Form N-600K is used to obtain a United States citizenship for a child of a US citizen who regularly resides outside of the United States. Children of US citizens must meet all the following requirements in order to be issued a Certificate of Citizenship:
- Be under the age of 18.
- Be unmarried.
- Have a US citizen parent (biological or adoptive parent) who has legal and physical custody of the child.
- Regularly reside outside of the US.
- The US citizen parent must have been physically present in the US for a period (or periods) totaling a minimum of 5 years, at least 2 of which were after 14 years of age. If the parent fails to meet this requirement, the US citizen parent’s own parent (the child’s grandparent) has to meet the requirement instead.
- Be present in the US at the time of interview.
After you understood the basic eligibility requirements, we will explain in this article in detail how to fill in Form N-600K, and answer frequently asked questions about the issue: who may file Form N-600K on behalf of an eligible child of a US citizen? Which documents does one need in order to file Form N-600K? What is biometrics collection? What happens during the interview with the USCIS? How long does it take to obtain US citizenship for children of US citizens? And what is the Oath of Allegiance?
Who may file form N-600K on behalf of an eligible child of a US citizen?
The following persons can file the form on behalf of an eligible child of a US citizen:
- A US citizen parent who has legal and physical custody of the child or adopted child;
- If the US citizen parent died – a US citizen grandparent who has legal and physical custody of the child.
- A US citizen legal guardian – if the child’s qualifying parent died, the guardian can file the form within 5 years of their death. The legal guardian does not have to fulfill the above mentioned physical presence requirements, but these requirements must have been met by the deceased parent or grandparent of the child.
Which documents do you need in order to file Form N-600K?
If you have determined, according to the above, that your child is eligible for US Citizenship and issuance of a Certificate of Citizenship, it is time to move forward and start with the actual application. For this, you will need to gather necessary documents (if any of the documents are written in a foreign language, you must also submit a full English translation, together with a signed certification by the translator, stating that the translation is complete and accurate, and that the translator is competent to translate from the foreign language into English). These documents include:
- A copy of both the child and the US parent’s birth certificate or record.
- Two identical passport-style photos. The pictures should be recent, color photos of the child, taken within 30 days of filing the application.
- Evidence of physical presence – i.e. documentation to establish that the US citizen parent meets the physical presence requirement (or grandparent, if the parent does not meet the requirement). This can include school records, employment records, rent receipts, tax returns, or other relevant documents.
- Evidence of the US citizen parent’s (or grandparent’s) citizenship: this may include a copy of their passport, Certificate of Naturalization, or Certificate of Citizenship.
Depending on your specific circumstances, you may need to provide additional supporting documents, such as:
- Copies of marriage certificates to show that you are married.
- Divorce decrees , if you terminated any prior marriage.
- Proof of legal relationship between the child and US citizen father . If the child was born out of wedlock and the US citizen father is applying for the child’s citizenship, you may need to provide evidence of a blood relationship, such as DNA test results or other supporting documents.
- Evidence of legal custody or guardianship – if the child is in the custody of someone other than the US citizen parent, you may need to provide documents demonstrating legal custody or guardianship, such as court orders, adoption decrees, or custody agreements.
- Documentation of legal name changes. If any of the individuals involved, such as the child or the US citizen parent, have changed their names, you may need to provide legal documentation of these name changes.
- Any other relevant court orders.
How to fill in Form N-600K?
Once you have all the necessary documents ready, the next step is to complete and submit Form N-600K. The form needs to be legible, typed or printed in black ink.
You must answer all parts of Form N-600K. If a question is not relevant to you – write “N/A” (Not Applicable), unless directed otherwise on the form.
Form N-600K is divided into 13 parts, which should be filled as detailed below:
- Part 1. Information about the child’s eligibility. In this part you must select the box that indicates why the child is eligible for citizenship under section 322 of the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act).
- Part 2. Information about the eligible child.
- Item number 1. Current legal name. You should state the name on the birth certificate unless it has been changed after birth by legal action such as marriage, adoption, or court order.
- Item Number 2. Name as appears on the Permanent Resident Card. Please provide the child’s name exactly as it appears on the Green Card (even if it is misspelled).
