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If I am a U.S. citizen, but my child does not meet the requirements listed above, can I still apply for citizenship for my child?

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26. If I am a U.S. citizen, but my child does not meet the requirements listed above,
can I still apply for citizenship for my child?
A child who is regularly residing in the United States can become a citizen of the United States only
by meeting the requirements listed in the answer to Question 25. If a child regularly resides in the
United States and is not a lawful permanent resident, he or she cannot acquire citizenship automatically
until he or she is granted lawful permanent residence. If a child who has been lawfully admitted for
permanent residence fails to qualify for citizenship under the provisions of law, he or she may apply
for naturalization after reaching 18 years of age by filing Form N-400, provided that he or she has the
required 5 years of lawful permanent residence.
U.S. citizens with children by birth or adoption (stepchildren do not qualify) who do not regularly reside
in the United States, may apply for citizenship for such a child if all of the following conditions are met:
• The child is under 18 years of age; and
• The child is not married; and
• The child regularly resides outside the United States; and
• The child is temporarily present in the United States pursuant to a lawful admission and is
maintaining such lawful status; and
• The child is in legal and physical custody of a parent who is a U.S. citizen; and
• The child is the U.S. citizen’s legitimate child, or was legitimated before the child’s 16th birthday
(children born out of wedlock who were not legitimated before their 16th birthday may be eligible
for this procedure through his or her mother); and
• If adopted, the child meets the requirements of section 101(b)(1)(E) or (F) of the INA and had a full
and final adoption; and
• Either of the following is true:
– The citizen parent has lived at least 5 years in the United States, and at least 2 of which were
after the citizen parent’s 14th birthday; or
– If the child’s citizen parent has not lived in the United States for at least 5 years, 2 of which were
after that parent’s 14th birthday, the citizen parent currently has a parent (the child’s grandparent)
who:
• Is also a U.S. citizen; and
• Lived in the United States for 5 years, at least 2 of which were after the citizen grandparent’s
14th birthday; and
• Is living or deceased at the time of the adjudication of the application


More Information: Please see our immigration page for more information
Attorney: Fernando Palacios
Status: Answered
Date Filed: 4/1/2011


Our Melbourne office is centrally located in Brevard County, enabling our lawyers to serve clients throughout "the Space Coast", including Cocoa Beach, Palm Bay and Vero Beach.



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