From Special Corespondent, Morris Ramsey (American Veteran father trying to get his Amerasian child into the US).
This is info I gained from my 10 years of trying to get my adult aged daughter to the states. The things I learned may not pertain to other southeast Asian countries because of some immigration laws that did not include the Philippines but for the most part where derivative citizenship and the after effects are concerned it is the same. Derivative citizenship [Derivative citizenship is citizenship given to children through the naturalization of parents or, sometimes, to foreign-born children adopted by United States citizen parents, if certain conditions are met. ... When a person gets derivative U.S. citizenship, it happens automatically, by operation of law.] is possible before a child who is under the age of 18, but because this process started for me and my daughter long after she was 18 that will be the part I focus on. I will also talk about how legitimization laws by state come into effect with this process. I am not an attorney so this is only my experience.
First off, I want everyone to understand that after the age of 18 it is virtually impossible to gain derivative citizenship. Even in the immigration law it states it must be before that age. The only slight chance you have is if the fathers name is on the birth certificate, he can show that he has had contact over the years with the child or mother and he can show where he gave financial support. This would be in the form of check or money order stubs.
If a child with an American father and has no current contact with the father, derivative citizenship is not possible even if the child is under the age of 18. Part of getting the citizenship is doing a DNA test. With no father present then that is impossible. If a child of an American father has contact with the father but the father never signed the birth certificate then this is where the legitimization laws come into effect.
Some states have this law and others do not. Basically, if a state has this law then a father can just say this is my child and that child is seen as his daughter. This really doesn’t matter if the child is over 18 but for those under 18 and no birth certificate was signed this can be very important. In my daughters case, the two states I showed I had lived did not have the legitimization law. Because I was stationed for a short period in California, my attorney tried to use their legitimization law but the U.S. State Department said no because the time living there was too short. Even though the immigration law read that I could use that argument, they changed the verbiage in the law so myself or anyone after me could never use that.
There is something I want everyone to really understand and listen to. No matter of a child’s age, but especially if the child is over 18 and the father and child together try for derivative citizenship which will most likely be denied, then you will not be able to apply for or get a green card. At least this is what happened to us and I was given this bad news by the embassy in Manila. I was also told they knew the derivative citizenship would not work but they could not tell me before hand which was pretty crappy. The reason this will keep a person from getting the green card, even if it is just to visit, is because after not getting the derivative citizenship the U.S. government will consider that person a flight risk. Meaning that person would become an illegal alien and not return to the Philippines.
Now lets say because of this info you skip the citizenship way and look at the green card. You may get moved closer to the front of the line because there is an American father present, but all stipulations that goes with anyone else applying for a green card goes the same. You must show that you own property, have money in the bank or maybe you have children that you are not taking on the visit and you will be going back to. Just showing one of these will not work. It probably needs to be all and more. This way the government thinks you have to go back to the Philippines.
I know for most everyone that reads this, it crushes a lot of hopes and I am truly sorry for that. For 10 years, me and my family have had hopes crushed at every turn and it is painful. No matter if you are 18 or 50, none of this is your fault!!!
Whether us fathers lost contact, didn’t contact or just left you behind, this falls on us and the U.S. government. We are to blame. I blame no one other than myself for me and my daughters situation, but I do blame the government for being such asses about it. I missed out on a lot of years with my daughter and it took many of us to grow up from that young arrogant military person to realize that. But again….It is not your fault!
But lets go on to some hope you all may have. The I-130 Petition for alien relative. I will not talk a lot about it because I do not know enough on how it works but even if you have never had contact with your American father this is a possibility for you if you have a relative that resides in the US and is an American Citizen. Its even better if you do have contact with your American father. A family member that is a citizen of the U.S. can petition for a family member to come to the states. I believe once here, you will be able to go through the process of becoming a citizen yourself. I believe you have to do the process in a certain amount of time or you will have to go home. What I am not sure of, in this instance, is how close of a relative you have to be. Meaning do you need to be the child, parent or sibling of the US Citizen.
As far as a father trying this to bring an adult age child (over 18) to the US, this may be your best choice. As you now know, other ways that will not work may very well knock you out of ever bringing your adult child to the states. With the I-130 you will have to do a DNA test, but an American father would be petitioning to bring your child to the US just like a non-natural born citizen can do. This is also $1,000 or so, which is cheap considering the upwards of $12,000 I spent only to be rejected. With the I-130, the citizen will have to show they can support the family member, but the I-130 will work.
There is a catch for American fathers. Part of the I-130 is the child’s birth certificate. If you never signed it, then it can cause some issues. From what I have read on the I-130, it may even stop you from using the I-130.
I will be back in the Philippines late this month and will meet with a Filipino immigration lawyer so I hope I will have more info on if the I-130 is possible.
Keep checking back here for updates as we get them! If you have any specific questions for Mr. Ramsey, please email us for his contact info. If you are an American father and have been successful with bringing your Amerasian child to the US, we want to hear from you! Please email us firstname.lastname@example.org.