The N-600K form is used to apply for naturalization of a child who regularly resides outside of the U.S. with his U.S. citizen parent. For a child to be eligible for citizenship under the N-600K, they must: be under 18 years old, have at least one U.S. citizen parent, be residing outside of the U.S., be temporarily and legally present in the United States to complete the N-600K process for an interview, and have a U.S. citizen parent who has resided in the U.S. for five years or more. The form must be filed by the U.S. citizen parent on behalf the child. If the U.S. citizen parent does not meet the residency requirement or if they are deceased, a U.S. citizen grandparent may file for the child. Proof of residence is required to verify that the U.S. citizen parent or grandparent has lived in the U.S. for at least five years. All forms and supporting documents and filing fee will be mailed to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at the address designated on the Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322 | USCIS. If your N-600K application is approved by USCIS, your child will be able to receive a Certificate of Citizenship at the interview.
The criteria listed below (A – C) must be met for adopted child to be eligible for naturalization under Section 322 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA). Section D explains the procedure to file the N-600-K form.
Orphans Adopted Abroad Who Continue to Live Abroad with their U.S. Citizen Parents
A. Typical scenarios would be U.S. families living abroad, such as dual citizens, business people, and foreign missionaries. U.S. military members on orders are exempt and can use the Section 320 procedure.
B. Applicable Law: Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA), Pub. L. No. 106-395, 114 Stat.1631, Section 322 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952
C. Families may use provisions of Section 322 of the INA if they meet the following criteria:
1. U.S. citizen parent or grandparent, who was physically present in the U.S. or outlying possessions for at least five years, at least two of which were after the age of 14;
2. Child is under age 18 by the time the entire process is completed;
3. Child is residing outside the U.S. in the legal and physical custody of the applying parent;
4. Child temporarily present in the U.S. pursuant to a lawful admission and is maintaining such lawful status; AND
5. Child must meet “orphan” definition or “adopted child” or “adoptable child” definition.
D. Section 322 Procedure:
1. U.S. citizen parent or grandparent or legal counsel files form N-600-K with supporting documentation and filing fee at the address listed on the form at Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322 | USCIS.
The interview can take place at any USCIS field office (in the U.S., not abroad);
2. Preliminary adjudication within 5 to 6 months—if approved, the applicant receives an approval notice on Form G-56. The time frame depends on which field office is selected for the interview. Some offices have much longer processing times.
3. U.S. citizen parent takes approval notice to nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy, which issues B-2 visa for child. If the child already has a B-2 visa, the step can be omitted. It’s quicker if the child already has a B-2 visitor’s visa.
4. U.S. citizen parent and child come to the USCIS district office that issued approval for interview.
5. Final approval issued at interview, oath administered to child, and Certificate of Citizenship issued.
6. Practice Tip: Beware of age-outs, because the oath must be administered before the child turns 18.
· The wrong person signs the form.
o Who should sign the form? The U.S. citizen parent should sign the form, as long as they meet the physical presence requirements. The parent must have been living in the U.S. or an outlying territory for at least 5 years, two of which were after the age of fourteen. If the parent does not meet this requirement, a U.S. citizen grandparent may sign instead. A U.S. citizen grandparent is also permitted to sign if the U.S. citizen parent is deceased.
· Wrong filing fee submitted or check not made out correctly to U.S. Department of Homeland Security
· No passport style photos submitted (Tip, have them taken abroad and then emailed to a U.S. photo service where they are printed out and the attorney mails them with the completed application and filing fee)
· Filing too early.
o If the child does not qualify as an “orphan” or “Hague adoptee”, you must wait until the adoption is finalized, plus two years of legal custody and two years of joint residence. These two-year periods may run concurrently or overlap but you can't file until the last time frame is completed.
· Insufficient evidence of two years of physical custody.
o It is necessary to track all the addresses and provide the lease or rental agreement plus documents showing that address, the child's name, and the adoptive parents' names on them.
· Insufficient evidence of the U.S. citizen parent's residence in the U.S. for five years.
o Usually high school and/or college transcripts can solve this issue.
· Not using Fed-Ex or UPS to mail your form.
o These delivery services are more secure and will give you proof of receipt.
What to Expect After Filing
Once you have filed your application, USCIS will send you an I-797 receipt notice. There will be a case number on the receipt and you should save this number. Anytime you inquire about your case, you will reference this case number. After USCIS reviews your N-600K application, they will schedule an interview for your child. To be present at the interview, the child must have proof of lawful entry to the United States. Usually, form I-94 (Lawful Record of Admission) is submitted as proof. Lastly, if everything is in order, USCIS will approve the child to receive a Certificate of Citizenship at the interview.
Assistance from Our Office
This article provides general information which should be verified at Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322 | USCIS. It cannot take the place of individual legal advice about your situation and does not create a client-lawyer relationship. To establish that relationship, please contact us to schedule your consultation at www.Lawadoption.com.
“Completing the Adoption—it’s Not Over until PROOF of Citizenship is Obtained”, Prepared by Karen Stoutamyer Law, Esquire, © 2017, Seminar https://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/us-immigration/filing-citizenship-parentage-n-600k-application.html
Prepared by Alyssa Howes, Intern, and Karen S. Law, Esquire, of Law Offices of Karen S. Law, PLC © 2021
This web site and the information contained within have been prepared by Law Offices of Karen S. Law, PLC for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, nor does receipt of it constitute an attorney-client relationship. Viewers should not act upon information found here without seeking legal counsel. All photographs shown on this blog are depictions of clients and are not actual clients of this law firm. Copyright Karen S. Law, 2021.