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March 2, 2022

Expeditious Naturalization

Child Citizenship Act 2000

Expeditious naturalization through a grandparent

Under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, a child under age 18 who has a U.S. citizen grandparent who meets the physical presence requirements may qualify for expeditious naturalization under the Immigration and Nationality Act.  Although not entitled to U.S. citizenship at birth, the child can, through this procedure, become a U.S. citizen by naturalization without first having to take up residence in the United States. It is, however, necessary for the child to travel to the United States for the naturalization, and all applications and documentation must be submitted and approved beforehand. This procedure must be done through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The process can take from six months to a year or more.  Follow link to USCIS Service and Office Locator.

Automatic acquisition of citizenship

Follow link to travel.state.gov for comprehensive information regarding the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

Under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, biological and adopted children of U.S. Citizens who are born overseas can automatically acquire citizenship provided the following requirements are met:

  • One parent is a U.S. Citizen by birth or through naturalization; and
  • The child is under the age of 18; and
  • The child is residing in the United States as a lawful permanent resident alien (that is to say has entered the U.S. on an immigrant visa and has an alien resident card) and is in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent; and
  • If the child is adopted, the adoption must be final. If the adoption is to be finalized in the United States, the child becomes eligible for citizenship once the adoption process is completed.

Children under age 18 who had already fulfilled the above four conditions acquired U.S. citizenship automatically on February 27, 2001. Children who have not yet fulfilled these conditions will acquire U.S. citizenship on the day the last of these criteria has been met, provided the child is still under 18 at the time.

No Claim to U.S. Citizenship

If you are not eligible to transmit citizenship to your child, and s/he cannot qualify for naturalization as described in this page, s/he may require a tourist visa to travel to the United States for a temporary, nonworking visit or, if eligible, travel on the Visa Waiver Program, or an immigrant visa if s/he wishes to take up residence.

Child Citizenship Act of 2000 – USCIS

Child Citizenship Act of 2000 – Consular Affairs