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Don't Wait to Naturalize if you Have Kids

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Don't wait to naturalize, if you have kids. Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. In today's video, we're going to talk about why you should apply for citizenship as soon as possible. Now, my general rule is that if you are eligible for an immigration benefit, that you should apply for that benefit as soon as possible. So if you have your five years in as a Green Card holder or if you got your Green Card based on marriage and you have waited the full three years, you should go ahead and apply for citizenship. But in this video in particular, I want to talk about why if you have children it's a good idea to apply for citizenship as soon as possible.

So I've been having a back and forth with a potential client who has a 16 year old son. And this client has a Green Card based on employment, and he's well past the time where he was eligible to apply for citizenship. And he wasn't real clear on what will happen to his son, who is also a lawful permanent resident. What will happen to that son if dad naturalizes? So I thought I would make this video and explain it all to you.

So basically, if a Green Card holder that is a noncitizen becomes a US citizen before their underage child, before their child under the age of 18 becomes or hits 18, if that Green Card holder becomes a citizen, then that child will also be a citizen by operation of law. So what does that mean? Well, that means that they are in fact a citizen. Now, USCIS might still classify them in their system as a lawful permanent resident, but at that point the child could get a US passport. They wouldn't have to get proof of citizenship. But of course, in this video, I want to advise that you do just that.

So let's say this client's son is named [Sri 00:00:01:57], and Sri is 16 years old. If Sri's dad or mom becomes a citizen before Sri turns 18, then Sri will also become a citizen. They won't go to the same naturalization ceremony. There's no form to file with the parent's naturalization forms. It's only after the parent naturalizes, then if you want to get your paperwork cleared up at USCIS, then Sri or his parents would file a N-600, a Certificate of Citizenship. So the good thing is, is that if you do become a citizen, then your kid can't be deported and they can't be harmed from an immigration standpoint. They are a citizen from the day that you naturalize on, even if they haven't done that N-600.

Now, why would... Jim, why would you say that we should go ahead and do the N-600? Well, if Sri ever wanted to sponsor someone himself for a Green card or to convey an immigration benefit or just to have proper documentation, he's going to need that N-600 to show that he has in fact become a US citizen. It's going to make it easier to vote. It's going to make it easier for him to get that passport. And it's going to make it easier for him to do everything that a US citizen can do, like vote and serve on a jury, things like that. So it's very important that you do that. Now, if you don't, then when Sri turns 18 or after Sri turns 18 or if his Green Card is about to expire after he turns 18, then Sri's going to have to apply for citizenship and take the naturalization test and go through that whole process. So it's much easier for Sri to get his citizenship through a parent.

And so if you have questions about this or about the N-600, give us a call, 314-961-8200. You can email us at [email protected]. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called the Immigrant Home. And if you like this video, we ask that you please like it below, share it out on social and subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you get updates whenever we make videos just like this one. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.

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