Official Website of the Department of Homeland SecurityOfficial Website of the Department of Homeland Security
August 15, 2018Technical UpdateCertificates of Citizenship for U.S. National Children
July 26, 2018Technical UpdateRescinding Tenant-Occupancy Methodology
May 23, 2018POLICY ALERTChild Status Protection Act
May 15, 2018POLICY ALERTAdjustment of Status Interview Guidelines and Waiver Criteria
May 15, 2018POLICY ALERTRescinding Tenant-Occupancy Methodology
May 02, 2018POLICY ALERTDocumentation of Conditional Resident Status for Investors with a Pending Form I-829
April 18, 2018POLICY ALERTAcquisition of U.S. Citizenship for Children Born Out of Wedlock

Updates



 

Technical UpdateCertificates of Citizenship for U.S. National Children

August 15, 2018

This technical update clarifies that a person who is born a U.S. national and is the child of a U.S. citizen may acquire citizenship and may obtain a Certificate of Citizenship without having to establish lawful permanent resident status.


 

Technical UpdateRescinding Tenant-Occupancy Methodology

July 26, 2018

This technical update clarifies that the rescission of the policy regarding the tenant-occupancy methodology does not affect petitions pending on May 15, 2018 (the date USCIS announced the rescission).


 

POLICY ALERTChild Status Protection Act

May 23, 2018

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA).


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTAdjustment of Status Interview Guidelines and Waiver Criteria

May 15, 2018

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating guidance regarding adjustment of status interview guidelines and interview waivers.


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTRescinding Tenant-Occupancy Methodology

May 15, 2018

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is revising policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to reflect that, as of May 15, 2018, USCIS no longer considers tenant occupancy to be a reasonable methodology to support economically or statistically valid forecasting tools.


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTDocumentation of Conditional Resident Status for Investors with a Pending Form I-829

May 02, 2018

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating policy guidance regarding the documentation of conditional permanent resident (CPR) status for employment-based fifth preference (EB-5) immigrants.


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTAcquisition of U.S. Citizenship for Children Born Out of Wedlock

April 18, 2018

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating policy guidance to clarify certain requirements for U.S. citizenship for children born outside the United States and out of wedlock under INA 301 and 309. USCIS is making conforming edits to the USCIS nationality charts.


Read More
 

Technical UpdateFraud and Willful Misrepresentation and Department of State’s 90-Day Rule

March 28, 2018

This technical update incorporates changes that the Department of State (DOS) made to its Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) regarding its interpretation of the term “misrepresentation.”


 

Technical UpdateMilitary Accessions Vital to National Interest

March 21, 2018

​This technical update clarifies that foreign nationals may apply for military naturalization after the certification of honorable service has been properly processed by the U.S. armed forces.


 

Technical UpdateAuthority to Administer the Oath of Allegiance

March 21, 2018

This technical update clarifies that the Secretary of Homeland Security has, through the Director of USCIS, delegated the authority to administer the Oath during an administrative naturalization ceremony to certain USCIS officials who can successively re-delegate the authority within their chains of command.


 

POLICY ALERTWaiver Policies and Procedures

August 23, 2017

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance to address the general policies and procedures applicable to the adjudication of waivers of inadmissibility.


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTBiometrics Requirements for Naturalization

July 26, 2017

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to specify that every naturalization applicant must provide biometrics regardless of age, unless the applicant qualifies for a fingerprint waiver due to certain medical conditions.


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTAdministrative Naturalization Ceremonies

June 28, 2017

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating policy guidance on USCIS administrative naturalization ceremonies, to include guidance regarding participation from other U.S. government and non-governmental entities.


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTJob Creation and Capital At Risk Requirements for Investors

June 14, 2017

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating the USCIS Policy Manual to provide further guidance regarding the job creation and capital at risk requirements for Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, and Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status.


Read More
 

Technical UpdateClarifying Intent to Reside in United States for Naturalization Purposes

January 05, 2017

This technical update clarifies that naturalization applicants are not required to intend to reside permanently in the United States after becoming U.S. citizens. This update is in accordance with current statutes; prior to 1994, a person who became a naturalized U.S. citizen was expected to hold the intention of residing permanently in the United States. See Section 104 of the Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections Act of 1994, Pub. L. 103-416 (October 25, 1994).


 

Technical UpdateMedical Codes for Purposes of Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions

January 05, 2017

​This technical update clarifies that, for purposes of Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions, USCIS accepts the relevant medical codes recognized by the Department of Health and Human Services. This includes codes found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the International Classification of Diseases.


 

POLICY ALERTRegistration of Lawful Permanent Resident Status

December 21, 2016

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance addressing registration of lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTFalse Claim to U.S. Citizenship Ground of Inadmissibility

December 14, 2016

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing guidance to address the false claim to U.S. citizenship ground of inadmissibility under section 212(a)(6)(C)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).


Read More
 

Technical UpdateClarifying Designated Periods of Hostilities for Naturalization under INA 329

December 13, 2016

This technical update clarifies that, for purposes of naturalization under INA 329, the current period designated by Presidential Executive Order 13269 (July 3, 2002), as a period in which the U.S. armed forces are considered to be engaged in armed conflict with a hostile foreign force, is still in effect. In addition, this update adds information about the USCIS Military Help Line in this part.


 

POLICY ALERTEmployment-Based Fifth Preference Immigrants: Investors

November 30, 2016

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance regarding the eligibility requirements for regional centers and immigrant investors.


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTDefinition of Certain Classes of Medical Conditions and Other Updates Relating to Health-Related Grounds of Inadmissibility

November 02, 2016

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating guidance regarding health-related grounds of inadmissibility in accordance with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rulemaking updating Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 34 (42 CFR 34).


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTSpecial Immigrant Juvenile Classification and Special Immigrant-Based Adjustment of Status

October 26, 2016

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance regarding the special immigrant juvenile (SIJ) classification and special immigrant-based (EB-4) adjustment of status, including adjustment based on classification as a special immigrant religious worker, SIJ, and G-4 international organization or NATO-6 employee or family member, among others.


