ACQUIRING U.S. CITIZENSHIP AT BIRTH
Acquiring American citizenship is a complex issue, especially when it comes to children born abroad. Let’s break this topic down to understand how a child can acquire U.S. citizenship at birth.
- Birth within marriage
To be considered born within marriage, and therefore eligible for U.S. citizenship, the parents must be legally married at the time of the child’s birth, or within 300 days of the marriage ending through death or divorce. Additionally, one parent, either the U.S. citizen or his or her foreign spouse, must be the genetic or gestational parent of the child.
- Born abroad to US citizen parents
If both parents are U.S. citizens and married, the child becomes U.S. citizen at birth if at least one parent lived in the U.S. or its territories before the child’s birth. This requirement is pursuant to section 301(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
- Born abroad to a US citizen parent and a foreign national
A child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent and an alien acquires U.S. citizenship at birth if the U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the U.S. or its territories before the child’s birth for the period required by applicable law. at the time of the child’s birth. The relevant dates vary, but generally involve a physical presence of several years in the US before the child’s birth.
- Born abroad out of wedlock
The rules vary significantly in cases of births outside of marriage. For example, if a child is born out of wedlock to U.S. citizen parents, citizenship depends on several factors, including the parent’s physical presence in the U.S. and meeting certain legal conditions.
- Importance of immigration laws and specific dates
It is important to consider specific immigration laws and dates of birth when determining eligibility for citizenship, as the rules have changed over time. For example, the laws vary for children born between 1952 and 1986, and for those born after 1986.
The acquisition of U.S. citizenship at birth for a foreign-born child is a detailed and specific process, influenced by several factors such as the marital status of the parents, their citizenship, and their physical presence in the U.S. It is essential to consult an immigration lawyer for detailed and up-to-date advice.
For more detailed information: https://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-parents