No matter where you were born, you may already be a United States citizen if at least one of your parents was a citizen at the time of your birth. You might also be a citizen through “derivation,” through a combination of your parent and grandparent. In these situations, you must meet additional requirements before receiving a certificate of citizenship.

How To Apply

Certain people who have parents that are citizens or have recently naturalized are automatically eligible for citizenship. These people can file a Form N-600 with USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) to request a certificate for U.S. citizenship. When filing the form one must also include proof of the relationship that makes him/her eligible for citizenship, as well as a filing fee. This form may be filed with the local USCIS field office. These offices can be visited in person.

Upon receipt of the completed application and the required supporting documents, the application will be reviewed and a decision will be made. If the application is missing any supporting documents the USCIS may request additional evidence.

Who can Apply

Citizenship Through Parents Naturalization

If one parent of a child becomes a U.S. citizen by naturalization, the child may also become a U.S. citizen as a derivative. To qualify for citizenship, however, the child must be under the age of 18, have a green card, and be living with the naturalized parent. By going through this process, the child does not have to apply separately for naturalization and does not have to pass the naturalization exam. The laws regarding this process of naturalization have changed over the years and the laws in place at the time of a parent’s naturalization are applied to the child’s application.

Citizenship Through Birth to U.S. Citizen Parents

If a child is born outside the U.S. and at least one parent was a U.S. citizen at the time of the child’s birth then the child automatically acquires citizenship. Later when that child marries and has children, U.S. citizenship may still be aquired. Over the years the laws governing whether or a not child born outside the U.S. acquires citizenship has varied. To determine which laws govern, you must look to the law in effect on the date of the child’s birth and if you are looking to the parent’s birth, then you must look to the date the grandparents became U.S. citizens.

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Where To File Guidelines

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Can You Pass the U.S. Citizenship Test?

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes.  To obtain citizenship you will have to show the following:

    1. Clear and convincing evidence of the relationship by blood to your U.S. citizen father;
    2. Proof that your father was a U.S. citizen at the time of your birth;
    3. Proof of financial support by your father until you reach 18 years old;
    4. Acknowledgement of paternity by your father; and
    5. Proof of your father’s physical presence in the U.S. or its territories for at least 5 years at some time prior to your birth, with at least 2 of those years occurring after his 14th.

It depends.  The child will become a U.S. citizen if you bring him/her to U.S. and he/she lives here legally in your legal and physical custody and you satisfy the following conditions before his/her 18th birthday:

  1. The child was adopted before his/her 16th birthday (in some cases before his/her 18th birthday) and for at least 2 years you had legal custody and resided with the child; and
  2. The child was admitted as a Convention adoptee (IH-3) or as an orphan (IR-3).

The following conditions must be met if the adoption was completed in the U.S.:

  1. The child was adopted before his/her 18th birthday; and
  2. He/she was admitted to the U.S. as a Convention adoptee (IH-4) or as an orphan (IR-4).