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTDetermining Extreme Hardship

October 21, 2016

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance on determinations of extreme hardship to qualifying relatives as required by certain statutory waiver provisions. This guidance becomes effective December 5, 2016.


Read More
 

Technical UpdateMilitary Accessions Vital to National Interest Program and Time of Filing for Naturalization

October 19, 2016

This technical update clarifies that, in general, Department of Defense (DOD) Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) enlistees may file an application for naturalization during basic training in the U.S. armed forces.


 

POLICY ALERTDepartment of Defense Military Accessions Vital to National Interest Program

August 03, 2016

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance to provide information about the existing Department of Defense (DOD) Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) Program.


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTEffective Date of Lawful Permanent Residence for Purposes of Citizenship and Naturalization

July 27, 2016

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance regarding the date of legal permanent residence (LPR) for naturalization and citizenship purposes. 


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTRemoving Obsolete Form I-643 from Filing Requirements for Certain Adjustment Applications

June 22, 2016

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to remove obsolete Form I-643, Health and Human Services Statistical Data for Refugee/Asylee Adjusting Status, from the filing requirements for applications for adjustment of status under section 209 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTAdjustment of Status Policies and Procedures and 245(a) Adjustment

February 25, 2016

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance addressing the general policies and procedures of adjustment of status as well as adjustment under section 245(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTMedia Representatives (I) Nonimmigrant Visa Classification

November 10, 2015

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance regarding the foreign information media representative nonimmigrant visa classification, commonly known as the “I” visa category.


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTModifications to Oath of Allegiance for Naturalization

July 21, 2015

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance to clarify the eligibility requirements for modifications to the Oath of Renunciation and Allegiance for naturalization.


Read More
 

Technical UpdateMultiple Absences and Residence and Physical Presence

July 20, 2015

This technical update clarifies that along with reviewing for absences of more than 6 months, officers review whether an applicant for naturalization with multiple absences of less than 6 months is able establish the required residence and physical presence for naturalization.


 

Technical UpdateChild Citizenship Act and Children of U.S. Government Employees Residing Abroad

July 20, 2015

This technical update clarifies that the child of a U.S. government employee temporarily stationed abroad is considered to be residing in the United States for purposes of acquisition of citizenship under INA 320.


 

POLICY ALERTEffect of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) on Immigration and Acquisition of Citizenship Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)

October 28, 2014

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance relating to the use of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).


Read More
 

Technical UpdateReligious Missionaries Abroad and Residence and Physical Presence

October 21, 2014

This technical update clarifies who may be considered to be a missionary of a religious group for purposes of preserving residence and physical presence for naturalization while working abroad.


 

Technical UpdateTreating Certain Peace Corps Contractors as U.S. Government Employees

October 21, 2014

This technical update clarifies that Peace Corps personal service contractors are considered U.S. Government employees under certain circumstances for purposes of preserving their residence for naturalization while working abroad.


 

POLICY ALERTNonimmigrant Trainees (H-3)

September 09, 2014

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance on the trainees (H-3) nonimmigrant visa category.


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTCustomer Service

August 26, 2014

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance on its standards in customer service.


Read More
 

Technical UpdateValidity of Same-Sex Marriages

July 01, 2014

​This technical update addresses the Supreme Court ruling holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.


 

POLICY ALERTChanges to Dates of Birth and Names on Certificates of Citizenship

June 17, 2014

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance relating to changes of dates of birth and names per court orders.


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTValidity Period of the Medical Certification on the Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (Form I-693)

May 30, 2014

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing an update to policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual addressing the validity period of civil surgeon endorsements on the Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, Form I-693.


Read More
 

Technical UpdateCivil Surgeon Applications and Evidentiary Requirements

April 08, 2014

This technical update clarifies that an applicant for civil surgeon designation must, at a minimum, submit a copy of the medical degree to show he or she is a Medical Doctor or Doctor of Osteopathy.


 

POLICY ALERTFraud and Willful Misrepresentation Grounds of Inadmissibility

March 25, 2014

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing guidance on the fraud and willful misrepresentation grounds of inadmissibility under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i) and the corresponding waiver under INA 212(i).


Read More
 

Technical UpdateVaccination Requirements for Pregnant or Immuno-Compromised Applicants

March 11, 2014

​This technical update replaces the list of vaccines contraindicated for pregnant or immuno-compromised applicants with a reference to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s Vaccination Technical Instructions. This ensures the Policy Manual guidance includes the most up-to-date information.


 

POLICY ALERTRefugee and Asylee-Based Adjustment of Status under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Section 209

March 04, 2014

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to address adjustment of status applications filed by refugees and asylees under INA sections 209(a) and 209(b).


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTHealth-Related Grounds of Inadmissibility and Waivers

January 28, 2014

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual on the health-related grounds of inadmissibility under INA 212(a)(1) and corresponding waivers under INA 212(g).


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTCivil Surgeon Designation and Centralization of the Designation Process at the National Benefits Center

January 28, 2014

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to centralize the civil surgeon designation process at the National Benefits Center, effective March 11, 2014.


Read More
 

Technical UpdateCommonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

September 30, 2013

This technical update adds the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to list of certain territories of the United States where, subject to certain requirements, persons may be U.S. citizens at birth.


 

Technical UpdateCertified Court Dispositions

September 30, 2013

This technical update adds language addressing existing policy on circumstances where an applicant is required to provide a certified court disposition.


 

POLICY ALERTSecurity-Related Positions Abroad

June 10, 2013

​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to address amendments to section 1059(e) of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2006 by Public Law 112-227.


Read More
 

POLICY ALERTComprehensive Citizenship and Naturalization Policy Guidance

January 07, 2013

​USCIS is issuing updated and comprehensive citizenship and naturalization policy guidance in the new USCIS Policy Manual.


