CERTIFICATE OF CITIZENSHIP

You may be eligible to file for a certificate of citizenship if you were born outside the United States to a U.S. citizen parent; or you automatically became a citizen of the United States after birth, but before you turned 18 years of age.  You do not have to have an attorney file this application for you, but if you are not sure as to whether you qualify for the certificate of citizenship or you have some complications, it may be in your best interest to hire someone to help you.  Because citizenship law has changed so many times over the years, it can be one of the trickiest areas of the law and it may be helpful to you to have an attorney assist you with your case.  Soria Law, can assist you in determining if you are eligible to file for a certificate of citizenship and whether this is the best course of action for you.

Citizenship law has changed over the years and different laws apply to determine whether you automatically became a U.S. citizen at birth, or after birth but before you turned 18 years of age. If you are claiming U.S. citizenship based on your birth abroad to U.S. citizen parents, the law in effect on the date of your birth applies. For purposes of these provisions, you must be the biological child of your U.S. citizen parent, and different provisions apply depending on whether you were born in wedlock or out-of-wedlock. 

If you are claiming U.S. citizenship after birth, but before you reached 18 years of age, the law in effect when the last qualifying condition was met is the law that applies to you. Generally, the conditions are listed below. 

These conditions must be met before you turn 18 years of age: 

  1. Your parent must be a U.S. citizen; 

  2. You must be the biological child of that U.S. citizen parent; 

  3. You must be lawfully admitted to the United States for lawful permanent residence; and

  4. You must be living in the United States in the legal and physical custody of your U.S. citizen parent. 

You can file for a Certificate of Citizenship at any time if you became a U.S. citizen at birth or after birth, but before you turned 18 years of age. Filing this application is NOT a request to become a U.S. citizen. Filing this application is ONLY a request to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship which recognizes that you became a citizen on a particular date. 

Adopted Child

An adopted child may also acquire U.S. citizenship through his or her adoptive U.S. citizen parent depending on the law being applied. Currently, an adopted child can acquire U.S. citizenship through his or her U.S. citizen parent. However, step children CANNOT acquire U.S. citizenship under this provision. 

NOTE: If you are now 18 years of age, but all of the above conditions apply to you before your 18th birthday and you were under 18 years of age on February 27, 2001 (the date the law took affect), you may file this application to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship. However, if you were under 18 years of age on February 27, 2001, BUT not all of the conditions noted above were met prior to your 18th birthday, you must qualify for U.S. citizenship in your own right.

Law in Effect at the Time of Your Birth

To determine if you were born a U.S. citizen, USCIS will look at the law that was in effect at the time of your birth. The current law was enacted on November 14, 1986 and was last amended on February 27, 2001 (Child Citizenship Act). 

Please contact Soria Law at 561-318-3600, to determine your eligibility for filing a Certificate of Citizenship.