How a woman born abroad who had never even been to the United States discovered that she had acquired US citizenship through her father.
Mrs. S was born in India and spent her entire life there. She consulted with our immigration law firm and told us that she and her two children wanted to immigrate to the United States. What was the quickest and most efficient way to do so? The backlogs for the family-based and employment-based categories (professionals and skilled workers) took many years.
Was there a faster way to immigrate?
Upon further investigation, it turned out that Mrs. S’s father had become a naturalized U.S. citizen before returning to India in the 1960’s. He passed away in 1985. This probably ended the possibility that this could help her immigrate to the U.S. she told us.
Not true, we replied.
Very Efficient and Professional!
“I would like to thank the team of Carl Shusterman’s Office who took care of my application for naturalization. Everything went well and very fast! Very efficient and professional!”
- Jennie Kil, San Francisco, California
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Under a complex set of laws pertaining to acquiring US citizenship to children born abroad to US citizen parents, Mrs. S could claim US citizenship at birth even though her father passed away over 20 years ago.
In order to claim US citizenship, we prepared an application for a U.S. passport which she submitted to a U.S. Consulate in India.
To prove her eligibility to the Consulate, Mrs. S provided the following documents:
- Her birth certificate;
- Her parent’ marriage certificate;
- Her father’s Naturalization Certificate and U.S. Passport; and
- Proof of her father’s physical presence in the U.S. for 10 years before her birth, at least 5 of which were after the age of 14.
Based on these documents, Mrs. S. was quickly issued a U.S. Passport. She didn’t even need to take an English or Civics exam!
The next step was for her to sponsor her children for green cards (a multiyear process), right?
The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 provides that Mrs. S’ father’s physical presence in the U.S. not only enabled her to obtain US citizenship, but assisted her children in doing so as well.
US immigration law permits the naturalization of children whose U.S. citizen parent never resided in the U.S. As long as their U.S. citizen grandparent resided in the U.S. for 5 years or more prior to their birth, at least 2 of which were after the age of 14, they may come to the U.S. and be naturalized.
With her U.S. passport, Mrs. S. could enter the United States without a problem, but her children needed valid U.S. visas in order to attend their naturalization interviews. Fortunately, the Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Manual allows Consulates to issue “call-in notices” permitting persons to obtain visitor visas to enter the U.S. to attend their naturalization interviews.
After submitting their applications to the local USCIS office in December 2005, both children were scheduled for their naturalization interviews in the U.S. on April 26, 2006. They obtained visitor visas and arrived a week before their interviews. On the day of their naturalization interviews both of their N-600K applications were approved.
Read more of our Immigration Success Stories.
US CITIZENSHIP CHARTS
- US Citizenship Chart #1 – Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship of Children Born Abroad in Wedlock
- US Citizenship Chart #2 – Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship of Children Born Abroad Out of Wedlock
- US Citizenship Chart #3 – Derivative Citizenship of Children
- US Citizenship Chart #4 – Section 322 Natural or Adoptive Child of a U.S. Citizen
USCIS POLICY MANUAL – US Citizenship Through Parents
- USCIS Policy Manual, Chapter 1 – Purpose and Background
- USCIS Policy Manual, Chapter 2 – Definition of Child for Citizenship and Naturalization
- USCIS Policy Manual, Chapter 3 – United States Citizens at Birth (INA 301 and 309)
- USCIS Policy Manual, Chapter 4 – Automatic Acquisition of Citizenship after Birth (INA 320)
- USCIS Policy Manual, Chapter 5 – Child Residing Outside of the United States (INA 322)
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.