Read More

Legal Authorities

208

Forms

62

Appendices

6

Appendix: Legislation Assisting Military Members and their Families Obtain Immigration Benefits

The table below provides some of the major legislative amendments that have aimed at assisting qualified military personnel and their eligible family members to become U.S. citizens or to acquire other immigration benefits, or both.

Major Legislative Amendments Assisting Military Members and their Eligible Relatives to Become U.S. Citizens or to Acquire Other Immigration Benefits

Act of May 9, 1918 (40 Stat. 512)

-Accorded World War I servicemen certain exemptions from the then existing naturalization requirements

-First statute to provide for overseas processing; however, petitions that were filed and not acted upon by the courts were declared invalid before May 25, 1932 [1] See Application of Campbell, 5 F.2d 247 (E.D. Wash. 1925). See Op. Sol. of Labor, Jan, 1926, CO file 79/9.

Modifications of 1918 Act [2] See Acts of July 19 and November 6, 1919, May 26, 1926, March 4, 1929, May 25, 1932, June 24, 1935, August 23, 1937, June 21, 1939, December 7, 1942.

-Under certain circumstances resident aliens who had departed from the United States and had served honorable in the military or naval forces of an allied country during World War I were granted special naturalization

Second War Powers Act of March 27, 1942 (amending Nationality Act of 1940)

-Provided for the expeditious naturalization of members of the U.S. armed forces serving in the United States and abroad

-Provided for the naturalization of non-citizens serving during the war; the law permitted naturalization of those who did not meet requirements

-Section 702, authorized the actual naturalization of World War II servicemen outside the United States

-First time the Service had administrative authority to conduct naturalizations

Legislation of December 7, 1942 (amending Nationality Act of 1940)

-Addition of section 323a

-Granted special naturalization privileges to World War I veterans

-Embraced persons who served with the United States military or naval forces at any time after April 20, 1898, and before July 5, 1902 (Spanish-American War), as well as persons who served on the Mexican border between June 1916 and April 1917 as members of the Regular Army or National Guard (expired December 8, 1943)

Act of June 1, 1948; Immigration and Nationality Act

-Added section 324A to the Act of October 14, 1940 (Nationality Act of 1940)

-Revised, modified, and made permanent the earlier provisions for the expeditious naturalization of persons who served honorably in the United States armed forces during either World War I or II

Lodge Act, June 30, 1950 (64 Stat. 316)

-Was periodically extended during the 1950s, finally expiring on July 1, 1959

-The Act authorized naturalization under INA 329 of an alien who enlisted or reenlisted overseas under the terms of the Act; subsequently entered the United States, American Samoa, Swains Island, or the Canal Zone pursuant to military orders; completed five years of service; and was honorably discharged

Korean Hostilities; Act of June 30, 1953 (Pub. L. 86)

-Provided for the expeditious judicial naturalization of aliens, upon completion of at least 90 days' active and honorable service in the United States Armed Forces during a specified period (June 25, 1950 - July 1, 1955) extending beyond the termination date of the Korean conflict

-Under the statute, all petitions had to be filed before January 1, 1956

Vietnam Hostilities Act of October 24, 1968 (82 Stat. 1343)

-Including Vietnam Hostilities to add as qualifying, service during a period beginning February 28, 1961, and ending on the termination fixed by the President

-By Executive Order 12081, September 18, 1978, the President terminated the period of Vietnam hostilities as of October 15, 1978

-Allowed the designation by executive order such periods when the armed forces of the United States are engaged in armed conflict with a hostile foreign force

Grenada 15 Executive Order 12582 (February 2, 1987) [3] See Executive Order 12582, signed on February 2, 1987 (52 FR 3395, February 4, 1987). In consideration of Matter of Reyes, 910 F. 2d 611 (9th Cir. 1990), Executive Order 12582 was revoked by Executive Order 12913, effective February 2, 1987, (59 FR 23115, May 4, 1994).

-Although President Reagan designated the Grenada campaign as a period of hostilities, a federal court invalidated it entirely because, in contravention of statutory guidelines for such designations, the executive order attempted to limit the expedited naturalization benefit to persons who served in certain geographic areas and the record showed that the President would not have designated the campaign as a period of hostilities without the geographic limitations

Naturalization of Natives of the Philippines (WWII Service), Sec. 405 of Pub. L. 101-649

-Addressed by Congress in 1990 by amending INA 329 (IMMACT90)

-Such veterans were exempted from the requirement of having been admitted to lawful permanent residence to the United States or having enlisted or reenlisted in the United States

-Subsequent amendments enabled naturalization processing to be conducted in the Philippines

-Only applied to applications filed by February 2, 1995

Hmong Veterans’ Naturalization Act of 2000

-For Hmong guerilla units that aided the U.S. military during the Vietnam War era

-Provided an exemption from the English language requirement and special consideration for civics testing for Laotian refugees who supported the U.S. armed forces as members of guerrilla or irregular forces in Laos during the Vietnam War period of hostilities

-Only applied to naturalization applications filed by a veteran or spouse, within three years after May 26, 2000, or by a veteran’s widow within three years after November 1, 2000

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (Pub. L. 108-136)

-Pub. L. 108-136 was enacted on November 24 ,2003 and amended certain military-related immigration provisions of the INA, to include:

-Reduced the required period of military service from three years to one year under INA 328

-Exempted all fees from naturalization applications filed under INA 328 and 329 by eligible service members and certain veterans

-Added provision that citizenship obtained through INA 328 and 329 may be revoked if the person is separated from the U.S. armed forces under other than honorable conditions before the person has served for a period or periods aggregating five years

-Added under 8 U.S.C. 1443a that DHS must ensure that any filings, interviews, oath ceremonies, or other proceedings relating to naturalization of service members and certain military family members are available abroad through U.S. embassies, consulates, and U.S. military installations overseas as practical

-Extended benefits under INA 329(a) to those who serve or served as a member of the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve

-Extended certain immigration benefits to surviving spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizen service members (including those granted citizenship posthumously under INA 329A) [4] See Sec. 1703 of PL 108-136.

