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The Child Citizenship Act of 2000: What it means to you

The Child Citizenship Act (CCA) was created in 2000 and makes it possible for those born in foreign countries to obtain U.S. citizenship automatically by fulfilling a number of conditions before the age of 18 so long as at least one of his or her parents is a U.S. citizen.

This act also helps expedite the naturalization of these children while they're under the age of 18, so they can quickly become citizens of the United States. This act only applies to those who were under the age of 18 as of February 27, 2001.

What are the requirements of the CCA?

The CCA requires at least one parent to be a citizen of the United States either through naturalization or by birth. The child who wants to obtain citizenship needs to be under the age of 18 when applying and must be residing within the United States now or in the past while in the custody of the parent who is a citizen of the country.

Does the CCA apply to adopted children?

Yes. In fact, it typically applies if the child is under the age of 16 and has been in the custody of the adopting U.S. parent for at least two years. Orphans who have an immediate relative petition filed on their behalf while under the age of 16 are also covered under this law. Adoptions must be finalized before the child can acquire U.S. citizenship, according to the law.

Your attorney can help you start the paperwork for this process. It takes some time, but with the right information, your child can soon be a citizen of the United States.

Source: U.S. Department of State, "Child Citizenship Act of 2000 – Sections 320 and 322 of the Immigration and Nationality Act," accessed April 07, 2017

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