Due to precautions related to COVID-19, we have expanded our options for remote consultations. Please contact our office to discuss whether a phone consultation, video conference or in-person meeting is appropriate for your situation.

Due to precautions related to COVID-19, we have expanded our options for remote consultations. Please contact our office to discuss whether a phone consultation, video conference or in-person meeting is appropriate for your situation.

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Francis Law Center
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Criteria for acquiring citizenship after birth

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2022 | Citizenship |

Residents of Schaumburg and other nearby areas of Illinois may need to know more about how a child can become a U.S. citizen after they are born. There are certain criteria that must be met.

General requirements

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, automatic citizenship applies under the rule INA 320. A parent must be a U.S. citizen by birth or through naturalization. An adoptive parent would also qualify.

The child must be under the age of 18 years. The child must also be a lawful permanent resident and be living in the U.S. under the legal custody of the parent who is a U.S. citizen.

What does legal custody mean?

This immigration law means the parent has the authority and responsibility for the child. They receive recognition as the parent of that child. Some of the cases include:

  • Biological child living with their married parents, who are not separated
  • Biological child who lives with a surviving parent after a death of the other parent
  • Biological child born to unmarried parents and lives with one parent
  • Adopted child with final adoption, living with their adoptive U.S. citizen parent
  • Child of legally divorced or separated parents, with care and custody given to the parent under their state law

Joint custody parents where there is custody by a U.S. citizen may meet the qualification. Each case will have unique considerations by USCIS.

Armed Forces or Government Employees

Children of U.S. Armed Forces members or U.S. government employees or spouses who are living outside the United States will acquire citizenship. This is also under INA 320.

Children may acquire citizenship after birth if they meet certain requirements. Being in the custody of a U.S. citizen parent and being under 18 years are the main criteria to meet.

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