If I become a US Citizen, do my children automatically derive citizenship too? 4 Answers as of October 05, 2010

I become a citizen today via naturalization. Prior to that, I started a petition for my son for permanent residence. He is here undocumented since 2001. He became 17 2 days ago.

His case was sent to the NVC for processing due to him not being able to adjust status. We are awaiting an interview in our country of origin.

My question is since i have now become a citizen will that allow for him to adjust his status without him having to go overseas? Does he derive citizenship from me?

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Pacifica Legal Services
Pacifica Legal Services | Floyd Fernandez
The short answer is that you have the opportunity for filing an adjustment of status application for him now, due to the fact that he is now the son of a U.S. citizen. While he does not have derivative citizenship, he can qualify for adjustment of status due to the fact that he is a minor, under 18, and therefore eligible to be filed for as an alien relative, without being in a preference of status category. I would file for adjustment as soon as possible, and notify the National Visa Center, or the consulate involved if an appointment is scheduled that you are applying for adjustment based upon your new status of U.S. citizen, with your son now under minor unmarried child of U.S. citizen status, and of course notify the CIS of your new status. If you want to explore the process further, you may contact me at the e-mail or phone number given below.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/5/2010
V U.S.A. Law Offices
V U.S.A. Law Offices | Michael Vu
This is a conflict of laws issue. On one hand, when a parent becomes US citizen, all children under the age of 18 years automatically become US citizens if the children are legally and physically in the custody of the parent becoming US citizen, pursuant to 8 USC 1431. On the other hand, any person, regardless of age, who either enters or remains in the US illegally for more than a certain period of time would be barred from adjustment of status for up to 10 years. The question here is whether an illegal minor alien in the US qualified for derivative citizenship when one of his parent becomes US citizen? I would venture to say "yes" because the laws do not specify whether or not a child would be here legally or illegally. After you secure your citizenship, then apply for a passport for your child.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/30/2010
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny | Svetlana Boukhny
He would not automatically derive citizenship from you since he is not even a permanent resident yet and is in the US unlawfully and already 17. However, as long as he can prove that he ENTERED the US lawfully, even if he has since overstayed, now that you are a US citizen, he should be able to adjust status within the US and not have to go abroad.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions or how I can be of further assistance to you in this matter.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/30/2010
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office | Jack C. Sung
You made the right move to send your son back to the country of origin to process for the green card. If he becomes a green card holder and enters the United States he can automatically acquire citizenship.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/29/2010
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