Understanding the process of obtaining citizenship for an internationally adopted child can be a difficult and confusing endeavor. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently issued new policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to provide clarification on how naturalization provisions apply to these kids. Even with this updated information, parents of internationally adopted children may still find themselves unsure of exactly what is required in order to ensure their children become citizens. We will guide you through the steps and requirements necessary for helping your internationally adopted child gain US citizenship.

Under US laws, kids who were adopted from other countries are eligible for citizenship if they have a US citizen parent. However, some adoptees automatically acquire citizenship upon their admission to the United States, while others need their adoptive parents to take additional steps before they turn 18. If they miss this deadline, they can still apply for naturalization after they turn 18. It’s all detailed in Volume 5 of the Policy Manual, which consolidates and clarifies existing guidance on citizenship for adoptive children. So if you’re considering adopting a child from another country or have already done so, make sure you’re aware of your options!

The new policy highlights for adopted children are bringing clarity and simplification to the citizenship and naturalization process. The requirements for meeting the definition of a child for these purposes now include a full, final, and complete adoption. Adoptive parents can feel confident in their child’s eligibility for citizenship, whether the child resides within or outside the United States. To obtain a Certificate of Citizenship, parents can follow the explanation provided. Even if an adoption is disrupted or dissolved, a child may still qualify for citizenship based on specific circumstances. These changes are a positive step towards ensuring that every child is given the same opportunities for citizenship and a bright future.

The new immigration policy for internationally adopted children has changes that are sure to have an impact on both the children and their families. The policy affects specific sections in Volume 5 and Volume 12 providing citizenship for adopted children and updating footnotes throughout multiple parts. Additionally, Volume 12’s Part H has undergone revisions in Chapter 1 regarding the purpose and background of adopting children, and Chapter 2’s Section C, which previously contained a list of bullet points relating to a child’s adoption, has been removed. With changes to documentation and evidence in both Chapter 4 and Chapter 5, it’s evident that USCIS has placed an emphasis on proof of adoption for citizenship. While the policy undergoes technical and conforming changes, it’s clear that USCIS is dedicated to providing adopted children with the same citizenship opportunities as those who have been born in the United States.

USCIS is doing everything in its power to make sure that adopted children and their families have the same citizenship opportunities regardless of origin. The new policy guidance issued in the USCIS Policy Manual provides clarity, simplifies the process, and recognizes the importance of recognizing adopted children as citizens. This important and useful change can help alleviate so much confusion when it comes to citizenship applications. It is vital that we embrace these changes to ensure that all citizens are able to reap the benefits of being a United States citizen. From recognition to international rights, it is clear that by giving children at home and abroad access to U.S Citizenship we will continue to progress our nation forward as one bonded by a common nationality. To find out more about this updated policy, make sure you check out USCIS resources. Taking the time now to understand the changes can ultimately lead to smoother and easier adoptions down the line.

Learn more about International Adoption

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Managing Your International Adoption Paperwork