Application for the Naturalization Through a US Citizen Grandparent
Until February 27, 2001, U.S. citizenship could only be transmitted to children who reside permanently outside the U.S., only by a parent.
Section 322 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act changed the requirements by which citizenship may be obtained for such children by adding another option: “A parent who is a citizen of the U.S. (or, if the citizen parent has died during the preceding 5 years, a citizen grandparent or citizen legal guardian) may apply for naturalization on behalf of a child born outside of the U.S. who has not acquired citizenship automatically under section 320.
To clarify, section 320 discusses children born outside the U.S. and residing permanently in the U.S. where about they acquire a U.S. citizenship automatically; contrarily, section 322 discusses children who reside outside the U.S.
This change makes the process of application for citizenship easier by allowing parents who resided in the U.S. for a period of LESS than 5 years, to apply for citizenship on behalf of their children by using their own parents’ residency in the U.S.
In order for a child born and residing outside the U.S. to acquire citizenship, the U.S. citizen parent must apply for naturalization on behalf of the child. The naturalization process for such a child cannot take place overseas. The application requires an interview at a field office in the U.S. and the appearance of both U.S. citizen parent (or U.S. citizen grandparent or guardian) and the child, followed by taking the oath of allegiance.
To be eligible, a child must meet the following requirements:
- The child has at least one U.S. citizen parent by birth or naturalization.
The U.S. citizen parent or grandparent has been physically present in the U.S. for at least 5 years, at least 2 of which were after the age of 14.
- Any U.S. citizen grandparent can file an application on behalf of an eligible child whose U.S. citizen parent has died during the preceding 5 years. This means that if a U.S. citizen parent of a child who otherwise meets the eligibility requirements has died, a U.S. citizen parent of the U.S. citizen parent can file the application at any time within 5 years of the U.S. citizen’s parent’s death.
The child is under 18 years of age.
- Certificate cannot be issued for the child unless the interview, adjudication and approval of the certificate are completed before the child reaches his or her 18th birthday. This means that time for approval must be a consideration when applying for citizenship on behalf of a child who is close to the age of 18.
The child is residing outside the U.S. in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent.
- In the case of an application filed by a U.S. citizen parent of a deceased citizen parent (i.e., by the grandparent), the child does not have to be residing in the legal and physical custody of the applicant.
The child is temporarily present in the U.S. having entered the U.S. lawfully and maintaining lawful status in the U.S.
- The child does not have to be admitted as a permanent resident but a lawful nonimmigrant admission is enough.
Child Tax Credit
The Internal Revenue Service Code allows parents to claim tax credit for their U.S. children under the age of 17 who provided for over half of the child’s support per tax year.
This tax credit is claimed from income generated in the U.S. (U.S.-Israel tax treaty Articles 8,12,15) and is in addition to the credit for child care expenses. (IRS Publication No. 519 Chapter 5).
The maximum amount to be claimed for the child tax credit is $1,000 for each qualifying child per annum.