Does your born-abroad child need proof of US citizenship?

| Jun 12, 2020 | Firm News

Many people from Texas and other parts of the United States choose to live abroad. You may have chosen to move to a different country for various reasons, but you always had intentions of returning to the United States. During the years you were out of the country, you gave birth to or adopted a child, and now, you may have questions about his or her citizenship.

Typically, if a child is born outside the United States but at least one parent — whether biological or adoptive — is a U.S. citizen, the child automatically acquires U.S. citizenship. If you recently moved back to Texas, you may want to ensure that your child has proof of citizenship.

Certificate of Citizenship

Fortunately, you can obtain a Certificate of Citizenship for your child if he or she is under the age of 18, or if your child has reached the age of adulthood, he or she can file the necessary forms. Form N-600 gives you the ability to request proof of citizenship. It is important to note that this certificate is only issued to individuals born abroad and not to citizens born within the United States.

It is also important to keep in mind that specific details of a particular situation could affect whether your child automatically acquired citizenship after his or her birth or adoption, and whether obtaining a Certificate of Citizenship is possible. As a result, you may want to go over the details of your child’s birth or adoption to ensure that you have the information needed to determine citizenship.

USCIS interview

After filing form N-600, the United States Customs and Immigration Services will determine whether you or your child will need to go through an interview with immigration officials. In certain cases, an interview portion is not necessary if documents filed along with the N-600 form provide enough information, but the decision for an interview is ultimately up to the USCIS.

Approval or denial

If the application receives approval, the USCIS will provide your child with a Certificate of Citizenship, and if over the age of 14, it may be necessary for him or her to take the Oath of Allegiance. In the event that the application receives a denial, you could file a form to appeal the decision within 30 days of the denial.

You certainly want this process to go as smoothly as possible, but even if you feel certain that your child obtained automatic citizenship after birth or adoption, some issues could arise. It may be wise to utilize the help of an experienced immigration law attorney throughout this process.