There are several circumstances in which a child born outside of the United States may acquire citizenship. The first one I will discuss is when the child's parent is a citizen of the United States. Section 320 of the Immigration and Nationality Act lays out the conditions in which a child born outside of the United States may automatically acquire citizenship. Section 320 states that a child born outside of the United States automatically acquires citizenship when:
- At least one of the child's parents is a United States citizen. The parent may have obtained citizenship via birth or naturalization.
- The child is under the age of eighteen.
- The child was lawfully admitted into the United States.
- The child is in the legal and physical custody of the citizen parent.
When a child does not meet the above conditions as set out in Section 320, a look at Section 322 of the Immigration and Nationality Act may be required. Under Section 322, a parent who is a citizen of the United States may apply for citizenship on behalf of a child that was unable to automatically acquire citizenship under Section 320. In our next discussion, I will delve further into Section 322 and its requirements. Additionally, I will provide examples of cases under Section 322. If you're considering filing for a child, or simply have questions regarding the immigration process, please call the Law Office of Robert L. Booker, P.C. today. We will take the time to explain to you the law and discuss with you every option available.