The Child Citizenship Act of 2000, which became effective on February 27, 2001, serves to facilitate the acquisition of U.S. citizenship of the foreign-born children of U.S. citizens – both biological and adopted – who did not acquire citizenship at birth. This act amended the provisions of Sections 320 and 322 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The child must meet the following requirements:
If the child is an orphan, the adoption must be final. If the adoption must be finalized in the United States, citizenship is acquired when the adoption is finalized.
The effective date of the Child Citizenship Act is February 27, 2001. Children who met the requirements of amended Section 320 on that date automatically became American citizens. Children who were 18 years of age or older on that date are not eligible to take advantage of the Child Citizenship Act. They may, however, have acquired U.S. citizenship in accordance with the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act that the Child Citizenship Act superseded. Questions regarding these provisions may be directed to the consular sections of U.S. embassies and consulates abroad.
A child who enters the United States on an IR4 visa (to be adopted in the United States) will only acquire U.S. citizenship when the adoption is full and final in the United States.
A child who has lawful permanent residence (LPR status) will have a permanent resident card (green card). Another way to show LPR status is the I-551 stamp in the child's passport. This stamp shows that the child has entered the United States on an immigrant visa and/or has been admitted as a lawful permanent resident.
A child who has acquired U.S. citizenship in accordance with Section 320 of the Immigration and Nationality Act does not have to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship in order to be considered a U.S. citizen; however, if you want to obtain such a certificate, you need to submit a completed N-600 form (Application for Certificate of Citizenship) and the requisite filing fee to any Field Office of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services of the Department of Homeland Security. The form may be obtained by going to www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem and entering N-600 in the search box.
You will need the following when the child applies for a passport:
No. Only a child who acquired U.S. citizenship at birth can get a birth certificate from an embassy or consulate. A child who acquires U.S. citizenship in accordance with the provisions of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 is deemed to be a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Another section of the Child Citizenship Act provides that children (biological or adopted) of U.S. citizens who are born and reside abroad, and who do not become U.S. citizens at birth can apply to the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services for a Certificate of Citizenship if the following conditions are met.
Children who acquire citizenship under this new provision do not acquire citizenship automatically. They must apply to the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services for a Certificate of Citizenship by completing form N-600K and remitting the necessary filing fee. The form may be submitted to any field office of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services and may be obtained by going to www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem and entering N-600K in the search box.
The form may be filed by a U.S. citizen parent. If, however, the U.S. citizen parent has died during the preceding five years, the form may be filed by either a U.S. citizen grandparent or a U.S. citizen legal guardian.
The child acquires U.S. citizenship only when the Bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services approves the application for the Certificate of Citizenship.