CR-2 - The child is the admitted conditionally into the United States as the
stepchild of a U.S. citizen who has been married to the alien parent for less
than 2 years. The conditional category is valid for 2 years and may be
adjusted to an IR-2 at the end of the two years. It is a conditional category
because of the possibility of marriage fraud.
A child admitted as a CR-2 acquires U.S. citizenship automatically as soon as
he or she meets the statutory requirements of INA 320, as amended.
If the child is admitted as a CR-2 - the parent's marriage certificate and a
copy of a full and final foreign or domestic adoption decree by a U.S. citizen.
In order for a child in this category to acquire U.S. citizenship, the adoption
must have taken place by age 16
and the child must have resided with and
in the custody of the U.S. citizen for 2 years
. The date which citizenship is
acquired could be (1) the two-year anniversary of the marriage which should
coincide with the 2 year residence requirement; or (2) the date of the full
and final domestic adoption.
Passport specialists at domestic passport agencies and centers and consular
officers abroad must verify the date of marriage to determine if the 2-year
requirements (length of marriage and legal and physical custody) have been
met. If one or both have not been met, the application must be denied.
However, the applicant should be advised that citizenship may be acquired
as soon as the 2-year requirements are met. (Acquisition will depend on
whether or not the child is still in the legal and physical custody of the U.S.
citizen on the day the 2-year requirement is met.)
Example: A U.S. citizen marries an alien with a 6 year old child on March 1,
2000; in December 2000, the child is granted LPR status (CR-2 category)
and arrives in the United States. The U.S. citizen adopts the child on
February 26, 2001 and applies for a passport on the same date. The legal
and physical custody of a stepchild is presumed immediately upon the
marriage of the parents.
So the U.S. citizen had had legal and physical
custody of the CR-2 child for a little under one year before the adoption.
The application would have to be denied for now. Because this is a CR-2
category, citizenship will be acquired on the day the child fulfils the
requirement of being in the physical and legal custody of the parent for 2
years - in this case, on March 1, 2002.
There is no requirement that the CR-2 status actually be adjusted to IR-2
status in order for the child to acquire citizenship as long as the child has
been in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen for 2 years and is
under age 16 at the time of the adoption.