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (Pub. L. 110-181)

-Pub. L. 110-181 was enacted on January 28, 2008 and amended certain military-related immigration provisions of the INA focused on qualifying spouses or children of members of the U.S. armed forces, to include:

-Added INA 284(b) to make clear that the lawful permanent resident status of a service member’s spouse or child is not jeopardized because the spouse or child resided abroad, as authorized by official orders, with the service member. This provision clarifies that USCIS must not treat such absences as abandonment or relinquishment of the spouse or child’s lawful permanent resident (LPR) status [5] See Sec. 673 of PL 110-181.

-Added INA 319(e) to allow the LPR spouse of a service member to count any qualifying time spent abroad on official orders as continuous residence and physical presence in the United States. Also permits the spouse to complete the naturalization process overseas

-Added INA 322(d) to allow the U.S. citizen parent and service member of a child filing for naturalization to count time abroad under military orders as physical presence in the United States. Also permits the child to complete the naturalization process overseas

Kendell Frederick Citizenship Assistance Act (KFCAA) (Pub. L. 110-251)

-The KFCAA was enacted on June 26, 2008

-Requires DHS to use the fingerprints provided by an individual at the time the individual enlisted in the U.S. armed forces (referred to as “OPM” or “enlistment” fingerprints) or fingerprints the applicant previously submitted to USCIS for another application to satisfy the fingerprint requirement

-If DHS determines that new biometrics would result in more timely and effective adjudication of the individual’s naturalization application, DHS must inform the applicant of this determination and provide the applicant with information on how to submit fingerprints

-Requires USCIS to adjudicate applications for naturalization filed by active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces serving abroad within 180 days of the receipt of responses to all background checks

Military Personnel Citizenship Processing Act (MPCPA) (Pub. L. 110-382)

-The MPCPA was enacted on October 9, 2008

-Requires USCIS to complete applications for naturalization filed by service members (and certain spouses) within six months of receipt or notify the applicant of the delay

-Six-month notification letters must include the reason for delay and an estimated adjudication date

Footnotes


1 [^]

See Application of Campbell, 5 F.2d 247 (E.D. Wash. 1925). See Op. Sol. of Labor, Jan, 1926, CO file 79/9.

2 [^]

See Acts of July 19 and November 6, 1919, May 26, 1926, March 4, 1929, May 25, 1932, June 24, 1935, August 23, 1937, June 21, 1939, December 7, 1942.

3 [^]

See Executive Order 12582, signed on February 2, 1987 (52 FR 3395, February 4, 1987). In consideration of Matter of Reyes, 910 F. 2d 611 (9th Cir. 1990), Executive Order 12582 was revoked by Executive Order 12913, effective February 2, 1987, (59 FR 23115, May 4, 1994).

4 [^]

See Sec. 1703 of PL 108-136.

5 [^]

See Sec. 673 of PL 110-181.

Appendix: Children Born Outside the United States in Wedlock (Nationality Chart 1)

Nationality Chart 1

Children [1] A child must meet the definition of child under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). 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]. Born Outside the United States in Wedlock

PERIOD IN WHICH CHILD WAS BORN

STEP 1: Determine period in which child was born

CITIZENSHIP OF PARENTS AT TIME OF CHILD’S BIRTH

STEP 2: Determine parents’ citizenship at time of child’s birth

PARENTS’ RESIDENCE & PHYSICAL PRESENCE PRIOR TO CHILD’S BIRTH

STEP 3: Did U.S. citizen (USC) parent meet residence or physical presence requirement prior to birth? (If yes, child was a USC at birth)

CHILD’S RETENTION REQUIREMENT

STEP 4: Did child meet retention requirement (if any)? (Child lost citizenship on date it became impossible to meet requirement)

Prior to

May 24, 1934

Either parent a USC [2] USC mother added by Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections Act of 1994, Pub. L. 103-416, 108 Stat. 4305 (October 5, 1994).

USC parent resided in the United States

Not Applicable

On or After May 24, 1934

and Prior To

Jan. 13, 1941

Both parents USCs

At least one USC parent resided in the United States

Not Applicable

One USC parent and one alien parent

USC parent resided in the United States

5 years residence [3] Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee. in the United States or Outlying Possession (OLP) between ages 13 and 21 (must start before age 16) [4] See former Section 301(b) in the INA of 1952, Pub. L. 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 236 (June 27, 1952). The child’s residence must also start before the INA of 1952’s effective date, December 24, 1952.

OR

5 years continuous physical presence in the United States between ages 14 and 28 (must start before age 23)

OR

2 years continuous physical presence in the United States between ages 14 and 28 (must start before age 26)

OR

Exempt, if at time of child’s birth, USC parent was employed by U.S. government or specified organization

On or After Jan. 13, 1941

and Prior To Dec. 24, 1952

One USC parent and one alien parent

USC parent resided in United States or OLP for 10 years, at least 5 years of which were after age 16

Special provisions for parents with honorable service in the U.S. armed forces:

(1) Between Dec. 7, 1941 and Dec. 31, 1946, 10 years of residence, at least 5 years of which were after age 12

(2) Between Jan. 1, 1947 and Dec. 24, 1952, 10 years of physical presence, at least 5 years of which were after age 14 [5] Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee.

5 years residence in the United States or OLP between ages 13 and 21 (must start before age 16) [6] See former Section 301(b) in the INA of 1952, Pub. L. 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 236 (June 27, 1952). The child’s residence must also start before the INA of 1952’s effective date, December 24, 1952.

OR

5 years continuous physical presence in the United States between ages 14 and 28 (must start before age 23) [7] See Act of October 27, 1972, Pub. L. 92-584, 86 Stat. 1289. The child’s residence must also start before the Act’s effective date, October 27, 1972.

