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Immigration Law
Expedite Naturalization for U.S. Citizen's Child Residing Abroad
Browse: 3270       Date:12-30-2011     

The Child and Citizenship Act of 2001 amended the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to provide US Citizenship to certain children born abroad. The automatic citizenship provision does not apply to otherwise eligible children who are living outside the United States. In order for a foreign-born child living outside the United States to acquire citizenship, the U.S. parent must apply for expedited naturalization on behalf of the child under INA§322.

1. Qualifications
(1). At least one parent is a U.S. citizen, whether by birth or naturalization; and
(2). Under 18 years old; and
(3). Residing outside the U.S. in legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent; and
(4). Physically present in the U.S. pursuant to a lawful admission to complete the expedited naturalization process; and
(5). The U.S. citizen parent(s) must have been physically present in the U.S. or its outlying possession for at least 5 years, at least two of which were after the U.S. citizen parent's 14 birthday, or if the U.S. parent fails to meet the residency requirement, the alien child must have a U.S. citizen grandparent(s) who was physically present in the U.S. for a period or periods totaling not less than 5 years, at least two of which were after his or her 14 birthday; and
(6). If adopted, the child must meet all of requirements to qualify as an "adopted" or "orphan".
A. If the child is an adopted children
a. The full and final adoption of the child must be finished before the child's 16th birthday;
b. 2-year legal and physical custody by the adoptive parents;
c. 2-year joint residence with the adoptive parents.
B. If the child was born out of wedlock
a. Must have been legitimated;
b. Must be in the legal custody of the legitimating parent prior to reaching his or her 16th birthday.

2. Procedures 
(1). Prepare Expedited Filing (includes Form N-600K,fees and supporting documents) Materials
(2). Submit N-600K packet to any USCIS office or sub-office in US or its outlying possessions
(3). Receive Approval Notice, Form G-56 and appointment letter
(4). Present the Approval Notice to the US Embassy or Consulate for issuance of a B-2 visa on behalf of the child
(5). Beneficiary attends the Interview (If the child is under 13-year old, the adult relatives can accompany)
(6). Petition Approved
(7). Take Oath Ceremony
(8). Receive Certificate of Citizenship
It's going to take about 60 days to receive Approval Notice, after that, it takes about 4 to 7 months to receive your certificate of citizenship.

3. Filing Material
Proof of child's mother or father's US citizenship, Proof of child's US citizen father or mother's physical residence in the U.S, Birth Certificate or Record of the child issued by a civil authority in the country of birth, Birth Certificate or Record of the Citizen Parent issued by a civil authority in the country of birth is required for applicants filed by a citizen parents of a citizen parent and so on.

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4. Warnings
(1). Stepchildren do not qualify for expedited naturalization unless the U.S. citizen stepparent adopts the child;
(2). The application can be filed before the child enters the US, but the child must be present in the US to take the oath of allegiance
(3). The expedite naturalization application for U.S. citizen children residing abroad must be filed, adjudicated, approved, and the oath, if required, must be taken before the child reaches the age of 18;
(4). If the child's U.S. citizen parent is deceased and the application is filed by a U.S. citizen grandparent or legal guardian, the child does not have to in legal and physical custody of the applicant

5. FAQs
(1). If the U.S. citizen parent did not live in the United States for the required period of time, how can a foreign-born child become a U.S. citizen?
If the parent fails to meet the residence requirement, the child may be eligible for expeditious naturalization if the child's U.S. citizen grandparent was physically present in the United States for a period totaling five years, and at least two years after the age of 14. The grandparent can be living or deceased at the time of the application. If deceased, the grandparent must have been a citizen prior to the child's birth and at the time of the grandparent's death.

(2). If the parent is living abroad, can the child still apply for expeditious naturalization using the "grandparent" procedure?
Yes. You must file an application with a USCIS field office in the United States. The USCIS will determine whether your child is eligible. If the child is eligible, the USCIS will approve the application and forward you a letter and naturalization appointment date. You can present the USCIS approval and appointment letter to the U.S. embassy or consulate where you are living. The U.S. embassy or consulate will issue the child a B2 visitor visa. This process allows parents to visit the United States to naturalize their child as a U.S. citizen.

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