Appendix: Children of U.S. Citizens Regularly Residing Outside United States (INA 322) (Nationality Chart 4)

Nationality Chart 4

Children of U.S. Citizens Regularly Residing
​Outside the United States (INA 322)
[1] Since the enactment of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) of 1952, Pub. L. 82-414 (June 27, 1952), Congress has provided for the naturalization of a child under age 18 upon petition by the U.S. citizen parent. See INA 322. The requirements varied with different amendments, but naturalization under this provision always required an application or petition by the parent; citizenship was not automatic.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

PHYSICAL PRESENCE OF
​PARENT OR GRANDPARENT

Must meet the definition of child under INA 101(c)(1). [2] See Volume 12, Citizenship & Naturalization, Part H, Children of U.S. Citizens, Chapter 2, Definition of Child for Citizenship and Naturalization [12 USCIS-PM H.2]. See INA 101(c)(1).

The child has at least one U.S. citizen (USC) parent by birth or through naturalization (including an adoptive parent). An adoptive parent must meet the requirements of INA 101(b)(1)(E), INA 101(b)(1)(F), or INA 101(b)(1)(G).

The child’s USC parent or USC grandparent meets physical presence requirements.

The child is under 18 years of age (at the time of adjudication and the taking of the Oath of Allegiance, [3] See Volume 12, Citizenship & Naturalization, Part J, Oath of Allegiance [12 USCIS-PM J]. unless the Oath is waived because the child is unable to understand its meaning by reason of mental incapacity or young age).

The child is residing outside of the United States in the legal and physical custody of the USC parent, or a person who does not object to the application if the USC parent is deceased.

At the time the application is approved and time of naturalization, the child is lawfully admitted, physically present, and maintaining a lawful status in the United States. Both the child and the citizen parent must appear at an interview.

Children of Military Members

For children of military members authorized to accompany the member abroad and residing with the military member parent:

The parent’s authorized period abroad counts as physical presence in the United States;

The child does not need to reside in the United States in lawful status; and

The child may take the Oath abroad. [4] See INA 322(d).

U.S. Citizen Grandparent or Legal Guardian Filing on Behalf of Child

If the USC parent has died, the child’s USC grandparent or USC legal guardian may file on the child’s behalf within 5 years of the USC parent’s death.

U.S. Citizen Parent

USC parent was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for at least 5 years (at least 2 years of which were after age 14)

OR

U.S. Citizen Grandparent

If the USC parent has died, the USC parent must have met the physical presence requirement stated above at time of death. If the child’s USC parent does not meet the requirement, the child may rely on the physical presence of the child’s USC grandparent (at least 5 years, at least 2 years of which were after age 14), provided the grandparent meets the requirement as of the USC parent’s time of death.

Footnotes


1 [^]

Since the enactment of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) of 1952, Pub. L. 82-414 (June 27, 1952), Congress has provided for the naturalization of a child under age 18 upon petition by the U.S. citizen parent. See INA 322. The requirements varied with different amendments, but naturalization under this provision always required an application or petition by the parent; citizenship was not automatic.

2 [^]

See Volume 12, Citizenship & Naturalization, Part H, Children of U.S. Citizens, Chapter 2, Definition of Child for Citizenship and Naturalization [12 USCIS-PM H.2]. See INA 101(c)(1).

3 [^]

See Volume 12, Citizenship & Naturalization, Part J, Oath of Allegiance [12 USCIS-PM J].

4 [^]

See INA 322(d).