How to acquire citizenship through your parents

If one or both of your parents are U.S. citizens, you may already be a U.S. citizen even if you were not born in the United States.  But proving it is another matter, and that is where is the N-600 comes into play.  It is an application that you must file with USCIS, along with a filing fee, to obtain a certificate proving that you are a U.S. citizen.

Although your status as a citizen does not depend on whether you obtain a certificate of citizenship, it is always a good idea to obtain it, because it protects you from being deported, and it ensures that you will enjoy all of the benefits of citizenship, such as voting, enabling your family members to immigrate, obtaining a U.S. passport, etc.

There are two main ways you could have acquired U.S. citizenship through your parents:

  • (1) at birth, or
  • (2) if your parent(s) naturalized while you were a minor.

Whether you derived citizenship through your parents can be tricky, because Congress has revised the law in this area many times over the years, and determining which law applies to you is not always cut and dry.  If you think you acquired citizenship through your parents, you should consult an immigration lawyer.  These are some of the things your attorney may want to know:

  • (1) the date you were born;
  • (2) whether you have a green card and when you obtained it;
  • (3) where you were raised and which parent(s) you lived with;
  • (4) when your parent(s) became permanent residents and/or citizens;
  • (5) whether your parents ever lived in the U.S.;
  • (6) your parents’ marital status;
  • (7) whether one of your parents passed away before you turned 18;
  • (8) whether you were adopted by a U.S. citizen, and how old you were at the time of the adoption.

If you wish to explore whether you acquired citizenship through your parents, contact me today.

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