Immigration Lawyer Ari Sauer – The Immigration Answer Man

Memphis immigration lawyer Ari Sauer provides news and information on US immigration law.

Will my daughter become a US citizen under the Child Citizenship Act?

QUESTION: My daughter is 15 and she is getting her permanent residence card soon. I heard there was a law for kids who are under 18 that makes them eligible for citizenship. How does my daughter become a US citizen?

Military Naturalization Ceremony - Yongsan Kor...

Military Naturalization Ceremony – Yongsan Korea – 15 December 2008 – USFK – United States Army – USAG-Y (Photo credit: Morning Calm News)

THE IMMIGRATION ANSWER MAN – ARI SAUER: There is such a law. It is called the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, or CCA for short. The CCA allows for children of US citizens to automatically become US citizens as well. Under the CCA, a child automatically becomes a US citizen if they met all of the following requirements at the same time on or after February 27, 2001 (the date the CCA was enacted):

1) They are under 18;

2) They are a US Legal Permanent Resident (green card holder) living in the US;

3) At least one parent is a US citizen either by birth or naturalization (this does not include step-parents); AND

4) They are living in the physical and legal custody of their US citizen parent.

If all these requirements are met at the same time, then the child automatically becomes a US citizen. There is no need to file any application. The child can apply for a Certificate of Citizenship or a US Passport as proof of their citizenship, but they are still citizens even if they never apply for these documents.

So for example, if the child is under 18 and living in the legal and physical custody of their US citizen parent, then as soon as their green card application is approved, they will automatically become a US citizen. Alternatively, if the child is a permanent resident under 18, and it living in the legal and physical custody of their parent who is a permanent resident, then on the day that the parent is sworn in as a US citizen, the child automatically becomes a US citizen as well.

Children who are abroad cannot automatically obtain citizenship through the CCA, but the CCA also has a section that allows for a US citizen parents to apply for a Certificate of Citizenship for their child who is abroad, where certain requirements are met. But that will have to be the subject of another post.

For those children that are not eligible to become US citizens under the CCA, they must wait until they are 18 before they can file their own application to become a US citizen through naturalization.

If you would like my assistance with this process or you would like to discuss this or other issues further, you can schedule a consultation with me by calling 1-800-343-4890 or 901-682-6455 or by clicking here to

schedule a consulation appointment with an immigration lawyer. My office is in Memphis, TN, but I am available to consult with clients by phone and I represent clients throughout the U.S. and around the world.

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Submit new questions to The Immigration Answer Man by emailing your question to immigrationanswerman@gmail.com or by posting your question on FacebookTwitter or Google+. Questions submitted by email will be posted anonymously unless your email specifically requests that your name or information to be included. Where appropriate, and only upon request, a link to your website or blog can be included on The Immigration Answer Man blog. Due to the volume of questions received, not all questions submitted will be answered. Only general questions can be answered on this blog. For answers to specific questions about your situation, please schedule a consultation.

* This is an advertisement. Attorney Ari Sauer is an immigration lawyer with the Memphis, Tennessee office of the Siskind Susser law firm. www.visalaw.com/ari.html. On this blog we answer questions as a service to our readers, but we cannot assume any liability related to reliance on anything herein, and responses to questions are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Immigration laws and regulations are constantly changing and the rules stated may not apply to your situation. Readers are cautioned to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer before acting on anything stated in this blog. This blog is not intended to substitute for a consultation with a qualified immigration law attorney. Ari Sauer is licensed to practice law through the states of New York and New Jersey. Certification as an Immigration Specialist is not currently available in Tennessee, New York or New Jersey. Siskind Susser limits its practice strictly to immigration law, a Federal practice area, and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed. Standard consultation fees apply when scheduling a consultation appointment with Ari Sauer or another attorney at Siskind Susser.

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7 comments on “Will my daughter become a US citizen under the Child Citizenship Act?

  1. Jeffery Coolidge
    November 22, 2014

    I am married to a Filipino woman (2012) who had a child with a US serviceman. They were never married and he has since died. The child is 6 years old now and is living with his Filipino grandmother. We have his Filipino passport and his visa was recently approved after a 1.5 year wait. My wife flew to the Philippines to get him. Now the US Embassy refuses to release his visa claiming we need to fill out a CRBA! Why do they tell us this now? I don’t think they have the legal right to require this document in order for him to travel to the USA. Ridiculous since he becomes a US citizen once he comes to the USA, right?

