When a parent gets approved for U.S. citizenship through the N-400 application, their underage children are automatically approved for citizenship.
However, there is still the need to prove that the children have also derived U.S. citizenship by virtue of their parent's naturalization. This can be done in two ways: a U.S. passport and a certificate of citizenship.
What is an N-600?
An N-600 is an application for a certificate of citizenship, which can be obtained for minor children who derived U.S. citizenship because their parents were naturalized. This certificate can be used as proof of the child’s citizenship and can be required in some instances.
Do Parents Need to Apply for an N-600?
There are two ways to prove that an underaged child has also derived U.S. citizenship. The first is by getting them a United States passport. The second is by applying for a certificate of citizenship (N-600).
Lawyers, however, do feel that an N-600 is not needed, save for certain exceptions like:
- Children who are possibly applying for government jobs
- Children who may be applying for special scholarships
- Educational requirements for a certificate of citizenship
Outside of these scenarios, however, a U.S. passport should be sufficient for minor children to demonstrate that they are U.S. citizens.
Things to Consider When Applying for an N-600
If the parent decides to go ahead and file an N-600 for their kids, they need to know three things about the process. First, it’s expensive, costing over $1,000 dollars to complete the whole process and get a certificate of citizenship.
Second, an N-600 is not something that can be applied for and received within the same day. The processing times can be very long and last over a year. In Atlanta, the processing time for an N-600 is 13.5 months as of September 2022.
Lastly, it’s important for parents to note that the child who is getting the certificate of citizenship will be required to go down to the immigration office for an interview and answer questions about their case.
With these in mind, parents can still decide to file an N-600 for their children. But if they want to save time and money, a U.S. passport may be enough for them to prove their citizenship in most encounters.