Is your child, born abroad, eligible for US citizenship? – Move To America
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Is your child, born abroad, eligible for US citizenship?

adorable baby girl lying on american flag background

The whole point in moving to US is that not only you but your children can have a better future. The cost of giving birth in US and of the upbringing in the first few month is high and many parents get tempted to have their child back home where they can have the support of their extended family. You might be in a different situation but the important thing to remember is that as long as one of the parents is a US citizen, the child can obtain citizenship as well. Here are the different options this can happen:

  1. When a child of two married US citizens is born abroad.

In this case your child can obtain citizenship under section 301 ( c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) if you cover the following requirements. At least one of the parents has to have residence in US before the child was born and the parents need to be legally married and be the legal parents of the child.

  1. When one of the two spouses is not a US citizen

The child of a US citizen and an alien spouses acquires citizenship under Section 301 (g ) of the INA. In order for the child to be eligible for US citizenship the parent with citizenship needs to have at least 5 years residence in US or its territories. Also, that parent needs to be the genetic and legal parent of the child.

  1. When the parents are not married and the mother is a US citizen

If the mother is a US citizen at the time of birth of the child, has lived in US for more than a year prior to birth. The mother should also be considered as a legal parent under the law of the place of birth. If you cover all these requirements, then your child can become a US citizen under Section 309 (c ) of the INA.

  1. When the parents are not married and the father is a US citizen

In such cases the child obtains US citizenship under Section 301 (g ) but here things are a little bit more complicated. There has to be a DNA evidence showing that the father is really the father of the child or the father claims the child under oath and in writing. Of course, it goes without saying – the child can be eligible to become a US citizen only if the father was a US citizen at the time of the birth. Not only that – the father should be a resident of US for at least 5 years prior to the birth and agrees in writing to support that child till their 18th birthday.

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