Obtaining passport through father and grandparents


New Member
Hi everyone,
Unlike most people here, I'm trying to apply for an American passport as an adult. My situation is slightly more complicated because my American father grew up overseas and now lives in Australia. It's therefore near impossible for me to fulfill the requirement for 5 years in the US (even though it's very likely that he has over the years spent a total of 5 years in the US).

Despite my whole family being American, because my father married an Australian and then lived in Australia, it's difficult for me to apply for my citizenship. There are potentially two options, however, as I see it:
  • My grandfather (also American) worked for Esso Petroleum in India while my father was a child. His work was considered necessary for the war effort and he so could not fight in WW2. As a result, could this time working in India therefore be counted towards my father's "5 years on US soil" requirement (like military personnel)? I know, I know, it's a stretch.
  • As mentioned, both my grandparents were American. Because I'm over 18, it seems like I can't obtain citizenship through them. Does anyone know any way around this? Are there any qualifications here?
Thanks so much in advance! I've spent hours researching this stuff already and am about to give up, but just thought I'd ask the Q! :)


Well-Known Member
You are over 18, so it's too late to go through the INA 322 process. Forget about that.

Your only options are:
  • Try to prove you are already a US citizen by your father having been present in the US for 5 years before your birth, including 2 years after he turned 14. Try to gather as much of your father's old records as possible. (Note that this is assuming you were born in wedlock; if you were born out of wedlock, it's more complicated and it is likely you don't have citizenship.)
  • Or, have your father petition you to immigrate (become a US permanent resident, and you can later apply for naturalization after many years in the US). However, this will require that your father intend to re-establish domicile in the US before or concurrently with you moving there. If you are under 21 and unmarried it will be pretty fast. If you are 21 or over or married then it will take many, many years.


New Member
Ahh, not the answer I was necessarily hoping for (but one that I expected).
Either way, I really appreciate you taking the time to clarify that for me. Thank you.

If I could trouble you with one more Q: I noticed that on the DS-11 it asks for "an affidavit showing all of your U.S. citizen parents' periods and places of residence/physical presence in the United States and abroad before your birth". The qualifier of "ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE: You must establish your citizenship to the satisfaction of the acceptance agent and Passport Services. We may ask you to provide additional evidence to establish your claim to U.S. citizenship. Visit travel.state.gov for details." seems quite vague.

Again, I believe I know the answer, but could that mean that rather than proving every single entry and exit with documents (which as I mentioned above will be, I think, impossible), a sworn affidavit will suffice? As he was young when in spent time in the US, my father doesn't have tax or rental or health records, only two years of schooling in the US and school holidays (about 4 months a year) while at school in Australia.

Thanks again for your help.