What is the law regarding getting citizenship through a parent?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What is the law regarding getting citizenship through a parent?

My mother and I came to the states with I-551 and got our GC’s on 11/1997. My mother became citizen 14 years ago when I was still 17. I asked my mother if she included me in the application as her biological son but she states she didn’t as she was told that she couldn’t list me due to her being a single widow parent or she misunderstood the law at that time when she applied for N-400, roughly 15 years ago. From what I understand the Child Citizenship Act 2000 may be applied in my situation. Can I still be a U.S. citizen if proof provided of my birth and residency and legal/physical customer and residing with her? What is the best action that I can take to be sure about this?

Asked on February 23, 2018 under Immigration Law, Pennsylvania


SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

IF your mother became a US citizen before you turned 18, you automatically became a citizen when your mother naturalized.  You can simply provide proof of your identity and your mother's naturalization and apply for a US passport.  You are already a US citizen most likely, if the chronology and timeline as you describe.

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