There are many paths to citizenship that people might need to explore when they are ready to become citizens of the United States. One of these options is derived citizenship, which is a way to claim citizenship based on a parent’s status in the U.S.
One of the most important qualifications of this type of citizenship is that the child must be a birth child or an adopted child of the citizen. Typically, a stepchild won’t qualify based on their stepparent unless they were adopted by the person. Even then, the stepparent adoption must meet specific requirements.
Any child who is trying to claim derived citizenship must be under 21 and unmarried. The birth certificate of the child is usually enough to prove the parentage and age of the person. Having this documentation and any other documents that are requested is imperative because your application might be denied if you don’t provide them.
While many children who are born overseas are given citizenship at birth, some aren’t automatically qualified. For those who have to apply, there is a filing fee to pay and an application to fill out. You can take care of all this via the internet or you can do it all on paper.
As is the case with any petitions for citizenship, you must ensure that you have everything together when you apply. If the applicant is over 14 years old, they will have to take the Oath of Allegiance, so be sure to plan for that process if necessary. There is also a chance that you will have to attend an interview. The process might not be as quick as you’d think, so plan for delays.