OR

2 years continuous physical presence in the United States between ages 14 and 28 (must start before age 26)

OR

Exempt, if at time of child’s birth, USC parent was employed by U.S. government or specified organization (exemption does not apply if parent used a special provision in column 3) [8] Absence of less than 12 months in the aggregate during the 5-year period does not break continuity of residence or physical presence. Absence of less than 60 days in the 2-year period in the aggregate does not break continuity of physical presence. Honorable service in the U.S. armed forces counts as residence or physical presence.Retention Requirements•A child is relieved from the retention requirements if, prior to his or her 18th birthday, the child begins to reside permanently in the United States and the foreign national parent naturalizes.​•The Act of October 10, 1978, Pub. L. 95-423, repealed retention requirements prospectively only. Anyone born on or after October 11, 1952 (not age 26 on October 10, 1978) was no longer subject to retention requirements. Since the amending legislation was prospective only, it did not restore citizenship to anyone who, prior to its enactment, had lost citizenship for failing to meet the retention requirements.

Both parents USCs

At least one USC parent resided in the United States or OLP [9] Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee.

Not Applicable

On or After Dec. 24, 1952


​and Prior To
Nov. 14, 1986

Both parents USCs

At least one USC parent resided in the United States or OLP [10] Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee.

Not Applicable

One USC parent and one alien parent

USC parent physically present in the United States or OLP for 10 years, at least 5 years of which were after age 14 [11] Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee.

Not Applicable

On or After Nov. 14, 1986

Both parents USCs

At least one USC parent resided in the United States or OLP

Not Applicable

One USC parent and one alien parent

USC parent physically present in the United States or OLP for 5 years, at least 2 years of which were after age 14 [12] See former Section 301(b) in the INA of 1952, Pub. L. 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 236 (June 27, 1952). The child’s residence must also start before the INA of 1952’s effective date, December 24, 1952.

Not Applicable

Footnotes


1 [^]

A child must meet the definition of child under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). 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].

2 [^]

USC mother added by Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections Act of 1994, Pub. L. 103-416, 108 Stat. 4305 (October 5, 1994).

3 [^]

Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee.

4 [^]

See former Section 301(b) in the INA of 1952, Pub. L. 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 236 (June 27, 1952). The child’s residence must also start before the INA of 1952’s effective date, December 24, 1952.

5 [^]

Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee.

6 [^]

See former Section 301(b) in the INA of 1952, Pub. L. 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 236 (June 27, 1952). The child’s residence must also start before the INA of 1952’s effective date, December 24, 1952.

7 [^]

See Act of October 27, 1972, Pub. L. 92-584, 86 Stat. 1289. The child’s residence must also start before the Act’s effective date, October 27, 1972.

8 [^]

Absence of less than 12 months in the aggregate during the 5-year period does not break continuity of residence or physical presence. Absence of less than 60 days in the 2-year period in the aggregate does not break continuity of physical presence. Honorable service in the U.S. armed forces counts as residence or physical presence.

Retention Requirements

A child is relieved from the retention requirements if, prior to his or her 18th birthday, the child begins to reside permanently in the United States and the foreign national parent naturalizes.

The Act of October 10, 1978, Pub. L. 95-423, repealed retention requirements prospectively only. Anyone born on or after October 11, 1952 (not age 26 on October 10, 1978) was no longer subject to retention requirements. Since the amending legislation was prospective only, it did not restore citizenship to anyone who, prior to its enactment, had lost citizenship for failing to meet the retention requirements.

9 [^]

Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee.

10 [^]

Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee.

11 [^]

Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee.

12 [^]

See former Section 301(b) in the INA of 1952, Pub. L. 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 236 (June 27, 1952). The child’s residence must also start before the INA of 1952’s effective date, December 24, 1952.

Appendix: Children Born Outside the United States Out of Wedlock (Nationality Chart 2)

Nationality Chart 2 (4 tables below)

Children [1] A child must meet the definition of child under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). 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]. Born Outside the United States Out of Wedlock

Child Born Out of Wedlock to U.S. Citizen Mother (Table 1 of 4)

PERIOD IN WHICH CHILD WAS BORN

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Prior To

May 24, 1934

The child was born an alien. HOWEVER, the child became a U.S. citizen (USC) retroactively to birth, effective on Jan. 13, 1941, if the child’s mother resided in the United States or Outlying Possession (OLP) prior to the child’s birth, UNLESS the child was legitimated by the alien father prior to Jan. 13, 1941.

On or After

May 24, 1934

and Prior To

Dec. 24, 1952

The mother resided in the United States or OLP at any time prior to the child’s birth.

On or After

Dec. 24, 1952

and Prior To

June 12, 2017

The mother maintained at least 1 year of continuous physical presence in the United States or OLP at any time prior to the child’s birth.

On or After

June 12, 2017 [2] See Sessions v. Morales-Santana, 137 S.Ct. 1678 (2017).

The mother was physically present in the United States or OLP for at least 5 years prior to the child’s birth (at least 2 years of which were after age 14).

Child Born Out of Wedlock to U.S. Citizen Father and Alien Mother

Child Legitimated by Father (Table 2 of 4)

PERIOD IN WHICH CHILD WAS BORN

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Prior To

May 24, 1934

The child was legitimated at any time after birth under the laws of the father’s domicile;

The USC father resided in the United States prior to the child’s birth; and

No residence required for the child to retain U.S. citizenship.

On or After

May 24, 1934

and Prior To

Jan. 13, 1941

The child was legitimated at any time after birth under the laws of the father’s domicile;

The USC father resided in the United States prior to the child’s birth; [3] Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as the dependent unmarried son who resided as a member of the employee’s household during any relevant period(s) of absence from the United States. and

The child met retention requirements.

See Nationality Chart 1 for retention requirements.

On or After

Jan. 13, 1941

and Prior To

Dec. 24, 1952

The child was legitimated before age 21 under the laws of the father’s domicile;

The USC father resided in the United States or OLP for at least 10 years, at least 5 years of which were after age 14, at the time of the child’s birth; and

The child met retention requirements.

See Nationality Chart 1 for special provisions and for retention requirements.

On or After

Dec. 24, 1952

and Prior To

Nov. 14, 1986

The child was legitimated before age 21 under the laws of the father’s domicile; [4] In cases arising within the Ninth Circuit, the laws of the father’s residence and the laws of the child’s residence must be considered to determine whether legitimation occurred. See Burgess v. Meese, 802 F.2d 338 (9th Cir. 1986).

