A child of U.S. citizen may automatically have the right to U.S. citizenship. This is especially important for a child to know if the child is facing deportation or exclusion for a felony or serious crime that could result in deportation or the denial of permanent residence. Even if an alien is facing deportation for an entry into the U.S. without a visa, if the parent is a U.S. citizen, the child may without even knowing it be a U.S. citizen which would resolve the problem of the illegal entry.
To automatically be a U.S. citizen, the regulations require:
- At least one parent one parent is a U.S. citizen;
- The child is unmarried and not yet 18;
- The child is a permanent resident;
- The child resides in the U.S. in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent.
For children who became 18 before February 27, 2001, to b a U.S. citizen requires:
- The other parent was also a U.S> citizen; or
- The child’s mother was naturalized and was unmarried to the father; or
- The father was deceased;
- The parent who was naturalized was divorced or separated and the naturalized parent had legal custody of the child.
If the child is a permanent resident and under 18, and a parent naturalized, the child becomes a U.S. citizen.
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