I’m 18 years old, I live in the U.S. I’ve lived here since I was 8 years old and have never left. I lived in Haiti for a few years before I came to live here at 8. I was born in Canada and currently have an expired Canadian passport. I don’t have a social security or license or anything in the US.

I didn't realize it but I’ve been here illegally in a way. Last summer I applied for my N-600 form because my dad was a US citizen 10 years before I was even born, so I was born a citizen and qualified for it. I’m afraid I won’t get approved for the certificate. I didn’t come here on a visa I just came on a Canadian passport, which is now expired. Did I overstay even though I don’t have a visa? Am I here illegally, and can I get deported?

My mother passed away the year I came to live in the U.S. The only form of documentation I’ve ever had is a Canadian passport. Please help me.

To qualify for the N-600 almost all the things you describe I would have to meet and they recently wrote us back asking for two more papers that my father left out(birth certificate and marriage license to my mom which we sent back), they got married months before my birth so I wasn’t born out of wedlock. And my dad lived here since high school going to Haiti maybe once a year and has been a U.S citizen since 1992 which is about 7 years before I was born in Canada. I’m only worried because I don’t have a visa but I guess I never needed one since I’m a citizen I just don’t have the paper to prove it. I assumed I needed the certificate to apply for a U.S passport. And if you’re denied don’t they tell you right away or do you have to wait normal processing times to get an answer?


1 Answer 1


You are almost certainly a US citizen, and have been from birth. For a child born abroad in wedlock to a US citizen parent after 1986, you are a US citizen at birth if your US citizen parent was physically present in the US before your birth for a cumulative total of 5 years, including 2 years after he turned 14 (and if your father naturalized, he probably spent about 5 years in the US before naturalization; combined with time he spent in the US after naturalization, it would most likely be more than enough to meet the requirement).

It appears that you believe that you are a US citizen, as you filed N-600 to apply for a Certificate of Citizenship, and only people who are already citizens are eligible to apply for this. Why do you think it will be denied? Do you think the evidence of your father's physical presence in the US is insufficient?

To answer your question, US citizens cannot be deported, but it is possible for you to be placed into removal proceedings in immigration court. There, you will claim to be a US citizen. Once the government proves that you were born outside the US (which you do not dispute), the burden shifts to you to prove that you are a US citizen. And at that point you would presumably present the same evidence of citizenship that you used to apply for a Certificate of Citizenship.

If your parents never applied for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) for you while you were under 18, there are two forms of US citizenship you can apply for at this point, assuming you are a US citizen: 1) a US passport, and 2) a Certificate of Citizenship, as you have applied for. You do not need a CRBA or Certificate of Citizenship to apply for a US passport; the same evidence of citizenship you would use to apply for a CRBA or Certificate of Citizenship can be used to directly apply for a US passport. I would recommend that you also apply for a US passport, because it is usually much quicker to get than the Certificate of Citizenship, and it's a separate adjudication of your citizenship (passports are issued by the Department of State, whereas Certificates of Citizenship are issued by USCIS) so applying to both increases the chance that at least one will get approved, if it's just a subjective question of sufficiency of evidence.

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