The child was legitimated PRIOR TO Nov. 14, 1986;

The child must be unmarried;

The USC father was physically present in the United States or OLP for 10 years, at least 5 years of which were after age 14, at the time of the child’s birth; and

No residence required for the child to retain U.S. citizenship.

See Nationality Chart 1 for special provisions.

Child Born Out of Wedlock to U.S. Citizen Father and Alien Mother

Child Legitimated or Acknowledged by Father (Table 3 of 4)

DATE RELATIONSHIP ESTABLISHED

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

On or After

Nov. 14, 1986

The child was legitimated OR acknowledged before age 18* (legitimated under the laws of the child’s residence or domicile; or paternity acknowledged in writing under oath; or paternity established by court order);

A blood relationship between the child and father was established;

The father, unless deceased, has agreed in writing to provide financial support until child reaches age 18; [5] For additional information regarding a written statement of financial support, see Volume 12, Citizenship & Naturalization, Part H, Children of U.S. Citizens, Chapter 3, U.S. Citizens at Birth (INA 301 and 309), Section C, Child Born Out of Wedlock [12 USCIS-PM H.3(C)].

The child must be unmarried; and

The USC father was physically present in the United States or OLP for 5 years, at least 2 years of which were after age 14, at the time of the child’s birth.

*A child age 18 or over on Nov. 14, 1986 could use the old law. [6] See Child Born Out Of Wedlock to U.S. Citizen Father and Alien Mother; Child Legitimated by Father (Table 2 of 4). A child at least age 15, but under 18, could use either law (date of birth on or after Nov. 15, 1968).

Child Born Out of Wedlock to Two U.S. Citizen Parents (Table 4 of 4)

PERIOD IN WHICH CHILD WAS BORN

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

If both parents are U.S. citizens, the child may qualify under either parent. The child must meet the requirements for acquisition of citizenship under the mother OR the father; the child does not need to meet both requirements.

On or After

Dec. 24, 1952

and Prior To

Nov. 14, 1986

Citizenship through U.S. Citizen Mother

The mother had at least 1 year of continuous physical presence in the United States or OLP at any time prior to the child’s birth.

Citizenship through U.S. Citizen Father

The child was legitimated before age 21 under the laws of the father’s domicile; [7] In cases arising within the Ninth Circuit, the laws of the father’s residence and the laws of the child’s residence must be considered to determine whether legitimation occurred. See Burgess v. Meese, 802 F.2d 338 (9th Cir. 1986).

The child was legitimated PRIOR TO Nov. 14, 1986;

The child must be unmarried; and

Either parent resided in the United States at any time prior to the child’s birth.

On or After

Nov. 14, 1986

and Prior To

June 12, 2017

Citizenship through U.S. Citizen Mother

The mother had at least 1 year of continuous physical presence in the United States or OLP at any time prior to the child’s birth.

Citizenship through U.S. Citizen Father

The child was legitimated OR acknowledged before age 18* (legitimated under the laws of the child’s residence or domicile; or paternity acknowledged in writing under oath; or paternity established by court order);

A blood relationship between the child and father was established;

The father, unless deceased, has agreed in writing to provide financial support until child reaches age 18; [8] For additional information regarding a written statement of financial support, see Volume 12, Citizenship & Naturalization, Part H, Children of U.S. Citizens, Chapter 3, U.S. Citizens at Birth (INA 301 and 309), Section C, Child Born Out of Wedlock [12 USCIS-PM H.3(C)].

The child must be unmarried; and

Either parent resided in the United States at any time prior to the child’s birth.

*A child age 18 or over on Nov. 14, 1986 could use the old law. [9] See Child Born Out Of Wedlock to U.S. Citizen Father and Alien Mother; Child Legitimated by Father (Table 2 of 4). A child at least age 15, but under 18, could use either law (date of birth on or after Nov. 15, 1968).

On or After

June 12, 2017

Citizenship through U.S. Citizen Father

The child was legitimated OR acknowledged before age 18 (legitimated under the laws of the child’s residence or domicile; or paternity acknowledged in writing under oath; or paternity established by court order);

A blood relationship between child and father was established;

The father, unless deceased, has agreed in writing to provide financial support until child reaches age 18; [10] For additional information regarding a written statement of financial support, see Volume 12, Citizenship & Naturalization, Part H, Children of U.S. Citizens, Chapter 3, U.S. Citizens at Birth (INA 301 and 309), Section C, Child Born Out of Wedlock [12 USCIS-PM H.3(C)].

The child must be unmarried; and

Either parent resided in the United States at any time prior to the child’s birth.

If the child does not meet these requirements, but one or both parents resided in the United States at any time prior to the child’s birth, the officer should consult the Office of Chief Counsel (OCC).

Footnotes


1 [^]

A child must meet the definition of child under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). 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].

2 [^]

See Sessions v. Morales-Santana, 137 S.Ct. 1678 (2017).

3 [^]

Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as the dependent unmarried son who resided as a member of the employee’s household during any relevant period(s) of absence from the United States.

4 [^]

In cases arising within the Ninth Circuit, the laws of the father’s residence and the laws of the child’s residence must be considered to determine whether legitimation occurred. See Burgess v. Meese, 802 F.2d 338 (9th Cir. 1986).

5 [^]

For additional information regarding a written statement of financial support, see Volume 12, Citizenship & Naturalization, Part H, Children of U.S. Citizens, Chapter 3, U.S. Citizens at Birth (INA 301 and 309), Section C, Child Born Out of Wedlock [12 USCIS-PM H.3(C)].

6 [^]

See Child Born Out Of Wedlock to U.S. Citizen Father and Alien Mother; Child Legitimated by Father (Table 2 of 4).

7 [^]

In cases arising within the Ninth Circuit, the laws of the father’s residence and the laws of the child’s residence must be considered to determine whether legitimation occurred. See Burgess v. Meese, 802 F.2d 338 (9th Cir. 1986).

