When a person comes to the United States and is working towards their citizenship through the naturalization process, many times they wonder if that citizenship will also apply to their children. In many cases, yes. However, there are some exceptions that are determined by the age and marital status of the child.
Depending on the age of their children, a parent who becomes a citizen of the United States may allow their children to become U.S. citizens automatically by operation of the law. Therefore, if a parent applies for a naturalization and is granted naturalization prior to the child’s 18th birthday, then the children will automatically, by operation of law, become United States citizens. This is, of course, assuming that the children are legally in the U.S. as permanent residents. If a child reaches the age of 18, or is 18 or over, at the time that the parent naturalizes, then that child must meet the naturalization requirements on their own in order to apply for U.S. citizenship. In addition, if you are a permanent resident but you have a child while you are living in the United States, they will automatically become a citizen at the time of their birth.
In order for your children under the age of 18 to become citizens after you have gained your citizenship, you will have to assist your child in applying for derived or acquired citizenship through parents. For further assistance, please contact an immigration attorney.
If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for matters of immigration, please contact the Law Offices of Salvatore A. Falletta, LLC.