The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA)
The Child Citizenship Act of 2000
If you are unable transmit citizenship to your child born abroad because your child is adopted or you do not meet the transmission requirements, 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 when they enter the United States as lawful permanent residents (LPRs).
The child must meet the following requirements:
• Have at least one American citizen parent by birth or naturalization;
• Be under 18 years of age;
• Live in the legal and physical custody of the American citizen parent; and
• Be admitted as an immigrant for lawful permanent residence.
In addition, if the child is adopted, the adoption must be full and final.
Another section of the Child Citizenship Act provides that children (biological or adopted) of American citizens who are born and reside abroad, and who do not become American citizens at birth can apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in the Department of Homeland Security for a certificate of citizenship if the following conditions are met:
• At least one parent of the child is an American citizen by birth or naturalization.
• The American citizen parent has been physically present in the United States for a total of at least five years, at least two of which are after the age of 14. If the child's American citizen parent cannot meet the physical presence requirement, it is enough if one of the child's American citizen grandparents can meet it.
• The child is under the age of eighteen.
• The child lives abroad in the legal and physical custody of the American citizen parent and has been lawfully admitted into the United States as a nonimmigrant.
Children who acquire citizenship under this new provision do not acquire citizenship automatically. They must apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service in the Department of Homeland Security and go through the naturalization process.