How Derivative Citizenship Affects Immigrant Kids

One of the primary concerns parents often have when their child is born overseas is over citizenship for their child. The immigration process for children is fundamentally different than it is for adults, and parents are rightfully concerned about their children’s futures. Fortunately, working with an experienced lawyer gives you access to the knowledge you need to raise your children with fewer worries.

At Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC, our attorneys have over 200 years of combined legal experience spread across seven office locations. We understand your concerns and needs because many of us are also immigrants. We can give you specific legal advice at 866-837-6806.

What Is Derivative Citizenship?

The phrase “derivative citizenship” refers to citizenship processes that apply to minor children. Children derive (or gain) their citizenship as a result of their parents’ status. There are two primary ways this happens: The child’s parents are citizens or the child is adopted by American citizens.

Derivative citizenship through parental status: In some cases, children born overseas can become U.S. citizens because their parents have citizenship. But it depends on many factors and a complex formula. Even when a foreign national is an adult, it is possible to trace his or her parents’ citizenship and become a citizen. The whole process depends on a series of complex formulas that take into account when the child was born, when the parents were naturalized, etc. For instance, children who are born out of wedlock to a mother who is not a citizen do not qualify for this route to citizenship.

Derivative citizenship through adoption: Adoption by a U.S. citizen may the best-known way to gain derivative citizenship. Our lawyers do not work in family law and do not arrange adoptions, but as immigration lawyers, we do handle derivative citizenship for adopted children.

We Are Here And Ready To Help

To speak with our legal team about how citizenship laws affect your child, please reach out today to one of our offices. We are glad to speak to you and begin finding a solution to your citizenship issues. Call 866-837-6806 or send us an email.