Derivative Citizenship Law and Legal Definition

Derivative citizenship refers to the citizenship conveyed to children through the naturalization of parents or, under certain circumstances, to foreign-born children adopted by U.S. citizen parents, provided certain conditions are met.

The Child Citizenship Act 2000 (CCA) governs how a child may automatically derive US citizenship from the naturalization of a parent or from adoption by a US citizen parent.

To become a citizen, the child must meet the following requirements:

a. Have at least one American citizen parent by birth or naturalization;

b. Be under 18 years of age;

c. Live in the legal and physical custody of the American citizen parent; and

d. Be a Lawful Permanent Resident of the U.S.

In case of adoption, the adoption must be full and final.