There are two distinct eligibility categories for a certificate of citizenship: acquisition and derivation. To be eligible through acquisition, a minor child born outside of the United States should have at least one parent or adoptive parent who is a U.S. citizen.
Applicants must be:
- Under eighteen
- A minor child residing in the United States (unless filing an N-600K from outside the US)
- Under the legal and physical custody of their U.S. citizen parent or legal guardian
You are eligible for derived citizenship if your parents become naturalized citizens before you reach the age of 18 years. This may occur if one or both of your parents were lawful permanent residents or green card holders when you were born and are now citizens of the United States.
Who May Not Submit Form N-600?
Some individuals are ineligible for Form N-600. Applicants who fall into any of the following categories should not apply:
- You are not the adopted child or biological child of a mother or father who is a U.S. citizen.
- You are a child of U.S. military members or government employees under the Citizenship for Children of Military Members and Civil Servants Act.
- You were born on American soil, so your United States birth certificate indicates your citizenship. (Note that in the case of IR-4 adoptions, the USCIS systems will not be updated with a child’s citizenship status unless the family obtains a Certificate of Citizenship.)
- You were naturalized as an American citizen, so your naturalization certificate is your evidence of citizenship.
- You currently reside overseas. You should instead file a CRBA (Consular Record of Birth Abroad) or apply for a passport via the United States Department of State.
- The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (U.S.C.I.S.) has already granted you a naturalization certificate. Fill out Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document, if you lost the certificate and need to replace it.
- You are an applicant for U.S. citizenship via naturalization as a permanent resident. Use Form N-400, which is formally titled “Application for Naturalization.”
- You had already submitted Form N-600, and the USCIS office had already rendered a determination. (Note that you could re-file if you became a US citizen through adoption/re-adoption, but you’d also need to have a registration of adoption form.)
If you are still determining whether you meet the eligibility requirements to submit a Form N-600 application for a certificate of citizenship, you can contact the USCIS office or retain legal services.
How Much Does Filing Form N-600 Cost?
Although there is a substantial filing fee for Form N-600, you may get a fee waiver if you are a war veteran or a member of the U.S. armed forces. Otherwise, you can pay your filing fee with a credit card, personal check, money order, or cashier’s check to the Department of Homeland Security.
How Long Does It Take to Process Form N-600?
For most applicants who file form N-600, the processing times may range between 8 and 14 months and includes an in-person interview. A solid application is optimal to ensure a smooth procedure and speedy processing time.
Can an Attorney Help You Apply for a Certificate of Citizenship?
Obtaining a citizenship certificate may be difficult, but consulting an experienced citizen lawyer can simplify the process.
KC Immigration Lawyers may be able to assist you with your citizenship certificate. Our experienced attorneys will guide you through the application process and prepare and submit your application to the government.
For help realizing your American dream or tackling other immigration matters, contact KC Immigration Lawyers for a free consultation today!