Call Today!


Generally, individuals born in the United States are United States citizens.  However, some individuals born outside the United States may nevertheless be United States citizens, depending on a variety of factors and circumstances.  Today's blog post will address the Child Citizenship Act, which sets forth the circumstances under which a person born outside the United States and residing permanently in the United States automatically acquires U.S. citizenship.

The Child Citizenship Act became effective on February 27, 2001 and applies only prospectively, not retroactively.  To qualify as a U.S. citizen under this particular statute, a person born outside the United States must show all of the following:

1.  Born outside the United States after February 27, 1983

2.  At least one parent is a United States citizen

3.  Residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of  the United States Citizen parent

4.  Lawful permanent resident status (green card)

5.  All of the above facts exist before the child's 18th birthday.

An important question often arises regarding adopted child - specifically, whether an adopted child automatically acquires U.S. citizenship pursuant to the Child Citizenship Act.  The answer is that an adopted child if the adoption was finalized before the child's 16th birthday and the adopted child resided with the U.S. citizen adoptive parent for at least 2 years prior to the adopted child's 18th birthday.

If you believe that you qualify as having automatically acquired U.S. citizenship, you are eligible to obtain a U.S. passport or a Certificate of Citizenship as evidence of your U.S. citizenship.  If you're not sure, or have questions about the process of obtaining documentation of your U.S. citizenship, you should seek expert legal advice.  Christiansen Law Firm has significant experience in immigration and citizenship matters.  The attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm can advise you of your rights, and assist you in obtaining your Certificate of Citizenship or U.S. passport.  Contact Christiansen Law Firm in Houston or San Antonio for additional information regarding your citizenship matter.


Free Consultation · Credit Cards Accepted · Payment Plans · Competitive Fees

We Speak English and Spanish · Handicapped Accessible Offices

Houston Office

(Principal Office)
810 S. Highway 6
Suite 210
Houston, Texas 77079
Phone: 281-579-2800
Fax: 281-579-2801
Map and Directions

San Antonio Office

84 NE Loop 410
Suite 130
San Antonio, Texas 78216
Phone: 210-829-0101
Fax: 210-829-8010
Map and Directions


Office Hours

8:30 am to 4:30 pm, M-F
at both locations


Pay Online