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Child Citizenship Act: Acquired Citizenship for Foreign-born Children of U.S. Citizens


The Child Citizenship Act (CCA) of 2000 allows certain foreign-born children of U.S. citizens to acquire U.S. citizenship automatically. The Act applies equally to biological and adopted children. This rule allows certain children of U.S. citizens to automatically become U.S. citizens upon becoming lawful permanent residents (LPRs). The Child Citizenship Act applies to those children who:

  • Have at least one U.S. citizen parent, either by birth or naturalization;
  • Are under 18 years of age;
  • Are a lawful permanent resident;
  • Live in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent.

If the child is adopted, the adoption must be full and final before the child’s 16th birthday. For more details, please review the CCA Fact Sheet provided by USCIS, or contact us for assistance.

For children covered by the CCA, there is no need file an N-400 application for naturalization, since they are automatically U.S. citizens as soon as they become permanent residents. However, an application can be filed to obtain a certificate of citizenship, which can be used to prove the child’s citizenship.