Federal immigration law stipulates that any child born in the United States is an American citizen. However, there are plenty of Texas parents who are hoping to acquire citizenship for their children without meeting this criterion. What does it take to become a citizen after birth?
At least one parent needs to be a United States citizen
When one of the parents is a naturalized citizen or born in the United States, the child they give birth to or adopt becomes a citizen. However, it’s important that the minor is under 18 at the time of adoption.
In addition, the child must live in the country with their citizen parent. Because this sometimes puts stepchildren at a disadvantage, attorneys typically advise the citizen parent to adopt the child.
If you’re adopting a child from outside the country, the minor becomes a citizen when you receive the final adoption decree and the youngster lives with you. It’s interesting to note that this rule also applies to children living with parents under a joint custody arrangement.
There’s another way of becoming a citizen for children born on or after Feb. 27, 2001, or who were minors on that date. One or both of their parents, depending on the child’s physical custody arrangement, must become naturalized citizens.
What do you do when these avenues aren’t open to you?
If you’re already 18 years of age, the law considers you an adult. In this case, you could apply for citizenship on your own behalf. It involves filing an application, providing supporting documentation, and undergoing an interview.