8 [^]

For additional information regarding a written statement of financial support, see Volume 12, Citizenship & Naturalization, Part H, Children of U.S. Citizens, Chapter 3, U.S. Citizens at Birth (INA 301 and 309), Section C, Child Born Out of Wedlock [12 USCIS-PM H.3(C)].

9 [^]

See Child Born Out Of Wedlock to U.S. Citizen Father and Alien Mother; Child Legitimated by Father (Table 2 of 4).

10 [^]

For additional information regarding a written statement of financial support, see Volume 12, Citizenship & Naturalization, Part H, Children of U.S. Citizens, Chapter 3, U.S. Citizens at Birth (INA 301 and 309), Section C, Child Born Out of Wedlock [12 USCIS-PM H.3(C)].

Appendix: Derivative Citizenship of Children (Nationality Chart 3)

Nationality Chart 3

Derivative Citizenship of Children [1] A child must meet the definition of child under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). 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]. A child not legitimated by the father may only derive from the mother. In cases with two U.S. citizen parents where the child is born out of wedlock on or after June 12, 2017, the Office of Chief Counsel (OCC) advises that officers first determine whether the child acquired citizenship through the U.S. citizen father under INA 309(a), as that standard is unaffected by Morales-Santana. If the child did not acquire citizenship through the U.S. citizen father, OCC would like to review the case because it is still considering, in consultation with the Department of State (DOS) and Department of Justice (DOJ), the standard under which a U.S. citizen mother can pass citizenship to a child born out of wedlock to two U.S. citizen parents.

A child may derive U.S. citizenship during the below listed historical periods if such child was under the statutory age, AND the child became a lawful permanent residence (LPR), AND the parent(s) naturalized. It does not matter in which order the actions occurred.

PERIOD IN WHICH LAST ACTION TOOK PLACE

CHILD BECAME LPR BEFORE STATUTORY AGE OF

NATURALIZATION OF PARENT(S) PRIOR TO CHILD’S STATUTORY AGE

ADDITIONAL REMARKS

Prior To

May 24, 1934

21 years old

At least one parent naturalized

None

On or After

May 24, 1934

and Prior To

Jan. 13, 1941

21 years old

At least one parent naturalized

U.S. citizenship effective 5 years from date child becomes an LPR [2] Child relieved of the remainder of the 5-year waiting period if the naturalized parent meets definition of “both parents.”

21 years old

Both parents [3] The definition of “both parents” includes:•The surviving parent should the other parent die; •The naturalized parent having legal custody in the case of a divorce; or •The mother of a child born out of wedlock. naturalized

None

On or After

Jan. 13, 1941

and Prior To

Dec. 24, 1952

18 years old

Both parents [4] The definition of “both parents” as found in Section 313-14 of the Nationality Act of 1940, Pub. L. 76-853, 54 Stat. 1145-46 (October 14, 1940) includes:•The surviving parent should the other parent die; •The naturalized parent having legal custody in the case of a divorce or a legal separation; or•The foreign national parent who naturalizes when the other parent is already a U.S. citizen since the child’s birth. naturalized

Child born out of wedlock derived on Dec. 24, 1952 if under age 16 and had remained an LPR [5] Once the child was legitimated under the age of 16, both parents were required to naturalize.

On or After

Dec. 24, 1952

and Prior To

Oct. 5, 1978

18 years old

Both parents [6] The definition of “both parents” as found in former INA 321 and former INA 320, Pub. L 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 245 (June 27, 1952) includes: •The surviving parent should the other parent die; •The naturalized parent having legal custody in the case of a divorce or a legal separation;•The mother of a child born out of wedlock, as long as the child had not been legitimated (if a child was properly legitimated under the age of 16, the law required both parents to naturalize); or•The foreign national parent who naturalizes when the other parent is already a U.S. citizen since the child’s birth. naturalized

Child unmarried (does not include adopted children, but adopted children may derive through the naturalization of their biological parent(s) after adoption if all other requirements are met) [7] In the Second Circuit (New York, Connecticut, and Vermont), the child is not required to become an LPR before the age of 18, provided that the child begins to reside permanently in the United States while under the age of 18. A child begins to reside permanently in the United States when the child is physically in the United States, intends to reside in the United States permanently, and has taken some official action to accomplish that, such as applying for lawful permanent residence. For additional information, officers should contact their local OCC counsel.

On or After

Oct. 5, 1978

and Prior To

Feb. 27, 2001

18 years old

Both parents [8] The definition of “both parents” as found in former INA 321, Pub. L 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 245 (June 27, 1952) includes:•The surviving parent should the other parent die; •The naturalized parent having legal custody in the case of a divorce or a legal separation; or •The mother of a child born out of wedlock, as long as the child had not been legitimated (if a child was properly legitimated under the age of 16, the law required both parents to naturalize).The definition of “both parents” as found in former INA 320, Pub. L 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 245 (June 27, 1952) includes:•The foreign national parent who naturalizes when the other parent is already a U.S. citizen since the child’s birth.•In the case of a child with one adoptive parent and one natural parent, the adoptive parent must naturalize. He or she may not be a native-born U.S. citizen. naturalized

Child unmarried (includes child adopted before age 16 who is residing with adoptive parent(s) at the time of their naturalization) [9] An adopted child must be residing in the United States, with lawful admission, in the custody of the adoptive parent(s) at the time of the parent’s naturalization, meet all the requirements for adopted children in INA 101(b)(1), and be adopted by a certain age depending on the period of last action: •On or after October 5, 1978 and prior to November 29, 1981, adoption before age 16.•On or after November 29, 1981 and prior to February 27, 2001, adoption before age 18.

