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Child Citizenship Act provisions

Georgia residents who are interested in adoption and child immigration may want to learn more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. Through this act, foreign-born, biological and adopted children of American citizens may be able to get American citizenship automatically, even though they did not have it at birth. When they enter the U.S. with lawful permanent residence (LPR), they are granted citizenship.

The child must have at least one American citizen parent, be less than 18 years old, be admitted as an immigrant for LPR and live in the custody of the American citizen parent, both physically and legally. A child's adoption must be full and final, even for children on an IR4 visa. A green card will be issued to a child who has LPR status. An I-551 passport stamp can also show that the child has LPR status. There are specific requirements for getting a passport for a child with LPR status that doesn't already have one. The LPR child is not eligible for a U.S. birth certificate.

Biological or adopted children of American citizens who are born and raised outside the U.S. and aren't American citizens at birth could apply to the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services for a certificate that shows citizenship. One requirement is that the child has to be under 18 years old. One or both of the parents needs to be an American citizen who has been in the U.S. for five years, at least two over the age of 14. The child must live in the legal and physical custody of the American citizen parent and enter the U.S. as a non-immigrant.

When a child immigrant needs help attaining permanent residence, a lawyer may be able to assist with admission to the U.S. through the Child Citizenship Act. They can also help with immigrant visas, including the IR-3 visa, IH-3 visa and IH-4.

Source: Bureau of Consular Affairs, "FAQ: Child Citizenship Act of 2000," Accessed Feb. 13, 2015

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