How to become a "U.S. citizen through parents" in Las Vegas, Nevada

There are two ways foreigners can automatically gain U.S. citizenship through their parents: 1) at birth, or 2) after birth but before age 18. Otherwise, foreigners are unable automatically to become U.S. citizens through their parents and will need to pursue other naturalization channels.

Below our Las Vegas immigration attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about how to become a U.S. citizen in Nevada through one's mother(s) or father(s). Click on a topic to go directly to that section.

Note that depending on where a foreigner's parents are from, he/she may have automatic dual citizenship in the United States and another country.

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Many children automatically gain U.S. citizenship by having U.S. citizens as parents.

1. How do you become a U.S. citizen through parents at birth?

It depends on whether both parents are citizens, when the child is born, and whether the parents lived in the states:

When the child is born outside of the U.S.:

In this case, a child will be considered a U.S. citizen in Nevada if:

  • both parents were U.S. citizens at the time of the child's birth, and
  • the parents were married at the time of the child's birth, and
  • at least one of the parents lived in the U.S. prior to the child's birth.

The child is still eligible for U.S. citizenship in Nevada if the parents were unmarried at the time of the birth, but additional paperwork will be required.

When one parent is a U.S. citizen at the time of birth, and the date of birth was on or after November 14, 1986:

In this case, a child will be deemed a U.S. citizen in Nevada if:

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Extra paperwork is needed for a child of unwed U.S. citizens to become a U.S. citizen in Nevada.
  • the parents were married at the time of his/her birth, and
  • the U.S. citizen parent has been physically present in the United States for a minimum period of five (5) years at some time in his/her life prior to the birth, of which at least two (2) of the years were after his/her 14th birthday.

If the U.S. citizen parent spent any time abroad related to one of the following three circumstances, it will be counted towards the physical presence requirement as well:

  1. He/she served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces, or
  2. He/she was employed with the U.S. Governmentor
  3. He/she was employed with certain international organizations.

Again, the child is still eligible for U.S. citizenship in Nevada if the parents were unmarried at the time of the birth, but additional paperwork is required.

When one parent is a U.S. citizen at the time of birth, and the date of birth is before November 14, 1986 but after October 10, 1952:

In this case, a child will be considered a citizen if:

  • the parents were married at the time of birth, and
  • the U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the United States for a minimum period of ten (10) years at some time in his life prior to the birth, of which at least five (5) of the years were after his 14th birthday.

If the U.S. citizen parent spent any time abroad related to one of the following three circumstances, it will be counted towards the physical presence requirement as well:

  1. Served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces, or
  2. Employed with the U.S. Government, or
  3. Employed with certain international organizations.

As in the above situations, a child is still eligible for U.S. citizenship in Nevada even if the parents were unmarried at the time he/she was born.1

2. How do you become a U.S. citizen through parents after birth but before age 18?

It depends on when the child was born, and if he/she was adopted. A child who was born outside of the U.S. is considered to be an American citizen after birth in any of the following  circumstances:

When the child is born after February 27, 2001:

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Both adopted and biological children may be eligible for U.S. citizenship through their parents in Nevada.

A child who was born outside of the U.S. is considered to be a citizen after birth if:

  • the child was under 18 year old or not yet born as of February 27, 2001, and
  • at least one parent is a U.S. citizen.

Additionally, the child must be currently under 18 years old and living in the U.S. and is in both the legal and physical custody of that U.S. citizen parent.

When the child is born before February 27, 2001:

A child who was born outside of the U.S. is considered to be a citizen after birth if:

  • the child was under 18 years old from December 24, 1952 to February 26, 2001, and
  • the child was living as a Nevada green card holder in the U.S., and
  • and both parents were naturalized before the child's 18th birthday; OR

- If one parent died, that the living parent naturalized before the 18th birthday; or- If the parents legally separated, that the parent who had legal and physical custody naturalized before the 18th birthday; or- If the child was born out of wedlock and paternity had not yet been established, the mother must have been naturalized before the 18th birthday.

When the child is adopted:

A child who was born outside of the U.S. is considered to be a citizen after birth if:

  • he/she was adopted by a U.S. citizen parent, and
  • the child legally lives in the United States in both the physical and legal custody of the U.S. citizen parent, and
  • the child meets the following conditions after February 27, 2001, but before his/her 18th birthday:

-The adoptive parent adopted the child prior to his/her 16th birthday and had legal custody of the child and lived with the child for at least two (2) years; or-The child was admitted to the U.S. as an orphan or Convention adoptee whose adoption by his/her U.S. citizen parent was fully completed abroad; or-The child was admitted into the U.S. as an orphan or Convention adoptee who was coming to the U.S. to be adopted, and the child's adoptive parents completed the adoption prior to his/her 18th birthday.

Learn more about citizenship through adoption in Nevada.2 

3. Can you automatically become a U.S. citizen through parents at age 18 or older?

If a person did not gain automatic U.S. citizenship through his/her parents through birth or before age 18, then he/she can no longer automatically become a citizen through parents. Once a non-citizen reaches age 18, he/she can only pursue U.S. citizenship via other naturalization channels through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn about naturalization laws .3

Note that there are variousimmigrant and non-immigrant visas that permit non-citizens to live in the U.S. The visa waiver program permits eligible non-citizens to travel to the U.S. with no visa at all. Finally, note that Nevada has two immigration offices that offer fingerprinting services for immigration applications: Las Vegas immigration office, and Reno immigration office.

Need an immigration lawyer in Nevada? Call us...

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Call 702-333-3673 for a free consultation with a Nevada immigration attorney.

If you have questions or concerns related to gaining citizenship through your parents in Nevada, contact our Las Vegas immigration lawyers at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673).


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