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Minors who get citizenship through parents

People in South Carolina who were born outside of the country and were minors when one parent became a U.S. citizen may also be citizens. However, certain conditions must be in place.

A child of a parent who became a citizen who was a permanent resident and 18 years of age or older on Feb. 27, 2001 became a naturalized citizen along with the parent if one of several conditions was true at the time. If the other parent had died, if the parents were separated or divorced and the parent who became a citizen had custody of the child, or if the mother became a citizen and the child was born out of wedlock, then the child's permanent residency would confer citizenship when the parent became a citizen.

For people who were under 18 on Feb. 27, 2001, several conditions must be present if one parent is a citizen. The child must be residing in the United States, the parent who is the citizen must have custody, and the child must be unmarried. For proof of citizenship, people can either apply for a Certificate of Citizenship or a passport.

Whether people are seeking naturalization, trying to get a work or student visa, seeking asylum, trying to join a family member or attempting to remain in the country for some other reason, they may want to consult an attorney. Immigration law changes rapidly and can be confusing, and an error may lead to complications. Rules differ based on a number of factors ranging from job skills to family situation and more. People may be in complex situations such as being a child who grew up in the United States but whose parents were not citizens or permanent residents, and an attorney may be able to advise them regarding their options.

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