Tip Sheet: Applying for Form N-600K, Application for Certificate of Citizenship
Use Form N-600K to apply for naturalization of a child under the age of 18 who regularly resides outside the United States. You may also use this form to request that we issue a Certificate of Citizenship for the child.
The information provided in this document only applies if you have not automatically acquired U.S. citizenship at birth or acquired U.S. citizenship after birth under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 320. Please refer to Form N-600 frequently asked questions for additional information about becoming a U.S. citizen under INA section 320.
A U.S. citizen parent (or if the parent died within the last five years, by a U.S. citizen grandparent or U.S. citizen legal guardian) may file Form N-600K on behalf of a child who was born outside the United States and regularly resides outside the United States. To be eligible for U.S. citizenship, the child must:
- Have at least one U.S. citizen parent, whether by birth or naturalization (including an adoptive parent);
- Be under 18 years of age;
- Be residing outside the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent, or if the U.S. citizen parent is deceased, in the legal and physical custody of a person who does not object to the application;
- Be temporarily present in the United States in accordance with lawful admission to complete the Form N-600K process and maintains that lawful status; and
Have a U.S. citizen parent who has been physically present in the United States or American Samoa or Swains Island for no less than five years (at least two of which were after the U.S. citizen parent’s 14th birthday).
- If the U.S. citizen parent fails to meet the physical presence requirement, the child must have a U.S. citizen grandparent who was physically present in the United States for a period or for multiple periods totaling not less than five years (at least two of which were after the U.S. citizen grandparent’s 14th birthday).
Children of active-duty U.S. service members do not have to be temporarily in the United States in accordance with lawful admission to complete the Form N-600K process.Child Born Out of Wedlock
Child Born Out of Wedlock
If the child was born out of wedlock and is seeking citizenship through their U.S. citizen father, the child must be:
- Legitimated in the United States or abroad under the law of their residence or domicile, or the law of the child’s father’s residence or domicile.
- In the legal custody of their father at the time of such legitimation; and
- Legitimated before reaching their 16th birthday.
If adopted, the child must meet all of the requirements to qualify as an “adopted child” under one of the following:
- Section 101(b)(1)(E) of the INA;
- As an “orphan” under section 101(b)(1)(F) of the INA; or
- As a Hague Convention adoptee under section 101(b)(1)(G) of the INA.
Please visit our Adoption webpage for additional information.
An adopted child under section 101(b)(1)(E) of the INA must meet the following additional requirements:
- The adoption order must have been granted before their 16th birthday (or their 18th birthday if they are the birth sibling (including a half-sibling) of another adopted child who qualified for immigration under section 101(b)(1)(E) or (F) based on the other child’s adoption by the same adoptive parent(s);
- The adoptive parent(s) must have had legal custody of the child for at least two years; and
- The child must have resided with the adoptive parent(s) for at least two years.
If a child has been battered or was treated extreme cruelty by the adoptive parent or by a family member of the adoptive parent living in the same household, we may waive the two-year legal custody and residence requirements.
An orphan under section 101(b)(1)(F) of the INA must be the beneficiary of an approved Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, to file Form N-600K.
Adoption under the Hague Convention
A child who is being adopted in accordance with the Hague Convention must be the beneficiary of an approved Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, to file Form N-600K.
Filing Form N-600K
A U.S. citizen parent may file Form N-600K. If they are deceased, their U.S. citizen parent (the child’s U.S. citizen grandparent) or a U.S. citizen legal guardian may file Form N-600K on the child’s behalf within five years of the U.S. citizen parent’s death. Refer to the Form N-600K Instructions for more information.
The table explains whether you are may file Form N-600K on behalf of your child based on where you live.
|I am a U.S. citizen parent and I live...||My child lives...||Then|
|In the United States||In the United States||
You may not file Form N-600K. If you believe your child may already be a U.S. citizen, you may file Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship.
You may also apply to the Department of State for a U.S. passport for your child.
|Outside the United States||In the United States||You may not file a Form N-600K. If you believe your child may already be a U.S. citizen, you may file Form N-600.|
|In the United States||Outside the United States||
You may not file a Form N-600K. The law requires that your child must reside abroad and in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent.
If your child resides in the United States and you believe your child may already be a U.S. citizen, you may file Form N-600.
If You Are in the Military
Your child may naturalize overseas if you are a U.S. citizen on official U.S. military orders overseas. Service while on active duty with the U.S. armed forces counts as presence in the United States. See our Military Citizenship for Family Members page for more information.
Filing If Your Child Recently Turned 18
If your child has just turned 18, you cannot file Form N-600K because your child must complete the adjudication process and take the Oath of Allegiance before their 18th birthday. When you file Form N-600K, you will provide a preferred interview date. We will need a minimum of 90 days to review the form and the documentation. Therefore, please ensure the preferred interview date you request is at least 90 days before your child turns 18.
If you do not provide sufficient evidence to establish your child’s eligibility before their 18th birthday, we will deny your Form N-600K, and your child would no longer be eligible for a Certificate of Citizenship.
For more information, call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283.
Preparing for the Interview
You, the U.S. citizen parent, and your child must appear in person to be interviewed by a USCIS officer. You should write to the USCIS office where you requested your interview to be held if you would like to be interviewed on a different date, or if you would like to be interviewed in a different USCIS office other than the office designated in your application. However, doing so may delay your case.
What to Bring to your Interview
Bring all original documents you submitted when you filed your child’s Form N-600K, as well as any additional documents that will establish your child’s eligibility. If any of your documents are not in English, you must bring a certified translation. You must also provide evidence of your child’s current, valid lawful admission.
Making a Decision
If we approve your form, we will issue your child a Certificate of Citizenship after we interview you and your child. If your child is over 14 years of age, they will take the Oath of Allegiance. If your child is under the age of 14, we may not require them to take the Oath of Allegiance.
If we deny your form, you may file an appeal on Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, within 30 days of the date of our decision. If the time for appeal has expired, you must file a motion to reopen or reconsider, also on Form I-290B. You may not file another Form N-600K. If you do, we will reject it.
This tip sheet is intended solely to provide answers to frequently asked questions. It is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create or confer any right(s) or benefit(s), substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any individual or other party in benefit applications before USCIS, in removal proceedings, in litigation with the United States, or in any other form or manner. This publication does not have the force of law, or of a DHS directive. If you have a question concerning your eligibility for a Certificate of Citizenship, please consult with an attorney to help you prepare your Form N-600K.