- Item Number 3. Other names used since birth. You should state nicknames, if applicable.
- Item Number 4. US Social Security Number.
- Item Number 5. USCIS Online Account Number. This item is applicable if the child had previously filed an application or petition using the USCIS online filing system.
- Item Number 6. Date of Birth. Use eight numbers to show the date of birth in the US date format. For example, April 30, 2010, must be written as 04/30/2010.
- Item Number 7. Country of birth. The name of the country as it was when the child was born, even if the country’s name has since changed or the country no longer exists.
- Item Number 8. Country of child’s citizenship or nationality. If the country no longer exists or the child is stateless, provide the name of the country of citizenship or nationality where the child was last a citizen or national. If the child is a citizen or national of more than one country, provide the name of the country that issued his/her latest passport.
- Item Number 9. Gender.
- Item Number 10. Height. Provide the child’s height in Imperial Units (feet and inches).
- Item Number 11. Mailing address.
- Item Number 12. Child’s physical address at the time of the application.
- Item Number 13. Marital status. The child’s status as of the date of filing Form N-600K. Select “Other” if the marriage was terminated legally, but not by divorce – and explain.
- Item Number 14. Information about the child’s admission into the US and current immigration status. *Do not complete this item number – these questions will be asked and completed at the interview with a USCIS officer (see below)*.
- Item Number 15. Did the child (or someone on their behalf) previously apply for citizenship or for a US passport? If so, explain what happened with that application and whether their application or passport was issued or not.
- Item Number 16. Information on adoption.
- Item Number 17. Were the child’s parents married to each other when the child was born or adopted? If the child was born out of wedlock, please write “no,” even if the parents married later. If the child was adopted, clarify whether the adoptive parents were married to each other at the time of the adoption
- Part 3. Information about the child’s US citizen biological or adoptive parent.
- Item Number 1. Current legal Name of US citizen parent (biological or adoptive). The name should fit the name on the parent’s birth certificate, unless it has been changed after birth by legal action such as marriage, adoption, or court order.
- Item Number 2. Date of birth of US citizen parent. Same format as above in part 2, item 6.
- Item Number 3. Country of birth of US Citizen Parent. Same as item 7 in part 2 above.
- Item Number 4. US Social Security Number of US Citizen Parent.
- Item Number 5. Physical Address. The address where the parent currently lives. Do not mention a Post Office (PO) Box number, unless it is their only address. NOTE: If they reside outside the United States, enter the name of the city again in that box.
- Item Numbers 6- 9. US Citizen Parent’s Telephone Numbers.
- Item Number 10. US Citizen Parent’s Email Address.
- Item Number 11. US Citizenship. Provide all relevant information regarding how the parent became a US citizen.
- Item Number 12. Has the US citizen parent ever lost US citizenship or taken any action that would cause loss of US citizenship? If the answer is positive (regardless of whether it has since been regained), please use the additional space provided in part 11 and elaborate.
- Item Number 13. Marital History. Specify how many times the qualifying US citizen parent has been married, including marriages which have been declared invalid by law. Also, specify the marital status of the parent on the date Form N-600K is filed. If the US citizen parent is now married, provide details about the parent’s current spouse and whether the current spouse is also the biological or adoptive parent. If he/she is not, the USCIS may request information about the US citizen parent’s previous spouses.
- Item Number 14. Is the US citizen parent a member of US Armed Forces?
- Part 4. Information about the child’s qualifying U.S. citizen grandparent. This part needs to be filled only if the child’s US citizen parent has not been physically present in the country for five years, two years of which were after 14 years of age (see the eligibility requirements above). The items in this part are similar to Part 3, and thus should be filled in the same way.
- Part 5. Physical presence in the US, from birth until filing Form N-600K.
- Item number 1. Indicate whether the information is relating to US citizen parent or qualifying grandparent.
- Item Number 2. Physical presence of biological or adoptive US citizen father, mother, or grandparent in the US. Provide all the dates when they were in the US, from their birth until the present.
