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Palm Beach County Immigration Attorney > Blog > Immigration > Pursuing Citizenship or Residency as a US Teen in Florida

Pursuing Citizenship or Residency as a US Teen in Florida


If you’re a teenager in Florida, you might already have plans to become a US permanent resident or citizen. It is never too early to start thinking about immigration goals, and many teens have the mental maturity and organizational skills to start developing effective plans at an early age. That being said, there are unique considerations for teens pursuing US citizenship in Palm Beach Gardens.

Children Cannot File Their Own Immigration Applications 

The first thing you need to know is that minors cannot file applications on their own behalf. If you’re under the age of 18, you are not yet a legal adult in the eyes of the United States immigration authorities. As such, you will need help from a parent or guardian to pursue your immigration goals. That being said, your parent may only need to provide basic assistance during this process, such as signing certain forms and acknowledgements. If you’re about to turn 18, it might be worth meeting with an immigration lawyer before your birthday to start planning out your immigration goals.

All People Born in the United States Are Automatically US Citizens 

Generally speaking, you do not need to take further action if you were born in the United States. Under the United States Constitution, you should be considered a US citizen for all legal purposes. However, you may still encounter certain challenges if your parents’ status is called into question. Speak with an immigration lawyer if you’re struggling to establish citizenship even though you were born in the United States.

Gaining Citizenship Before You Turn 18

If you were born to US citizen parents, you can pursue citizenship before the age of 18. Your parents can apply for citizenship on your behalf, although there are various requirements that may need to be met. One important requirement is at least one US citizen parent who has lived in the United States for a period of time.

Petition for Alien Relative 

If you’re over the age of 18, it may be important to take action before you turn 21. If you “age out,” you may lose your “child status” in the eyes of the immigration authorities. As such, you may face fewer pathways to residency and citizenship. That said, it is still possible to pursue residency if one of your parents files Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative). The Child Status Protection Act may have “frozen” your age for application purposes – helping you avoid “aging out.”

Find an Immigration Attorney in Palm Beach Gardens 

Whether you’re a teenager or a parent, an immigration attorney in Palm Beach Gardens can provide helpful guidance. Regardless of your family’s immigration goals, legal assistance can help you achieve them in a streamlined, effective manner. There are numerous options and factors to consider for teens pursuing US citizenship. To discuss these factors in more detail, consult with The Devore Law Group at your earliest convenience.




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