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Citizenship Through Your Parents
There are many people who are U.S. citizens without even knowing it. The partners of Durkin & Puri thoroughly assess each client's case to identify many issues including the potential that a client has automatically become a U.S. citizen through their parents.

People might wonder how someone could be a U.S. citizen and not know about it. But for those who automatically acquire or derive citizenship through their parents, there isn't a naturalization process to go through; instead, someone automatically becomes a citizen if certain set conditions are met.

The potential automatic acquisition of citizenship can be particularly critical for individuals with criminal convictions that might make them ineligible to naturalize or even make them subject to deportation.

Automatic Acquisition of Citizenship
Many times, a child born outside the U.S. to parents one or both of whom are U.S. citizen acquires U.S. citizenship at birth. A child who acquires citizenship is a citizen from the moment of their birth and does not even need a certificate of citizenship.

It is important to remember that the laws permitting acquisition of citizenship require the U.S. citizen parent to be able to establish that they resided or were physically present in the U.S. for certain set time periods before the child seeking acquisition of citizenship was born. These time periods are determined based on the law in effect at the time a child is born.

Automatic acquisition of citizenship is a part of U.S. immigration law in which the exact eligibility requirements have varied over time. Since the law has changed frequently, it is important to consult with an immigration lawyer who is knowledgeable about this area, such as the attorneys at Durkin & Puri. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.
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Automatic Derivation of Citizenship Through Parents
The current requirements for automatically deriving citizenship through one's parents were established by the Child Citizenship Act of 2001. The current law applies to children who were still under 18 when the law went into effect on February 27, 2001and whose parent has naturalized since that date.

The Child Citizenship Act states that for a child to derive citizenship each of the following requirements, which can be established in any order, must be met while he or she is under 18 years old.
  • One parent naturalizes or was born in the United States
  • The child resides in the U.S. in the physical and legal custody of the naturalized parent, and
  • The child is a green card holder
Automatic derivation of citizenship is a part of U.S. immigration law in which the exact eligibility requirements have varied over time. These issues can be particularly complex for those who may have derived citizenship prior to the Child Citizenship Act. This can be challenging because there were restrictions regarding when, or if, a child derived citizenship through a parent if their parents had never married. Since the law has changed frequently, it is important to consult with an immigration lawyer who is knowledgeable about this area, such as the attorneys at Durkin & Puri. For more information or to schedule a consultation with Durkin & Puri contact us.
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