Disclosure: We are an affiliate of some of the companies and products mentioned and may be compensated if you click one of these links and make a purchase.

Can I get passports for my children if they are not U.S. citizens but I am?

by Veronica
(Bronx, New York)

Question: I am their mother and a U.S. citizen. The kids were born in Canada. Can I still apply for a passport for them?


Answer: First of all, United States passports are only issued to U.S. citizens. You cannot apply for U.S. passports for your children if they are not American citizens.

If you are a U.S. citizen, then it is possible that they either acquired citizenship at birth or are eligible to acquire United States citizenship. Since I do not have more details concerning your situation, I will provide a list of the various possibilities.

A child automatically becomes a U.S. citizen when all of the following conditions have been met under section 320 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by the Child Citizenship Act (CCA):

* At least one parent of the child is a U.S. citizen, whether by birth or naturalization.
* The child is under the age of 18 years.
* The child is residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent based on a lawful admission for permanent residence.
* An adopted child may automatically become a citizen under section 320 of the INA if the child satisfies the requirements applicable to adopted children under sections 101(b)(1)(E), (F) or (G) of the INA. See the “INA” link to the right.

A person who satisfies the requirements of section 320 of the INA before turning 18 automatically obtains citizenship without having to file an application. However, in order to obtain a certificate of citizenship from USCIS, an individual must file Form N-600 Application for Certificate of Citizenship.

Birth Abroad to Two U.S. Citizen Parents in Wedlock

A child born abroad to two U.S. citizen parents acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under section 301(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act
(INA) provided that one of the parents had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the child’s birth. The child is considered to be born in wedlock if the child is the genetic issue of the married couple.

Birth Abroad to One Citizen and One Alien Parent in Wedlock

A child born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under Section 301(g) of the INA provided the U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for the time period required by the law applicable at the time of the child's birth. (For birth on or after November 14, 1986, a period of five years physical presence, two after the age of fourteen, is required. For birth between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986, a period of ten years, five after the age of fourteen, is required for physical presence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child.) The U.S. citizen parent must be genetically related to the child to transmit U.S. citizenship.

Birth Abroad Out-of-Wedlock to a U.S. Citizen Mother:

A person born abroad out-of-wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother may acquire U.S. citizenship under Section 309(c) of the INA if the mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of the person’s birth and if the mother was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year prior to the person’s birth. The mother must be genetically related to the person in order to transmit U.S. citizenship.

For information on getting a passport for a minor, click the link below.

Child Passport Requirements

Sources:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Department of State

Click here to post comments

Return to Passports for Minors FAQ.

Click for fast expedited courier service

Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers

Latest Passport & Travel Updates

Getting a Passport Expedited at a Post Office
Requesting express service at post offices and other facilities that accept application forms from U.S. citizens.

Applying at a Regional Passport Agency
Where processing centers are located. How to schedule an appointment. What documents to take with you.

Using a Registered Courier Service
How to pick a legitimate courier service company to assist in getting your passport quickly.

Routine vs. Expedited Passport Service: How to Choose
Guide to help you decide if standard or fast track processing is the best option for your situation.

10 Benefits of Expediters
What are the advantages of employing the services a qualified expediter?

How to Renew a U.S. Passport Fast
Learn to expedite passport renewals as quickly as the same day. Where and how to renew passport in a hurry.

Passport Renewal Videos
Watch step-by-step instructional passport videos of how to renew a passport in 3 steps.

Make Your Own Passport Photos
Use the online Passport Photo Wizard tool to make your own passport photos in minutes. Save money and time.

Travel Warnings
The latest alerts to help you prepare for a safe and secure trip abroad.

Travel Documents
List of the most important travel documents and information about how and where to get them.

Travel Safety
Discover practical advice on how to keep safe during international trips.

23 International Travel Tips to Save Money on Transportation, Lodging & More
Cool ways to make your money stretch farther on travel expenses so that you can go more often and stay longer.

Expedite Your Passport Now!