Derivative citizenship is citizenship given to children through the naturalization of parents or to foreign-born children adopted by United States citizen parents, if certain conditions are met.

The Child Citizenship Act (CCA) is the current law that includes guidelines for children that were born outside the US, but who automatically become US citizens if certain conditions are met. Under the CCA, a child automatically acquires U.S. citizenship on the date that all of the following requirements are met:

  • At least one parent is a US citizen, whether by birth or naturalization
  • The child is under age 18
  • The child is currently residing permanently in the US in the legal and physical custody of a US citizen parent
  • The child is a lawful permanent resident

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