This page is for information purposes only and should not be used as legal advice.  U.S. immigration law is extremely detailed and each case should be considered on an individual basis to ensure the best possibility of success.
Application for U.S. Citizenship of Children Born in Malta to U.S. Citizens

The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows another two possibilities for a child born outside the United States to a U.S. citizen parent to obtain U.S. citizenship:

  • The first method confers U.S. citizenship on a child automatically when all of the following conditions are met:
    • The child has a U.S. citizen parent;
    • The child is under 18 years of age; and
    • The child resides in the United States as a lawful permanent resident (green card holder), in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent.

Although citizenship is conferred automatically at that point in time when all the above conditions come into play, it is recommended that proof of such citizenship be obtained, either through a U.S. passport or a Certificate of Citizenship.

  • The second method is for children who do not qualify automatically for U.S. citizenship.  This method allows a U.S. citizen parent to apply for U.S. citizenship on behalf of his or her child when the following conditions are met:
    • The child has a U.S. citizen parent;
    • The U.S. citizen parent, or the U.S. citizen parent’s citizen parent (i.e., the child’s U.S. citizen grandparent), has been physically present in the U.S. for at least five years (two of which were after attaining age 14) before the child turns 18 years old;
    • The child is under the age of 18 both at the time of application for citizenship and at the time of conferment of the Certificate of Citizenship;
    • The child resides outside the United States in the legal and physical custody of the citizen parent but is temporarily in the United States following legal entry.

It should be noted that this method of obtaining citizenship can be availed of by a parent who meets the above-mentioned physical presence requirements, but who had lost and now regained U.S. citizenship as mentioned above in “Requests for Reinstatement of Lost U.S. Citizenship”.  Anyone who considers this method of obtaining U.S. citizenship for his or her child should keep in mind that as part of the application process, the U.S. citizen parent and his or her child must attend a short interview in the United States, during which the Certificate of Citizenship is conferred.