How to Legally Apply for U.S. Citizenship Through Your Parents

How to Legally Apply for U.S. Citizenship Through Your Parents

On Behalf of Coughlon Law Firm, PLLC. | Jun 18, 2024 | Immigration

How to Legally Apply for U.S. Citizenship Through Your Parents

United States immigration laws provide two ways for individuals to acquire citizenship through parents. The primary method is through acquisition, where citizenship is automatically awarded to all children born to U.S. citizen parents, regardless of place of birth. The second method, which is the subject of this article, is through derivation and involves children of naturalized U.S. citizens. 

Applying for Citizenship Through Parents 

You may proceed with the paperwork if you consider yourself qualified for citizenship through derivation. Here is the general process:


The first step is gathering all documents and paperwork that may help you prove your case for citizenship. The most critical documents in this regard are your birth certificate (to prove parentage) and your parents’ U.S. birth or naturalization certificates. Additionally, you need proof of lawful permanent residence, such as your green card or state I.D., and evidence of physical custody by the parent.

Fill Form N-600

The U.S. government designates form N-600 as the Application for Certificate of Citizenship form. All applicants for citizenship must complete and submit this form to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

Notably, you must pay a non-refundable filing fee before submitting your form. Current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces do not pay the fee.

Submit Your Biometrics

Once you submit your N-600 form, your case will be reviewed by immigration officials within 4–12 months. If they accept your application, they will invite you for a biometrics appointment to verify your identity further. At the appointment, your fingerprints and facial photographs will be taken. Depending on the merits of your application, USCIS staff may also interview you and request additional documentation.

Attend the Naturalization Ceremony

If the USCIS approves your application, they will notify you in writing and send you the Certificate of Citizenship. You can use the certificate to apply for a U.S. passport social security number and register as a voter. Before then, you may participate in a naturalization ceremony, where U.S. citizenship will be officially conferred to you after taking the Oath of Allegiance. 

Get Legal Assistance

At Coughlon Law in AZ, our attorneys will help you determine your eligibility and assist you through the application process. Get in touch with us today! 






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