When someone is born in the United States, they are automatically a U.S. citizen. There are three ways someone can become a citizen of the United States:
1. Birth: You are born in the United States, or born abroad to American citizens.
2. Naturalization: When a foreign-born person voluntarily applies to become a permanent United States citizen.
3. Derivation: Through the naturalization of a parent.
You can derive citizenship through the naturalization of a parent. Derivation of Citizenship can be granted to the child of a foreign national who became a U.S. citizen before the child turned 18. If you were 18 or younger on or after February 21, 2001, when the Child Citizenship Act went into effect, it may be easier for you to qualify for naturalization through derivation. If you were born prior to February 21, 2001, you may still qualify for derivation of citizenship under different laws that existed at the time of your birth.
Requirements for Derivation of Citizenship:
• You must be unmarried
• You must be under age 18 when your parent naturalized
• You must have at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen
• You must have a green card, which means that you are a legal permanent resident of the U.S.
• You must be currently living in the U.S.
• You must be in the legal and physical custody of your U.S. citizen parent
Someone who became a U.S. citizen automatically through their parents can submit a USCIS form N-600 to request a Certificate of Citizenship.
It is best to consult an experienced naturalization attorney for assistance in receiving a Certificate of Citizenship in most cases of derived citizenship.
To ensure that every step of your naturalization application to become an American citizen has the best opportunity for a successful outcome, a skilled immigration attorney can put their experience to work for you and review your circumstances to help you make the decisions to help you succeed. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office at 855-554-6369.
Godoy Law Office serves the entire Chicago, Illinois area including DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will, and Lake Counties.