Are you American citizens who wish to issue U.S. citizenship to your child as well? This article is exactly for you. In order to clarify the details, in the following article we will discuss the benefits of American citizenship, we will explain in what cases your child is eligible for U.S. citizenship (and in which cases he is not eligible for U.S. citizenship), and detail the stages of the citizenship issuance process in case your child is indeed eligible.
American Citizenship for Children – Benefits
It seems that there is no need to even detail the benefits of American citizenship. From the right to enter the United States (and many other countries) without visas, and also benefits such as voting rights, child tax returns and academic studies, and protection by the United States to its citizens overseas if necessary. American citizenship for children may open up future options for studies and careers, and in general, will secure their future.
Of course, holding American citizenship is also accompanied by obligations, mainly in the field of taxation, to best cope with these obligations, it is recommended to receive individual professional advice before starting the process for issuing citizenship.
U.S. Citizenship for Children – Eligibility Conditions
In the case of child citizenship, it is necessary to distinguish between two cases: children born in the United States and children who were not born in the United States.
U.S. citizenship for children born within the United States
Many children born in the United States, even if their parents are not American citizens, will automatically receive citizenship. We emphasize that although citizenship is automatic, the Social Security Number (SNN), which is used for identification with the various state authorities, is not given automatically and it is necessary to apply for the number to be issued along with the birth certificate.
U.S. citizenship for children born outside the United States
Children whose parents have U.S. citizenship but were born outside the United States can acquire U.S. citizenship under the following cumulative conditions:
- At least one of the parents held U.S. citizenship before they were born.
- The parent lived before birth in the United States for at least five years, at least two of which were when the parent was over 14.
It should be noted that if both parents have U.S. citizenship even before the birth of the child and one of them lived in the United States (even if for a short time)- the child will also be eligible for U.S. citizenship. If the aforementioned conditions are not met, for example, the parent received his citizenship after the birth of the child and/or lived in the United States for a period of five years, but when he is under the age of 14, there is another option of Obtaining U.S. Citizenship Through a Grandparent.
The law of Obtaining U.S. Citizenship Through a Grandparent is declared in the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. This law anchors another naturalization option, based on the nationality of one of the grandparents, for children who wish to become naturalized but do not comply with the above cumulative conditions.
It is possible to issue American citizenship for children by a Grandparent in the following cumulative conditions:
- The child is under the age of 18.
- At least one of the parents is an American citizen since before the birth of the child.
- One of the child’s grandparents was an American citizen before the birth of the child and lived in the United States for at least five years, two of which were when the grandparent was over 14.
A child who meets the above-mentioned conditions will receive U.S. citizenship.
For your convenience, we will summarize the options for obtaining U.S. citizenship for children:
|Citizenship by Place of Birth||Citizenship by force of parents||Naturalization through a Grandparent with citizenship|
|Place of birth||United States – Automatic citizenship.||Outside the United States.||Outside the United States|
|Child’s age||With birth||At any age||Only until the child is 18 years old.|
|Parental status||Insignificant||One of the parents held U.S. citizenship before the birth of the child and lived in the United States for at least five years, two of them when he was over the age of 14.
Both parents held U.S. citizenship before the birth of the child, and one of the parents lived in the United States.
|One of the parents has U.S. citizenship.|
|Grandparents’ status||Insignificant||Insignificant||One of the grandparents held U.S. citizenship even before the child’s birth and lived in the United States for at least five years, two of them when he was over the age of 14.|
The process of issuing U.S. citizenship for children
Children born in the United States receive citizenship automatically and no special application is necessary.
American Citizenship through parents
The process of obtaining citizenship under parental citizenship can be carried out at any of the U.S. embassies around the world. As part of the procedure, a request for recognition of the child’s citizenship (Consular Birth Abroad Application) will be submitted. In addition to filling out the application forms, parents will have to submit many documents attesting to their nationality and stay in the United States, including:
- Child’s Original Birth Certificate
- Original birth certificate of the parent holding U.S. citizenship.
- Marriage certificate (or divorce) of the parents.
- Documentation regarding the citizenship of the foreign parent.
- Documentation proving a parent’s stay in the United States for the period of time stipulated in the law. You can prove a stay by paying taxes, employment permits, study permits, etc.
After submitting all forms, a short interview will be conducted at the embassy in the presence of the parent and child. It is possible to submit the request without performing an interview, but then the duration of the process until the application is approved/rejected may be extended.
American Citizenship through a Grandparent
The process of obtaining American citizenship through a grandparent will be carried out only in the United States, as opposed to obtaining citizenship by parental power which can be carried out at any of the embassies around the world. As part of this procedure, an application form and documents will also be submitted that prove the citizenship of the parents and grandparents and the residence of the grandparents in the United States for the period specified in the law.
After submitting the documents, an interview will be scheduled for the American Citizenship and Immigration Services to which the parents and child will be summoned. If your child is found eligible for citizenship, you will receive a citizenship certificate and can act to issue a passport and an SSN.
Your child can be eligible for U.S. citizenship for the three reasons we explained earlier. But along with the right to be an American citizen, there are obligations as well. The MasAmerica team consists of American and Israeli accountants and lawyers who are well versed in all the tricks of the profession and will be happy to assist you in planning and will give you tax advice that will minimize and even nullify your tax liabilities.