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Citizenship at birth for children born outside the U.S

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There are two official ways to obtain citizenship through U.S. citizen parents. The first one at birth and the second one after birth but before the age of 18.  The term “parents” include:  the genetic father, the genetic mother, and the non-genetic gestational mother, if she is the legal parent at the time of birth under the law of the relevant jurisdiction.

Citizenship at Birth for all Children that are born outside the U.S and its territories.

In a general, a Child Born outside the United States is a Citizen at Birth when the Child’s Parents Are Married to each other at the Time of Birth IF…

  • At the time of the birth, both parents are U.S. citizens
  • At the time of the birth, one parent is a U.S. citizen and the birthdate is on or after November 14, 1986

AND…

At least one of his/her parents lived in the U.S. or its territories prior to the birth.

The U.S. citizen parent had been physically present in the United States for at least five years at some time in his/ her life prior to the birth.

If the U.S. citizen parent spent time abroad in any of the following three capacities, this can also be counted towards the physical presence requirement:

  • Has honorably served in the U.S. armed forces;
  • Has been employed with the U.S. government; or
  • Employed with certain international organizations.

Additionally, another thing that can be counted is the time spent abroad by the U.S. citizen parent while the U.S. citizen parent was the unmarried son or daughter and a member of the household of a person who meets any of the three conditions listed above.

Every child born outside the U.S. is a Citizen at Birth when the Child’s Parents Are Not Married to each other the birth happens…IF

  • At the time of the birth, the genetic or non-genetic gestational legal mother is a U.S. citizen, and the birth date is after December 23, 1952.
  • The mother had previously been physically present in the United States
  • At the time of the birth, the genetic father is a U.S. citizen, the mother is an alien, and the birthdate is on or after November 14, 1986

AND…

  • A convincing evidence by a blood relationship between the person and the father is established .
  • At the time of the person’s birth, the father had the nationality of the United States
  • The father has agreed in writing to provide financial support for the person until the person reaches the age of 18 years, and
  • While the person is under the age of 18 years one of the following occurs:
  • The person is legitimated under the law of the person’s residence or domicile
  • The father acknowledges paternity of the person in writing under oath, or
  • The paternity of the person is established by adjudication of a competent court, and
  • The U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the U.S. or its territories for a period of at least 5 years at some time in his or her life prior to the birth, at least 2 of which were after his or her 14th birthday.

Also, towards the physical presence requirement, if the U.S. citizen parent spent time abroad in any of the following three capacities, can also be counted:

  • Serving honorably in the U.S. armed forces;
  • Employed with the U.S. government; or
  • Employed with certain international organizations.

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