that showed they had joint custody of me (my mother did not need to be a USC because they divorced before I was 18 and got joint custody of me). 10 weeks after the passport application I got my US passport yesterday by fed-ex.

  9. #9
    You arrived at U.S. after you father became a U.S Citizen.............?
    How old was you and your brother/Sister at the time of arrival...........?
    It is a complex issue but one need to know the laws INA to resolve this issue...
    Now you can think of there knowlege of INA and Fam and handbook.......God bless America

  10. #10
    You are USC since the day you entered in the United Sates i 1994. You need to file N-600 and not N-400.

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