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Saturday19 April 2014

Proof of Citizenship

The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows certain foreign-born, biological, and adopted children of American citizens to acquire American citizenship automatically. These children did not acquire American citizenship at birth, but they are granted citizenship either at time of entry or at time of re-adoption in the United States.

The child must meet the following requirements to be eligible:

  1. Have at least one American citizen parent by birth or naturalization
  2. Be under 18 years of age
  3. Live in the legal and physical custody of the American Citizen parent
  4. Be admitted as an immigrant for lawful permanent residence
  5. Have the adoption full and final

 

THE INFORMATION BELOW IS FOR FAMILIES WHO HAVE ADOPTED RECENTLY.  IF YOU ADOPTED YEARS AGO AND HAVE NOT RECEIVED A CERTIFICATE OF CITIZENSHIP, PLEASE FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS IN THE IR-4/IH-4 SECTION FOR FILING AN N-600 FORM REGARDLESS OF VISA TYPE. 

 

Children Who Arrived On An IR-3 or IH-3 visa

Children who arrive home on an IR-3 visa are automatic citizens upon arrival due to the Automatic Citizenship Act that was implemented on February 27, 2001. Your child's Certificate of Citizenship will arrive automatically in your mail 30-60 days after your trip home and will serve as proof of citizenship. If the name on the certificate is not your chosen name for your child, instructions will be enclosed with the certificate regarding how to make the change after you have a U.S. decree and birth certificate. For further information, please visit www.uscis.gov.

If you do not receive your child's certificate within 60 days of arrival, please contact, via email the following information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. :

  • Your child's full name, date of birth, place of birth, and registration # on visa
  • Family address, names, and contact info (phone and email)

You may also apply for a U.S. passport as additional proof of citizenship or for travel purposes. In applying for a passport, you will need the following documents:

  • Proof of child's relationship to the American citizen parent. For an adopted child, it is a certified copy (attested copy) of the final adoption decree (and translation if not in English).
  • The child's foreign passport showing the USCIS 1-551 stamp or the child's permanent resident card.
  • Proof of identity of the American Citizen parent(s).
  • Passport application, passport photographs, and fees.
  • All legal documentation received in country, i.e. birth certificates, adoption decree. These may or may not be needed.

Again, the name on the foreign passport will be used unless a name change through re-adoption has occurred and proof is provided.


Children Who Arrived On An IR-4 or IH-4 visa

For children who arrive home on an IR-4 visa, the adoption must be finalized, re-finalized, or validated according to the appropriate procedures in your state. Your child will enter the United States as a legal permanent resident of the United States, and will become an automatic US citizen as a result of the Automatic Citizenship Act that was implemented on February 27, 2001 after readoption/adoption. You will likely receive a permanent resident card in the mail 30-60 days after arrival.

Please refer to the Finalization Page for information about the necessary procedures. Your child will become a citizen of the United States once this state process is complete. Once the adoption decree and new birth certificate are available, you may file for a U.S. passport and/or a Certificate of Citizenship. There are differing opinions about the necessity of the Certificate and each family should make their own decision. However, WHFC strongly recommends families pursue the Certificate of Citizenship. Many families decide to apply for the Certificate simply because it does not expire, unlike a passport.

The application for the Certificate (N-600) can be downloaded from: www.uscis.gov (Forms and Fees section)

For assistance with completing the application, a complimentary self-help guide can be downloaded from Legal Eaze.

Additional Information

http://adoption.state.gov/us_visa_for_your_child/citizenship.php

You may also apply for a U.S. passport as additional proof of citizenship or for travel purposes. In applying for a passport, you will need the following documents:

  1. Proof of child's relationship to the American citizen parent. For an adopted child, it is a certified copy (attested copy) of the final adoption decree (and translation if not in English).
  2. The child's foreign passport showing the USCIS 1-551 stamp or the child's permanent resident card
  3. Proof of identity of the American Citizen parent(s)
  4. Passport application, passport photographs, and fees.
  5. It is also advisable that your bring the original legal documents from your child's birth country in case additional information is needed.

Again, the name on the foreign passport will be used unless a name change through re-adoption has occurred and proof is provided.