26th July 2021

Immigrating with Your Grandparents: What to Know

Acquiring US citizenship may be possible by one of two ways: jus soli, by birth; or jus sanguinis, by naturalization (descent from their parents).

US citizenship is not passed directly from a grandparent to their grandchildren. But the simpler way is for the parents of the grandchildren to immigrate. Then the parents can petition for the immigration of their children.

Can You Become a US CItizen Through Your Grandparents?

For someone born outside of the US, if they have grandparents who lived in the US (records from somewhere like can help you to learn more about your family history), it is possible for them to acquire citizenship because their parents can acquire the citizenship, which can subsequently be passed on to their offspring.

The Immigration and Naturalization Act details that any children born outside of the US are automatically US citizens if one of their parents is already a US Citizen. However, there are some exemptions to this provision.

One is that the parent must be a US citizen and should have lived in the country for five years or more. Within the required five years, the person should be at least 14 years old.

How to Become a US Citizen Through Your Grandparents?

If a child fails to meet the requirements of getting a US citizenship, there are ways a grandparent can help in the process. One way is that they should be the grandchild of a US citizen who obtained their citizenship through naturalization or by birth. Additionally, if the child’s age is under 18 years and is under the custody of their US citizen parent. Finally, if their grandparents are in the US for at least five years during the petition.

In the event that the grandparents are already dead, the above-mentioned provisions are still available. The only requirement is for the grandparent to be a US citizen and have met certain requirements regarding physical presence during the time of their death.

Immigration Law and Other Important Notes

You can find an Immigration Lawyer who can guide you through the many avenues of the US Immigration System. They are rather easy to reach and are available to provide you with expert and professional assistance in reuniting with your family in the country.

There are also some eligibility requirements. The person applying should be at least 18 years old, able to read, write, and speak basic English, and have good moral character. Once they meet these requirements, they will go through a 10-step process that will determine their eligibility to become an American citizen. The applicant should also need to complete the form N-400 which is used for naturalization.


Reuniting with family members is a priority of the US Government which is why if you have grandparents who are US citizens, it is possible for you to become a US citizen as well. For more information, contact our Houston immigration lawyers today.

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