How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Judith Ludwic Your Own Question
Judith Ludwic
Judith Ludwic, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28400
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
12467490
Type Your Immigration Law Question Here...
Judith Ludwic is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I need to know if I am an American citizen. I was brought to

Customer Question

I need to know if I am an American citizen. I was brought to the U.S. in 1973 at the age of 8. My father who adopted me is an American citizen and he was in the Military at the time. I have lived here most of my life. I am married to an American and have 6 American children. I am tired of renewing my alien card. What do I need to do?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 2 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am delighted to answer your questions. I am reviewing it and will post your answer momentarily.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thankyou
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 2 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am delighted to answer your questions today. I have 35 years experience as an immigration lawyer.

If you entered the US as a lawful permanent resident before the age of 18 you qualify as a citizen through transmission.

You would file the N-400 for a Certificate of Citizenship.

This is not an easy case because so much time has passed and you did not do this back then.

However, as long as your father had 10 years in the US some of them after the age of 14 after he adopted you then you qualify for transmission of citizenship.

If you are near bigger town such as Denver or Colorado Springs there are Catholic Charities Immigration Clinics who help people like you for free to get their citizenship. Google "Catholic Charities Immigration Clinic (city)" and you will get a list showing the free clinic and perhaps even some others.

They will help you navigate through this for free.

Otherwise you have to file the N-400 and you may be able to get the fee waived with 6 children if you income is under$ 50K a year.

But then you have to take the citizenship test.

I am eager to make this a positive experience for you. Please ask follow-up questions if my answer is not clear.
I hope that I have provided excellent service and, if so, would love a 5 star rating. If not, please let me know how I can further assist you. In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.
Judith

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
My step dad was in the Air Force, and yes he has lived in the US for a lot more than 10 years since I was 14. He passed away two years ago. What does transmission of citizennship mean and do I still have to file the N-400?
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 2 months ago.

Transmission means that you automatically gain citizenship without having to do anything but file the form N-600. You will have to prove you father resided in the US for 10 years before he was stationed abroad and adopted you. Maybe you can get that information from the military?

I have a client waiting for me with a 4pm appt.

I need to see them and then it is our office Christmas dinner this evening.

I will get back to this later tonite.

Judith

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
My stepdad was born in California and lived in the US till he was 19 when he joined the Air Force and his first assignment was England where he met my mother. I have his death certificate which also has his parents names on it and they are American Citizens too. Will that work?
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 month ago.

The citizenship laws are very complex and I did further research.

Different laws applied to adopted children prior to 1978.

The way I read the law you did not derive U.S. citizenship because adopted children were not eligible under the laws that apply to that time period - you were born in 1973. However, if you meet the eligibility requirements for naturalization, you may apply for U.S. citizenship.

The issue is not at all related to your father having physical presence in the US because any time spent in the military is considered to satisfy the physical presence requirement. He lived in the US until joining the military.

The issue is that laws in effect in 1973 - your birth year - did not give adopted children the same right to deriving citizenship through their adoptive US citizen parent.

That changed somewhat in 1978, again 1983 and again in 2000. There is a very long legislative history for citizenship. I have spent over an hour researching this for you. I cannot find a loophole.

So you cannot get a Certificate of Citizenship by filing an N-600.

You may naturalize under the normal procedure to apply for naturalization by filing form N-400.

https://www.uscis.gov/n-400

I hope that I have provided excellent service and, if so, would love a 5 star rating. If not, please let me know how I can further assist you. In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.
Judith

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I wasn't born in1973, I was brought to the US that year. I was born in 1964 in England. Does that make a difference?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Also if I need to file the N-400 to become an American citizen, do you know how long that takes and can I still hold my British nationality?
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 month ago.

None of that changes my answer. I knew all that info when I did my research. The law in effect in 1973 controls and it did not recognize adoption for transmission of citizenship.

You may retain dual citizenship. Both US and UK have no objection to that.

It is taking 6-8 months to be sworn in for citizenship.

I hope that I have provided excellent service and, if so, would love a 5 star rating. If not, please let me know how I can further assist you. In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.
Judith

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Sorry for not responding, busy with the holiday. My last question is do you recommend getting g help filling out the paperwork for the N-400?

Related Immigration Law Questions