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Guidance on Citizenship and Naturalization for Adopted Children Clarified by USCIS

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provided an update to the USCIS Policy Manual to clarify U.S. citizenship and naturalization options apply to adopted children. The updates are effective immediately.

Update guidance includes:

  • Requirements to be considered a child for purposes of citizenship and naturalization purposes, including adoption status;
  • Eligibility requirements for adopted children living in the United States and the process of obtaining a Certificate of Citizenship;
  • Eligibility requirements for adopted children who do not live in the United States and how to apply for the Certificate of Citizenship; and
  • Guidance on citizenship and naturalization for a child when the adoption is disrupted or dissolved.

The updates do not change the requirements to become a U.S. citizen or naturalization for adopted children. The update is meant to help families better understand the requirements of U.S. citizenship and naturalization when adopting children from abroad when they are eligible. It’s important that adoptive families take a proactive approach to U.S. citizenship for their children prior to them turning 18 years of age. In some cases, adopted children who do not receive citizenship through their parents may still be able to apply after turning 18. However, if the child qualifies, obtaining citizenship status prior to legal adult age is most helpful.

This article, under no circumstances, acts as legal advice; therefore, for any immigration questions, please contact your Attorney or the Ahluwalia Law Offices, P.C. (Team ALO).