Filing for U.S. Citizenship by Parentage - N-600K Application

Form N-600K is an application filed by a U.S. citizen parent whose child qualifies for naturalization under the Immigration and Nationality Act (I.N.A.).

Form N-600K is an application filed by a U.S. citizen parent whose child qualifies for naturalization under Section 322 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (I.N.A.). Section 322 addresses citizenship for children who regularly reside outside the United States. If a child is residing in the United States as a permanent resident, the parent must file Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship (download the form here).

Eligibility

Section 322 establishes citizenship eligibility through parentage for children residing outside the United States. In order to be eligible for citizenship under this section, the child must satisfy the following requirements:

  • The child has at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization.
  • The U.S. citizen parent has been physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period of five years or more, at least two of which were after reaching 14 years of age.
  • If the parent is unable to satisfy this requirement, the parent’s U.S. citizen parent (the child’s grandparent) meets the same physical presence requirements.
  • The child has not yet reached 18 years of age.
  • The child is residing outside the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. parent; and
  • The child is temporarily present in the United States and is maintaining lawful status.

Adopted children can acquire U.S. citizenship under Section 322 if they were adopted before they reached 16 years of age and otherwise meet all the requirements for an adopted child or orphan. See "How Foreign-Born Adopted Children Get U.S. Citizenship."

Form N-600K can also be submitted by a U.S. citizen grandparent or legal guardian if the U.S. citizen birth parent died within five years of filing the application.

Completing Form N-600K

Form N-600K is relatively straightforward. The following are some tips to keep in mind when completing the form: 

  • Part two asks the applicant to indicate why the child is eligible for a Certificate of Citizenship. This section must be completed or the application may be rejected.
  • Part three, section E asks about the child’s current immigration status. This section must be left blank because it will be completed at the naturalization interview.
  • Part three, section G requests additional information for adopted children, including the dates of legal and physical custody. If the child is not a beneficiary of an approved I-600 Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, the parent must show two years of legal and physical custody of the child.
  • Part four asks for basic biographic information about the U.S. citizen parent. The parent must include information in this section about his or her physical presence in the United States.
  • Part five does not need to be completed unless the physical presence requirement is being satisfied by the U.S. citizen grandparent.
  • Part six does not need to be completed unless the U.S. citizen parent is deceased and a legal guardian is filing this application on behalf of the child.
  • Part seven must be signed by the child seeking U.S. citizenship. A parent or legal guardian can sign for the child if he or she is under 14 years of age.
  • Part nine should be left blank as it will be completed at the naturalization interview.
  • Part ten should be left blank as it will be completed by the immigration officer when a decision on the application is made.

Once you're done with the form, here are some additional tips for preparing the rest of the application package:

  • Arrange the supporting documents in the same order as requested in the N-600K instruction packet. Always include certified English translations of foreign-language documents and never submit original documents unless requested.
  • The filing fee must be paid by a check or money order. Consult the USCIS website before filing as fees are subject to change.
  • File the complete application package at the appropriate USCIS lockbox. Consult the USCIS website before filing, as filing locations are subject to change.

Once the application is filed, USCIS will issue an I-797 receipt notice that will include a case number. This number must be referenced any time you make an inquiry about the case. Once USCIS has reviewed the N-600K application, the child will be scheduled for a naturalization interview.

At the time of the interview, the child will have to show Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record as proof of legal admission to the United States. If all goes well, USCIS will approve the child to receive a Certificate of Citizenship.

If You Need Legal Help

An immigration attorney can be a valuable resource in preparing the N-600K application. This is particularly true in cases where it is not clear that the child qualifies for citizenship under Section 322.

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