Special naturalization provisions are conditions that allow some classes of aliens to become U.S. citizens even if they don’t meet the general naturalization provisions. These special classes of immigrants can enable individuals who are in need but generally unqualified to gain citizenship and safety in the United States.
Several special classes of immigrants can qualify for special naturalization provisions, including spouses of U.S. citizens, surviving spouses of U.S. citizens in the military, and children of U.S. citizens. The common throughline of these classes is that something prevents them from becoming naturalized citizens through more traditional routes. For example, special naturalization provisions for surviving spouses of citizens in the armed forces allow them to become citizens despite no longer having a living spouse who was a U.S. citizen. Likewise, special naturalization provisions for children can enable them to become citizens despite being too young to take or understand the oath of citizenship.
There are also classes devoted to any person who may qualify for special consideration of former U.S. citizens. These classes include service members, seamen, or employees of organizations that are promoting U.S. interests abroad.
According to the Immigration and Nationality Act, special naturalization provisions are not an alternative to the general naturalization provisions but rather provide specific exemptions. One example of how these exemptions are handled is the special naturalization provisions extended to children.
According to the U.S. Center for Immigration Services (USCIS), there are two special naturalization provisions in Chapter 6 of the USCIS policy manual for citizenship and naturalization chapter dedicated to children: Section A provisions for children subjected to battery or extreme cruelty and Section B provisions for a surviving child of a member of the U.S. armed forces.
The Section A provision is for children subjected to “battery or extreme cruelty.” This category retains its right to grant citizenship because a person with a family relationship to a U.S. citizen may obtain lawful permanent resident status. The special naturalization provision exceptions are the requirement that the child lives with their citizen parent for at least three years, the need for the citizen parent to petition for them or be present, and the requirement that the child takes and understands the oath of allegiance.
To qualify for a special naturalization provision under Section A, a child must be eligible for naturalization under the spousal naturalization provisions and must have been abused by their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident parent. If a child qualifies for Section A provisions, their deportation may be suspended or canceled, and they may be able to become naturalized citizens.
Section B special naturalization provisions allow a child of a armed forces member to inherit the ability to become a naturalized citizen. This exempts the child from the continuous residence, physical presence, and three-month physical presence within the state or jurisdiction naturalization requirements and allows them to pursue citizenship.
To qualify for Section B special provisions, the child must have a parent of a U.S. citizen service member who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces on active duty. This means that a child is eligible if their parent was granted posthumous citizenship, and the child is ineligible if their parent was dishonorably discharged. These provisions also require that the child is over 18 at the time of filing and the child is a legitimately adopted or biological child of a U.S. citizen. This means that a step-child is not eligible for Section B special naturalization.
If you are an immigrant looking to take advantage of paths to citizenship and satisfy your special naturalization provisions, you will need the help of an experienced Immigration Law attorney. An Immigration Law attorney will be able to advise you and advocate on your behalf in order to get you the best possible outcome for your case.
Using their legal expertise, trial tactics, and expert witnesses, your Immigration Law attorney can explore your alternative options to deportation as well as present your case in the most compelling light possible and deftly navigate the complex processes of immigration bureaucracy as well as the obscure functions of immigration court.