Yes, it is possible for your daughter to become a U.S. citizen. Indeed, she may already be one. Some children acquire citizenship at the time of their birth overseas to a U.S. citizen provided the parent has resided in the USA for certain periods of time.
If your daughter does not qualify for derived or acquired citizenship, she may qualify for citizenship after she is 18 through the immigration legal process of naturalization. Since your daughter has permanent resident status, and is under the age of 18, she is not yet eligible for application for citizenship.
Children who are in the U.S. legally but not as permanent residents and meet certain requirements can become citizens when a U.S. citizen parent files Form N-600K Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate under Section 322. However, your daughter as a permanent resident does not meet the rules for application.
Rules for Acquiring Citizenship
The rules for acquisition of citizenship vary depending on the law in effect at the time the child was born. Furthermore, there are different standards for those children who under the laws of their country are born in wedlock as opposed to those born out of wedlock.
To determine if your daughter acquired citizenship at birth, you must determine whether she was born in or out of wedlock. If she was born out of wedlock, then use her date of birth to decide if you or your spouse meets the residence requirements for transmitting citizenship.
Rules for Derivative Citizenship
Derivative citizenship rules apply to lawful permanent resident children who become citizens automatically when one or both parents become U.S. citizens.
On February 27, 2001, a law went into effect that changed the rules for those can obtain derivative citizenship immigration. The law applies to natural born children and adopted children. It does not apply to stepchildren unless the stepparent legally adopts the child.
Under this law, called the Child Citizenship Act of 2001, a child born outside the United States automatically becomes a U.S. citizen when ALL of the following conditions have been fulfilled in any order:
§ At least one parent of the child is a citizen of the United States, whether by birth or naturalization;
§ The child is under the age of 18 years and is unmarried;
§ The child is residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the citizen parent;
§ The child is a permanent resident.There are several elements at play with your daughter’s case. If you try and navigate these waters by yourself, you could end up spending thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of your time unnecessarily. Our immigration team can assist you in sifting through these various requirements of immigration law as you seek to help your daughter.