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Watermelonmelon

19 year old - citizenship through (grand/)parents?

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Hey everyone - I'm completely new to this so sorry if this topic has already been discussed or if I posted in the wrong section!

Basically - I am 19 years old and a UK citizen, and have lived in the UK all my life. My father is registered as a US Citizen born abroad, but has lived in England most of his life (he has lived in the US for short periods in the past and graduated from a US High School). He currently has US Citizenship and a US passport, although he resides in England. My father's mother was born in the US and is a US citizen, although she was at one point a Permanent Resident of the UK through marriage - she is now divorced and lives in the USA, and has done for the last 20 years.

The research I have done online suggests that, in order for me to beome a US Citizen, action would have had to be taken before I turned 18 - since this date has now passed, I would like to know if there is any way I can obtain Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residence on the grounds of my family? What would be (if any) the easiest way for me to legally move to the US?

I am considering applying for a student visa in order to study for a Bachelors Degree in the US - if I chose to do so, would I be able to apply for Citizenship/LPR during/after the course of my studies?

Thank you for any help/advice!!

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Hey everyone - I'm completely new to this so sorry if this topic has already been discussed or if I posted in the wrong section!

Basically - I am 19 years old and a UK citizen, and have lived in the UK all my life. My father is registered as a US Citizen born abroad, but has lived in England most of his life (he has lived in the US for short periods in the past and graduated from a US High School). He currently has US Citizenship and a US passport, although he resides in England. My father's mother was born in the US and is a US citizen, although she was at one point a Permanent Resident of the UK through marriage - she is now divorced and lives in the USA, and has done for the last 20 years.

The research I have done online suggests that, in order for me to beome a US Citizen, action would have had to be taken before I turned 18 - since this date has now passed, I would like to know if there is any way I can obtain Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residence on the grounds of my family? What would be (if any) the easiest way for me to legally move to the US?

I am considering applying for a student visa in order to study for a Bachelors Degree in the US - if I chose to do so, would I be able to apply for Citizenship/LPR during/after the course of my studies?

Thank you for any help/advice!!

You no longer have a basis to apply for US citizenship based on your grandmother. This path was closed to you when you turned 18.

To claim US citizenship based on your dad; you will need to prove that he reside in the US for 5 years - 2 of those 5 years must be after age 14. This is the only way for you to claim US citizenship through your father. If he doesn't meet the residency requirement, then you cannot claim US citizenship through him. If you can't gain US citizenship through your father, you have no other basis to claim US citizenship based on the family relationships you currently have.

If you do not qualify for US citizenship through your father, then he may be able to petition a green card for you. However, he would need to establish a US residency and file US tax returns. He would need to do this for you before you turn 21 if you want a short wait for a green card. If he files for you after age 21, then it would take 7-8 years for a green card.

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An F-1 student visa is a non-immigrant visa. Since it is a non-immigrant visa, you would need another basis to apply for a green card. Marriage to a US citizen, marriage to a green card holder, or a work visa would be your only options for a green card.

Marriage to a US citizen would get you a green card relatively quickly - 6-12 months.

Marriage to a green card holder would require you to wait about 2-3 years to apply for a green card. During the wait, you would need another means to stay in the US legally.

A work visa may be possible AFTER you get a college degree. You would need a US employer who is willing to go through the process to secure a green card for you.

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You no longer have a basis to apply for US citizenship based on your grandmother. This path was closed to you when you turned 18.

To claim US citizenship based on your dad; you will need to prove that he reside in the US for 5 years - 2 of those 5 years must be after age 14. This is the only way for you to claim US citizenship through your father. If he doesn't meet the residency requirement, then you cannot claim US citizenship through him. If you can't gain US citizenship through your father, you have no other basis to claim US citizenship based on the family relationships you currently have.

If you do not qualify for US citizenship through your father, then he may be able to petition a green card for you. However, he would need to establish a US residency and file US tax returns. He would need to do this for you before you turn 21 if you want a short wait for a green card. If he files for you after age 21, then it would take 7-8 years for a green card.

This is all correct, with the caveat that his dad would need to have met the physical presence requirements at the time the OP was born in order to convey citizenship to him.


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Thank you for your answers! My father hasn't lived in the US for 5 years, so that's that choice out of the window! I have done a little research and from what I can gather, my father would be able to file for an Immediate Relative Visa with the US Embassy here in London. Could you possibly give me any more info on needing a US residency and tax returns? My father hasn't lived in the US for over 20 years, and I don't think he's ever worked there, although he has the legal right to do so, and visits often to see family etc. Will this prevent me from being eligible for a visa? Any info or links to info much appreciated!

Edited by Watermelonmelon

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Also, just to add some more information - my dad does not plan on moving permanently to the US, so my move there wouldn't be to unite us. My Uncle, who lives and works in the US and is also a citizen, would be willing to sponsor/support me while living in the States, if that is required/helpful? My parents would also be willing to sponsor me if they could do so while staying in the UK.

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Thank you for your answers! My father hasn't lived in the US for 5 years, so that's that choice out of the window! I have done a little research and from what I can gather, my father would be able to file for an Immediate Relative Visa with the US Embassy here in London. Could you possibly give me any more info on needing a US residency and tax returns? My father hasn't lived in the US for over 20 years, and I don't think he's ever worked there, although he has the legal right to do so, and visits often to see family etc. Will this prevent me from being eligible for a visa? Any info or links to info much appreciated!

There are 3 general forms that you would need;

  1. The I-130. Approval of this establish the father/son relationship that allows you to apply for an immigration visa.
  2. The DS-230. This is your immigration visa application.
  3. The I-864. The Affidavit of Support. This is the big hurdle for you.

The requirements for the I-130 and DS-230 are fairly easy to meet. The hurdles to your green card lies in meeting the requirements for the I-864.

The I-864 is a contract between the petitioner (your father) and the US government to ensure that you do not live off the public dole. If you receive certain government benefits, your father would need to reimburse the government for those benefits you received.

There are three main issues that you will face in meeting the requirements of the I-864; 1) your father needs to move to the US, 2) your father needs to file US tax returns, and 3) your father has sufficient income to petition for you.

  1. US Domicile Requirement. Your father must have a US legal residence in order for you to get a green card. He must have one at your interview or have proof that he will establish one before you immigrate (US lease agreement, plane tickets, etc. - proof that he will be moving to the US).
  2. US Tax Returns Requirement. All US citizens are required to file US tax returns on their worldwide income. Your father needs to report his UK income on his US tax return. The general rule is that if you don't comply with tax laws by filing your US tax returns as required, you don't get certain privileges - this include bringing family to the US as immigrants.
  3. Income Requirement. Your father needs to show a current work history that is 125% above the poverty level for his family or have assets 5X the 125% poverty level. The income must be current and continue in the foreseeable future. This is to insure that he could reimburse the US government if you receive certain government benefits. The big problem here is that if he establish a US domicile, it will be impossible for him to meet this requirement if he has to leave his job unless he meets the 5x assets alternative.

If your father cannot meet these requirements, then you are dead in the water. You will not get an immigration visa if your father cannot meet these three requirements.

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=b70f8875d714d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=db029c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD

http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_3183.html

Edited by aaron2020

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