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Citizenship for children born abroad to U.S. Military Parents

By November 16, 2022Immigration
3 children smiling

Section 322 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, “INA” allows a child of U.S. citizen born abroad that regularly lives outside of the United States to apply for U.S. citizenship. We discuss the eligibility criteria for citizenship under section 322 here.

Children of U.S. military service members face a significant challenge in demonstrating eligibility based on the requirement that the child is present in the United States pursuant to a lawful immigration status.

Furthermore, children with parents who are U.S. citizens, but resided for a significant period of time outside the United States, may have difficulty demonstrating that the U.S. citizen parent was physically present for a combined period of at least 5 years in the United States where at least 2 years must have been present in the United States after the parent turned 14 years of age.

The immigration law pursuant to section 322(d) of the INA will allow the U.S. service member parent to count any period of time during which the service member is residing abroad pursuant to official orders as time in physical presence in the United States.

The child must demonstrate that:

  • The child is authorized to accompany and reside abroad with the service member per official orders.
  • The child is accompanying and residing abroad with the service member and
  • The service member is residing or has resided abroad per official orders.

Furthermore, the service member parent can count any previous time residing abroad on official orders as physical presence in the United States regardless of whether the child resided with the parent as long as the child is residing abroad with the U.S. citizen parent service member per official orders at the time of filing of the application.

Furthermore, the child will not be required to be present temporarily in the United States pursuant to a lawful admission since the oath of allegiance can be administered from abroad.

The filing process will require the applicant to submit the USCIS form N-600K as well as the service member parent’s Permanent Change of Station orders that include the child’s name as a child or dependent. USCIS will then determine which filed office abroad has jurisdiction over the application to eventually schedule the Naturalization interview abroad.

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