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Is the mother intending to move to the US?
It is not surprising that the lawyer you consulted was not familar with the Doctrine of Double Constructive Retention. It is not used frequently.
Here is one of the few links I have found that really explains the process in detail
The children do NOT have to be permanent residents to apply for citizenship through this process.
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Here are two good links on obtaining the SB1
Thanks for the information. In the first link you sent, the woman says it took almost 2 years for her to finally gain citizenship for her kids. Would you expect that to be a normal time frame for the case of my sister in law going the Double Constructive Retention route, or is it impossible to say? Would the green card option be faster? And, under that scenario, what would the time frame be, and would the kids be required to remain in the US for a period as Permanent Residents before being granted citizenship? I have another sister-in-law who got her green card this year, and the entire process took just 3 or 4 months. In her case, she was a Mexican citizen who married a US citizen.
It would take the children about the same amount of time as it took your other sister-in-law who got status through her husband.
Here are some helpful links on the Child Citizenship Act
It can take 2 years to get the citizenship through the grandparent.
If the children go for the green card, I gather from what I read that they will "automatically" become US citizens since the mother is already a US citizen. Is this true? And, does that mean they would be able to get US passports and apply for citizenship as soon as they get the green card instead of the usual 2-3 year waiting period?
In some instances yes, they can, generally once they have resident status.
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