Sometimes when people are born abroad, they are automatic U.S. citizens
at birth. However, this depends on the
citizenship status of their parents.
What qualifies as
parents? This would include your genetic father, your genetic mother, or a non-genetic
gestational mother, providing she is the legal parent at the time you
For Children Born Outside the U.S.
If a child is born outside the U.S., he or she is U.S. citizen at birth
if their parents are married to each other and both of the parents are
U.S. citizens when the child is born, and at least one of the parents
were living in the U.S. or one of its territories before the birth.
When a child is born outside the U.S., they are a citizen at birth if one
of their parents are a U.S. citizen at the time of birth and the U.S.
citizen parent lived in the U.S. or one of its territories for at least
5 years at some point before the child’s birth, two of which must
have been before their 14th birthday.
If the U.S. citizen mother or father spent their time oversees while doing
any of the following, that time can be counted towards the five year requirement:
- Having served in the U.S. armed forces (honorably)
- Worked for the U.S. government
- Worked for certain international organizations
Additionally, if the U.S. citizen parent spent time abroad while they were
a single (unmarried) son or daughter and member of the same household
of someone who meets the above requirements, that time can be counted.
What if the parents aren’t married?
Generally, a child is a U.S. citizen at birth if their genetic or non-genetic
legal mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of birth, and the mother was
previously lived in the United States for at least one year.
Or, a child is a U.S. citizen at birth if at the time of birth, their mother
was an alien, but the father was a U.S. citizen, and
- A blood relationship between the child and father can be proven.
- The father was a U.S. citizen at the time of the birth.
- The father agrees in writing to financially support his child until the
age of 18.
- While the child is under 18, the father acknowledges paternity, or paternity
is established through the courts, or the child is legitimated under the law.
The U.S. citizen parent must have lived in the U.S. or its territories
for at least 5 years before the child’s birth, two of which must
have occurred before their 14th birthday.
As explained above, time spent working in the U.S. armed forces, or employed
by the U.S. government or certain international organizations can be applied
towards the physical presence requirement.
To learn more about citizenship through parents,
contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to schedule a consultation with a Plano