Q. Can our adopted daughter get a U.S. passport? We brought our daughter here on an immigrant visa when she was a child. Because my husband and I are U.S. citizens, she got automatic citizenship. We lost her citizenship certificate. We have the Chinese passport she used to come here and it has her immigrant visa entry stamp. Is the stamp enough to prove she is a U.S. citizen? We don’t want to pay the high cost of replacing her certificate nor do we want to wait the six to 10 months processing time.
Dawn, Powder Springs, Ga.
A. Your daughter can get a U.S. passport. The entry stamp on her passport is proof of the date she entered as a permanent resident. Getting a U.S. passport is the least expensive and fastest way to get proof of U.S. citizenship. Your daughter can apply at any Passport Application Acceptance Facility. Find one near you at https://iafdb.travel.state.gov/.
For years I have complained that the U.S. Department of State website lacked detailed information how a person born outside the United States proves he or she derives U.S. citizenship. I am pleased to report that you can now find the information at the DOS website at https://bit.ly/2Q9srtE. (Good job DOS!)
I suggest you print the relevant information from the website in case the person at the Passport Acceptance Facility is unfamiliar with the rules.
Q. I just became a naturalized U.S. citizen. My wife has been a permanent resident for three years. Can she naturalize now or must she wait until she has five years permanent residence?
Anonymous, via Twitter to @awernick
A. Since you just became a U.S. citizen, your wife will reach five years of permanent residence before she can benefit from the three-year rule. She may file her application three months before the fifth anniversary of the day she became a legal resident.
The spouse of a U.S. citizen can naturalize after three years of permanent residence only if he or she has been married to, and living with, the same U.S. citizen spouse for those three years.