- Part 6. Information about the legal guardian. This part is only relevant if the child has a legal guardian who is filing Form N-600K on their behalf.
- Part 7. Preferred location and date for interview for the child and parent, grandparent or legal guardian. Since the child must complete the adjudication process and take the Oath of Allegiance before their 18th birthday, and since the USCIS will need a minimum of 90 days to review the form and the documentation – be sure to provide a preferred interview date that is at least 90 days before your child turns 18. You should also mention the USCIS office that you would like to be interviewed at, if it is in a different USCIS office other than the office designated in your application, which USCIS will consider. However, doing so might delay your case.
- Part 8. Applicant’s statement, declaration, certification, and signature
- Part 9. Interpreter’s contact information, certification, and signature. If you needed translation in order to fill in form N-600K, in a language in which you are fluent, the interpreter must fill out this section.
- Part 10. Contact information, declaration, and signature of the person preparing this application. This part should be filled if the person preparing the application is not the applicant him/her self.
- Part 11. Additional Information. You can use this part of Form N-600K if you need more space for your application. If you need even more space than that provided in part 11, you should make copies of part 11, and write the child’s name and A-Number (if any) at the top of each sheet. Indicate the page number, part number, and item number to which your answer refers; and sign and date each sheet.
- Part 12. Affidavit. *Do not complete this part, which will be completed during the interview with the USCIS officer*.
- Part 13 – USCIS officer report and recommendation. *Do not complete this part, which is for use of USCIS only*.
It’s vital to ensure that the form is properly completed, with no errors or omissions, as it can affect the outcome of your application on behalf of your child. The fee for filing the application is $1170, which is non-refundable and required for processing it. The next step is your biometrics collection by the USCIS.
What is biometrics collection?
After filing Form N-600K, USCIS will send you an appointment letter for biometrics collection (commonly known as the “fingerprinting appointment”): this will include your fingerprinting, photograph, and signature. The process is generally quick and straightforward, and includes the following:
- Invitation: Once the USCIS processes your application, you will receive an appointment notice informing you of the date, time, and location of your biometrics appointment. This notice is usually mailed to the address you provided on your application.
- The actual biometrics collection.
- Confirmation receipt: After the biometrics collection, you will receive a confirmation receipt acknowledging that your biometrics has been taken. Keep this receipt in a safe place, as you may need to refer to it in the future.
- Further Processing: Once your biometrics are collected, the USCIS will use the information to conduct background and security checks – including a check of criminal history records maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – before making a decision on your N-600K application. The biometrics appointment is an essential step in the application process, as it allows USCIS to verify your identity and conduct necessary checks before making a decision on your case. The next step is your interview with the USCIS.
What is an interview with the USCIS in regard to Form N-600K?
The next step is that the child and parent, grandparent or legal guardian will receive an appointment notice for an in-person interview with a USCIS officer (see above – part 7 of Form N-600K).
During the interview, an immigration officer will ask all the interviewees questions about the application, background, and the child’s eligibility for citizenship. Make sure to review the application and prepare yourself thoroughly before the interview. The officer will review the documents you submitted with your application and may request clarification or further evidence if necessary.
The final step – Oath of Allegiance
If your child is over more than 14 years old, the final step before issuing him/her a Certificate of Citizenship, is taking the Oath of Allegiance. If your child is under the age of 14, the USCIS may not require them to take the Oath of Allegiance.
How can consulting with an immigration lawyer assist you in applying for citizenship by using Form N-600K?
An experienced US immigration lawyer can review your circumstances and determine if your child meets the eligibility criteria for receiving US citizenship by filing Form N-600K. A US immigration lawyer has up-to-date information on how to complete the form, and can save you time, effort and money by filing a legally appropriate application, thus, avoiding unnecessary denials. A professional and experienced US immigration lawyer can also help you and your child to prepare for the interview with the USCIS officer, which is a significant part of your application.
Our team members in partners at Decker, Pex, Levi, one of the leading immigration law specialists in Israel, will be delighted to assist you with your N-600K Form. You are more than welcome to contact us by using the phone number or email address listed below.
The article was written in collaboration with attorney Adam Jonsson.