Overview on foreign adopted child’s US naturalization process.


A child who is adopted from a foreign country must first become a lawful permanent resident of the US before he/she can become a US citizen. With an immigrant visa the child can enter US and become a permanent resident or through the adjustment of status procedure child can become a green card holder. Based on the circumstances of the child being inside or outside US the process to qualify for permanent residency can be based upon. After that the N400 application for naturalization should be completed for becoming an American.

How to become a United States citizen?

When a child is adopted by a US citizen he/she does not immediately gain citizenship. If the parents who adopted are already US citizens or have naturalized before the kid is 18 years of age a foreign child who has become a permanent resident already does automatically become a citizen of United States. It’s important for the child to be unmarried and living with them when they completed naturalization filing INS N 400 Form. Also it’s necessary that both the parents should have naturalized in case both parents are foreign.

What “Foreign Parent” means?

In order for an adopted child to gain automatic United States citizenship, “foreign parent” would be either one of the following:

1. In case one of the parents has died, it’s the surviving parent.

2. If the parents are legally separated either one of them who has legal custody of the child.

3. When one of parent is a United States citizen then it’s the non US citizen foreign parent.

4. In case the child is illegitimate it’s the mother.

Forms to be filed

Through the naturalization process if his or her adoptive alien parent(s) are citizens of US then an adopted child becomes a citizen automatically and can apply with the INS for proof of citizenship. With the nearest Service office Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship should be filed by the adoptive parent(s) in this case. In the United States as a green card holder the adopted child should be living with the adopted parent(s) and must be less than 18 years of age and unmarried.

By a United States citizen parent or parents a child who is adopted does not automatically become a United States citizen. For an adopted child who is not married and who does not automatically become a citizen of the United States on behalf of the child by either an INS administrative process or by a naturalization process through the court the citizen parent(s) may choose to apply for United States citizenship.

A application for certificate of citizenship in behalf of an adopted child, Form N-643 must be filed with the INS according to the administrative process. And also this should be completed before the child is 18 years of age. For children above 18 years of age you need to file N400.The child adopted while less than 16 years of age, and a lawful permanent resident of the United States must be unmarried.

Only after the Form N-643 is approved and the certificate of citizenship is issued the child becomes a citizen. This is an alternate method. The other procedure is in which the United States citizen parent(s) may petition for the naturalization of an adopted child.

For naturalization in behalf of child application to file petition, Form N-402 with the USCIS must be filed under the naturalization by court procedure. In this process there is no waiting period necessarily. After the child is adopted and is also a lawful permanent resident and as long as he or she is unmarried and under 18 years this Form N-402 can be filed.

Fingerprint Card Form FD-258 and Biographic Information sheet Form C-325 must also be submitted with the Form N-402 application if the child is fourteen years of age or older. The process of child’s naturalization for acceptance as citizen by the court must be completed before the child reaches 18 years.

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