On or After

Feb. 27, 2001

18 years old

At least one parent is a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization

Child resides in the United States in legal and physical custody of U.S. citizen parent (includes adopted child of U.S. citizen; must meet INA 101(b)(1) requirements for adopted children)

Footnotes


1 [^]

A child must meet the definition of child under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). 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]. A child not legitimated by the father may only derive from the mother. In cases with two U.S. citizen parents where the child is born out of wedlock on or after June 12, 2017, the Office of Chief Counsel (OCC) advises that officers first determine whether the child acquired citizenship through the U.S. citizen father under INA 309(a), as that standard is unaffected by Morales-Santana. If the child did not acquire citizenship through the U.S. citizen father, OCC would like to review the case because it is still considering, in consultation with the Department of State (DOS) and Department of Justice (DOJ), the standard under which a U.S. citizen mother can pass citizenship to a child born out of wedlock to two U.S. citizen parents.

2 [^]

Child relieved of the remainder of the 5-year waiting period if the naturalized parent meets definition of “both parents.”

3 [^]

The definition of “both parents” includes:

The surviving parent should the other parent die;

The naturalized parent having legal custody in the case of a divorce; or

The mother of a child born out of wedlock.

4 [^]

The definition of “both parents” as found in Section 313-14 of the Nationality Act of 1940, Pub. L. 76-853, 54 Stat. 1145-46 (October 14, 1940) includes:

The surviving parent should the other parent die;

The naturalized parent having legal custody in the case of a divorce or a legal separation; or

The foreign national parent who naturalizes when the other parent is already a U.S. citizen since the child’s birth.

5 [^]

Once the child was legitimated under the age of 16, both parents were required to naturalize.

6 [^]

The definition of “both parents” as found in former INA 321 and former INA 320, Pub. L 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 245 (June 27, 1952) includes:

The surviving parent should the other parent die;

The naturalized parent having legal custody in the case of a divorce or a legal separation;

The mother of a child born out of wedlock, as long as the child had not been legitimated (if a child was properly legitimated under the age of 16, the law required both parents to naturalize); or

The foreign national parent who naturalizes when the other parent is already a U.S. citizen since the child’s birth.

7 [^]

In the Second Circuit (New York, Connecticut, and Vermont), the child is not required to become an LPR before the age of 18, provided that the child begins to reside permanently in the United States while under the age of 18. A child begins to reside permanently in the United States when the child is physically in the United States, intends to reside in the United States permanently, and has taken some official action to accomplish that, such as applying for lawful permanent residence. For additional information, officers should contact their local OCC counsel.

8 [^]

The definition of “both parents” as found in former INA 321, Pub. L 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 245 (June 27, 1952) includes:

The surviving parent should the other parent die;

The naturalized parent having legal custody in the case of a divorce or a legal separation; or

The mother of a child born out of wedlock, as long as the child had not been legitimated (if a child was properly legitimated under the age of 16, the law required both parents to naturalize).

The definition of “both parents” as found in former INA 320, Pub. L 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 245 (June 27, 1952) includes:

The foreign national parent who naturalizes when the other parent is already a U.S. citizen since the child’s birth.

In the case of a child with one adoptive parent and one natural parent, the adoptive parent must naturalize. He or she may not be a native-born U.S. citizen.

9 [^]

An adopted child must be residing in the United States, with lawful admission, in the custody of the adoptive parent(s) at the time of the parent’s naturalization, meet all the requirements for adopted children in INA 101(b)(1), and be adopted by a certain age depending on the period of last action:

On or after October 5, 1978 and prior to November 29, 1981, adoption before age 16.

On or after November 29, 1981 and prior to February 27, 2001, adoption before age 18.

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].

Appendix: USCIS Customer Dissatisfaction Terms and Definitions

USCIS Customer Dissatisfaction Terms and Definitions

Category and Definition

Examples

Who to Contact

Complaint

Any communication received from a customer expressing dissatisfaction with USCIS. Complaints can be categorized as either “case-specific” or “non-case-specific.”

Case-specific complaints directly relate to cases processed by USCIS. Non-case-specific complaints refer to any dissatisfaction with USCIS that does not relate to a specific case.

Case-Specific Complaints

Cases outside normal processing times (ONPT)

Inaccurate or incomplete responses to case-related inquiries

Case processing errors

Confusion regarding a notice or correspondence sent by USCIS

USCIS offices, in-person or by mail. (Addresses can be found at www.uscis.gov, under the “About Us” section.)

USCIS Contact Center toll-free number: 1-800-375-5283

(TTY number: 1-800-767-1833)

Non-Case-Specific Complaints

Rude treatment by USCIS employees or contractors

Facility-related issues

Difficulty understanding forms, notices, instructions, or other general information

Administration of immigration laws or USCIS policies

USCIS offices, in-person or by mail. If at a USCIS office, contact a supervisor. (Addresses can be found at www.uscis.gov, under the “About Us” section.)

USCIS Contact Center toll-free number: 1-800-375-5283

(TTY number: 1-800-767-1833)

Misconduct

Actions of a USCIS employee or contractor that can be considered extreme or outrageous, including, but not limited to, criminal activity. [1] See Chapter 10, Reporting Allegations of Misconduct or Other Inappropriate Behavior [1 USCIS-PM A.10].

Fraud, corruption, bribery, or embezzlement

Perjury or falsification of documents or information

Physical assault or inappropriate conduct

Unauthorized release of classified information or unauthorized use or misuse of official government systems

Misuse of official position for private gain

Theft or misuse of government funds, vehicles, badges, credentials, secure forms, sensitive property, or other property

Arrest of an employee or contractor by law enforcement personnel

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG):

Phone: 1-800-323-8603;

Fax: 202-254-4297; or

Mail: DHS, OIG/MAIL STOP 0305, Attn: Office of Investigations -- Hotline, 245 Murray Lane, SW, Washington DC 20528-0305

USCIS Office of Security & Integrity (OSI):

Fax: 202-233-2453; or

Mail: Chief, Investigations Division, Office of Security and Integrity MS 2275, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, 633 Third Street NW, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20529-2275

Footnotes


1 [^]

See Chapter 10, Reporting Allegations of Misconduct or Other Inappropriate Behavior [1 USCIS-PM A.10].

Current as of August 15, 2018