What to know about Derivative Citizenship

The different phases of US Citizenship

Derivative CitizenshipA person born outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States and its outlying possessions (American Samoa and Swains Island) from parents who are both U.S. citizens is a national and a citizen of the United States at birth. In addition, a person born of US citizen father or mother who is a resident in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the child’s birth, is also a US citizen.

In cases where only one parent is a US citizen and the other is an alien, the US citizen parent must comply with some requirements to confer US Citizenship to the child. The parent who is a U.S. citizen must have been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year prior to the birth of the child.


Derivative Citizenship

A child born in a foreign country can become a U.S. citizen by “Derivative citizenship” if the parents become a naturalized U.S. citizens prior to the birth of the child. Likewise, Derivative Citizenship also refers to the process of becoming a U.S. citizen if the parents become U.S. citizens by adoption. The present law governing Derivative Citizenship is the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. Under this law, Derivative Citizenship lays down the following rules to in the acquisition of US Citizenship:

  • the individaul must be the child by of at least one American citizen parent by birth or naturalization;
  • the child must be under 18 years of age;
  • the child must be living under the custody of the American citizen parent; and
  • the child must be a Lawful Permanent Resident (green card holder) of the United States.

It is different when the child is brought to the United States as a minor, and the child’s parents become US citizens subsequently, it is required that the child has to do an act (take an oath of allegiance) to complete his U.S. citizenship upon attaining the age of majority. The child being a national but not a citizen of the US can obtain a Certificate of Nationality by filing an application with the Secretary of State.

Rights and Privileges of U.S. Citizens

Every US citizen acquired by birth, by naturalization or through derivative citizenship, is granted rights, privileges and entitled to the protection by the Constitution. A US citizen traveling abroad retains the protection of the United States. The following right and privileges of US Citizens include:

  • to travel freely within and outside of the United States;
  • to obtain passport from the US government;
  • to work, study and live in the US permanently; and
  • to petition family members to immigrate to the US.

Derivative Citizenship help: Find USA Citizenship

Our website is open for consultation on how to acquire US citizenship by naturalization and Derivative Citizenship. It is also important to determine the status of the child from birth to determine his rights and privileges under the US immigration laws. A US citizen is conferred with certain rights and privileges exclusive only to native-born Americans. Find out now! Log on to our website, www.usacitizenships or call (888) 940-0044 for personal consultation.