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Expert James
Expert James, Immigration Attorney
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My husband and I have an adopted daughter from China. A fellow

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My husband and I have an adopted daughter from China. A fellow adoptive parent recently told us that her Social security card status would be "resident alien" and that we would need to change this to "Citizen" status before she turns 18 years old. Is this true and if so, what do we need to do to change this status?

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Where is your daughter now? Did she receive her green card already? Under what process did you adopt the child and bring her to the US, if she already is here? How old is she now? How old was she when she was adopted?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We adopted our daughter in May 2001 at the age of 10 months old. She is now 13 years old and we got her social security card for her shortly after we arrived home in the U.S. We also have a certificate of citizenship for her. (I had to send in her green card when we applied for her certificate of citizenship, so we no longer have that) Our adoption was finalized in China 2 days after we received her in 2001. I assumed that the social security card status was citizen because we were informed that she became a citizen of the U.S. once she was adopted. We thought we had taken care of all her documentation within the first year or so of returning to the U.S. and I just want to be sure that we have all her documentation correct.

Hi Kelly,

Thanks for the additional information.

You've done everything you were supposed to by now. By getting a Certificate of Citizenship, she is a US citizen, regardless of what her social security card indicates. However to keep her records organized and up to date with Social Security, you should change her citizenship status in her SS records.


You can do so by going here:, and following the instructions.

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