Although the Global Community Liaison Office (GCLO) provides assistance to spouses of U.S. government direct hire employees who are regularly posted abroad with naturalization, GCLO cannot assist with naturalization of children living abroad. In order for children to naturalize (derive citizenship) at the same time as their biological parent, they must meet all of the requirements below.
- The child has at least one parent, including an adoptive parent who is a U.S. citizen by birth or through naturalization;
- The child is under 18 years of age;
- The child is a lawful permanent resident (LPR); and
- The child is residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent.1
1Under the Citizenship for Children of Military Members and Civil Servants Act, this requirement is deemed satisfied if the child who is residing in the legal and physical custody of a citizen parent is:
- stationed and residing abroad as an employee of the Government of the United States; or
- residing abroad in marital union with an employee of the Government of the United States who is stationed abroad.
USCIS may not automatically issue a naturalization certificate once a child becomes a U.S. citizen. Since the document may be needed later when the child applies for jobs or student loans, GCLO recommends filing an N-600 so the child can receive his or her own certificate of citizenship.
In limited circumstances, a child living overseas may be able to pursue naturalization by filing an N-600K. Examples include when the child has a biological grandparent who is a U.S. citizen or the child was legally adopted by their U.S. citizen stepparent.