Passport/Citizenship question..

Danh tran

Member
Hello All! I would first like to say thank you again to everyone that helped me throughout my process of applying for my passport/citizenship so many years ago! You guys helped me out a lot and I could not thank you enough! Anyway, today I come to ask for a friend of mine who is in a slightly different situation. I'm trying to help him get his passport/citizenship... but there's a few problems and I would appreciate any advice.

So here's his situation, his mom became a citizen before he became 18, his father passed away when he was 11 years old. He's gotten into a bit of trouble with the law in his younger years and had his green card revoked when he was 23 or 24 years old. From my understanding, he should automatically be a citizen through his mom right?
His dad passed away so he would only need his mom to be naturalized to gain citizenship through her right?

I went through something like him before I found this forum. I was also in a bit of trouble with the law in my younger days and was actually in juvenile hall (jail for minors) when my parents became citizens. A lot of people told me I was already a citizen, but I was hesitant to believe them and renewed my green card when it was about to expire. Applied for the renewal, paid my fees (around 500-600) and waited... and was approved and I got my new green card. When I was approved, I was relieved that I was able to get my green card and disappointed at the same time because I thought I was not citizen. I was about to renew my green card again and was lucky enough to have met an immigration lawyer who assured me that I was a citizen after hearing my situation. So I read and searched and finally ended up at this forum. Asked my questions here and at the end, got my passport! USCIS took my money and approved my green card even though I was a citizen. I wonder how many others had that happen to them and never knew they were already a citizen. Anyway, I told my story so that you can compare my situation and his and guide me to help him...

Some of his information in case it could be of use to you. Thanks in advance for taking your time to read this and for any help!

Ethnicity: Vietnamese
Birthday: March 03, 1984
They arrived to the US: June 1994
Father passed away when he was 11 years old.
Mother became a citizen 2 weeks before his 18th birthday.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
These are the requirements. They have to be met contemporaneously. So if all the other 3 conditions were true when the parent naturalized, then the child is a citizen.
https://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-parents

Children of U.S. Citizens Residing in the United States
Children who were born outside the U.S. but now live in the U.S. may acquire citizenship under Section 320 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). A child born outside of the United States automatically becomes a U.S. citizen when all of the following conditions have been met on or after Feb. 27, 2001:
  • The child has at least one parent, including an adoptive parent, who is a U.S. citizen by birth or through naturalization;
  • The child is under 18 years of age;
  • The child is a lawful permanent resident (LPR); and
  • The child is residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent.
For more information, see the USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 12, Part H, Children of U.S. Citizens. To apply for a Certificate of Citizenship under INA 320, please see our Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship page and read the instructions carefully to ensure that you qualify. For more information on the form, see our N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship Frequently Asked Questions page.

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As for uscis taking your money to renew your green card, well from what info you provided them they did what seemed correct, I guess they think it is up to you to determine if you qualify for citizenship or not and to apply if so. They cannot just assume you met all 4 of the requirements above, for example, how do they know whose legal and physical custody you were in at the time your parent naturalized?
 
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Danh tran

Member
Thanks for the quick response SusieQQQ! I’ll pass the information along to my friend after I use the dictionary to translate the word “contemporaneously” lol! I think it’s looking good from the conditions I you posted and because you said “parent” and not “parents”. Hopefully you meant to say that. Anyway, thanks again for taking your time to read and reply!

Best regards,
Danh

These are the requirements. They have to be met contemporaneously. So if all the other 3 conditions were true when the parent naturalized, then the child is a citizen.
https://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-parents

Children of U.S. Citizens Residing in the United States
Children who were born outside the U.S. but now live in the U.S. may acquire citizenship under Section 320 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). A child born outside of the United States automatically becomes a U.S. citizen when all of the following conditions have been met on or after Feb. 27, 2001:
  • The child has at least one parent, including an adoptive parent, who is a U.S. citizen by birth or through naturalization;
  • The child is under 18 years of age;
  • The child is a lawful permanent resident (LPR); and
  • The child is residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent.
For more information, see the USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 12, Part H, Children of U.S. Citizens. To apply for a Certificate of Citizenship under INA 320, please see our Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship page and read the instructions carefully to ensure that you qualify. For more information on the form, see our N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship Frequently Asked Questions page.

——
As for uscis taking your money to renew your green card, well from what info you provided them they did what seemed correct, I guess they think it is up to you to determine if you qualify for citizenship or not and to apply if so. They cannot just assume you met all 4 of the requirements above, for example, how do they know whose legal and physical custody you were in at the time your parent naturalized?
 

newacct

Well-Known Member
I think it’s looking good from the conditions I you posted and because you said “parent” and not “parents”. Hopefully you meant to say that. Anyway, thanks again for taking your time to read and reply!
Under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, which took effect February 27, 2001, only one parents needs to be a citizen for the child to derive citizenship. Since your friend's mother naturalized in 2002, after the law took effect and before he turned 18, he derives citizenship under the new law (which only requires one parent to naturalize) at the time that the mother naturalized.

(Under the previous law before 2001, both parents need to naturalize in order for the child to derive citizenship, but even under that law, if one parent died, only the surviving parent needs to naturalize in order for the child to derive citizenship. So even if the dates in this case were all moved back a few years, it would still have been true that the child derived citizenship.)
 
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