If I Am Approved For Naturalization, Are My Children Automatically Naturalized?
Any child born inside the United States automatically becomes a US citizen, but the rules are different if the child is born outside the United States.
If your child does not live with you but lives in your home country, then your naturalization would not automatically confer citizenship on your child. On the other hand, if your child has a residency card and lives with you, then you could apply for a certificate of citizenship for that child as long as they are below the age of 18.
If your child is born outside the United States after you become a US citizen, you would have to meet the standards for physical presence, legal and physical custody, and so on. The rules are different depending on the specific situation, but generally the child can acquire citizenship.
What Are Some Pitfalls In Someone Trying To Handle Their Naturalization Process Without An Attorney?
One of the pitfalls is that people often don’t understand the residency requirement. It’s not just that you need to live in the United States, but that you are physically present in the United States for the required amount of time. For example, let’s say you’re a legal resident of the United States and a citizen of the Philippines and every year you want to go back to the Philippines for seven months and then live here in the United States for five months. That would make you ineligible for naturalization because you would fail to meet the residency requirement.
Another pitfall is that people often fail to realize how past criminal charges may affect their application. Instead of speaking with an attorney to have the documents reviewed and see if this would be a problem, they just file the application. They are sent to have their fingerprints taken, an interview is scheduled, and their past criminal charges come up in the interview. At this point there may be a bigger problem here, because those past charges will sometimes just disqualify you from citizenship but sometimes they can make you removable from the United States.
If you have a hundred percent clean record and no problems, then in most cases you can get through the application process by yourself. If there are any potential issues, then at the very least your application should be reviewed first by somebody who’s familiar with the rules. If there’s a problem you should hold off on filing the citizenship application and see if you can resolve the problem.
For example, let’s say you were convicted of “Crime A,” a crime that would make you deportable, but you feel that there was a mistake and you should have been charged with “Crime B,” which is not deportable. In that situation you can go to a court and ask for what they call “post-conviction relief.” As long as the relief is based on a legal defect in the process such as a procedural or substantial defect, then the court may agree to the change. This would at least protect you from being deported and then you would need to wait the required amount of time to establish good moral character before you apply. This would be either three years or five years depending on whether you are married to a U.S. citizen or not.
In some cities, USCIS would automatically deny you for a DUI. If that’s your situation and you are married to an American citizen, then you would need to wait for three years before filing again. If you’re not married to an American citizen, it would be five years. Assuming you meet all the other eligibility requirements, you should be able to obtain citizenship at that point.
A lot of times the decision depends on the policy of the local office and how willing you are to fight. Normally the more willing you are to fight – such as going to a federal district court if you need to – the more likely you are to be approved in the end. Decisions at USCIS are often determined by policy directives, which flow down from the executive branch of the government. The rules themselves don’t change very often, but policies change from administration to administration.
For more information on Naturalization Of Children In The United States, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (702) 319-5459 today.
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