    • Jeffery: The problem is that US citizens don’t need visas, and therefore are not eligible for them. The Consulate believes that your step-son is a US citizen, and they are probably right (I can’t say for sure without knowing more about his family’s history). So, while it MIGHT be possible to convince the consulate to grant the visa, if he is a citizen, it will probably be quicker to obtain a US passport for him.
      * This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is an attorney with the Siskind Susser law firm. You can call 901-507-4270 and speak with my paralegal to schedule a consultation appointment with me or another Siskind Susser lawyer. A standard consultation fee will apply for all consultation appointments. Visit our website at http://www.visalaw.com/about-visalaw/our-team-1/attorneys/ari-sauer/ .
      On this blog we answer questions as a service to our readers, but we cannot assume any liability related to reliance on anything herein, and responses to questions are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Immigration laws and regulations are constantly changing and the rules stated may not apply to your situation. Readers are cautioned to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer before acting on anything stated in this blog. This blog is not intended to substitute for a consultation with a qualified immigration law attorney. Ari Sauer is licensed to practice law through the states of Tennessee, New York and New Jersey but is eligible to assist clients from throughout the US. Certification as an Immigration Specialist is not currently available in Tennessee, New York or New Jersey. Siskind Susser limits its practice strictly to immigration law, a Federal practice area, and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed. the opinions expressed here are those of Ari Sauer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Siskind Susser.

  2. Don L. Rice
    June 25, 2014

    my wife got her citizenship in 2009 and her daughter was 16 at the time what does she have to do to obtain her citizenship papers

    • Don:

      If your step-daughter automatically obtained citizenship when your wife became a naturalizes citizen, under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, then she can apply for a Certificate of Citizenship from the US Citizenship & Immigration Services as proof of her US citizenship and/or she can apply for a US passport. The benefit of applying for the Certificate of Citizenship is that the Certificate never expires, whereas the passport will have an expiration date. So if she only obtains the passport, then each time she renews her passport she will have to go through the process of showing that she became a US citizen through the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

      If you would like assistance with the process of applying for the Certificate of Citizenship, or if you would like to make sure your step-daughter received citizenship through the Child Citizenship Act, you can schedule a consultation appointment with me by calling 901-507-4270, and my paralegal, Jessica, will assist you in scheduling an appointment.

      * This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is an attorney with the Siskind Susser law firm. http://www.visalaw.com/ari.html. On this blog we answer questions as a service to our readers, but we cannot assume any liability related to reliance on anything herein, and responses to questions are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Immigration laws and regulations are constantly changing and the rules stated may not apply to your situation. Readers are cautioned to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer before acting on anything stated in this blog. This blog is not intended to substitute for a consultation with a qualified immigration law attorney. Ari Sauer is licensed to practice law through the states of Tennessee, New York and New Jersey but is eligible to assist clients from throughout the US. Certification as an Immigration Specialist is not currently available in Tennessee, New York or New Jersey. Siskind Susser limits its practice strictly to immigration law, a Federal practice area, and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed. the opinions expressed here are those of Ari Sauer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Siskind Susser.

  3. Ahmed
    November 9, 2012

    I’m planning to be in state with my family as a visiting visa , I’m an iraqi physician , resident in other country , my wife is pregnant. And she will deliver in state , does the child get green card .? Does he can helping us to get it also .
    How u can help ?

    • There are some very specific exceptions to the rule, but as a rule a child born in the US is a US citizen. This is true even if the parents were visitors to the US at the time. However having a US citizen child does not grant the parent any status. The US citizen child can petition for permanent residence for their parents after their 21st birthday.

      If you would like to schedule a consultation appointment with me, we can review whether you are eligible to apply for a different type of visa that would allow you to remain the US more permanently. To schedule a consultation appointment with me, please call 901-682-6455. A standard consultation fee would apply.

      * This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is a Memphis immigration lawyer with the Siskind Susser law firm. http://www.visalaw.com/ari.html. On this blog we answer questions as a service to our readers, but we cannot assume any liability related to reliance on anything herein, and responses to questions are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Immigration laws and regulations are constantly changing and the rules stated may not apply to your situation. Readers are cautioned to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer before acting on anything stated in this blog. This blog is not intended to substitute for a consultation with a qualified immigration law attorney. Ari Sauer is licensed to practice law through the states of Tennessee, New York and New Jersey but is eligible to assist clients from throughout the US. Certification as an Immigration Specialist is not currently available in Tennessee, New York or New Jersey. Siskind Susser limits its practice strictly to immigration law, a Federal practice area, and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed.

  4. Pingback: Can I apply for citizenship based on 3 years of marriage to a US citizen if I got my green card through my employer? « The Immigration Answer Man – Ari Sauer

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Ari Sauer

Ari Sauer is an immigration law attorney with the Memphis office of the Siskind Susser law firm. Ari answers questions on US immigration law submitted by readers. Email Ari Sauer to submit a question. immigrationanswerman@gmail.com

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