Is A Child Born Overseas to a US Parent A US Citizen?

Is a child born overseas to a US Parent also a US Citizen? The answer is complicated, and requires the answering of many questions.

Questions that need to be answered include, which parent is a US citizen (or is both), how long that US citizen was physically present in the United States before the child’s birth, and whether the parents are married, among others.     The following are the standards for children recently born.   For individuals born in the not-so-recent past, the requirements are different.

To see whether a particular person qualifies and is a US citizen, please contact a citizenship and naturalization attorney to review your case.

Are Children Born to two US citizens and outside of the United States US Citizens?

Right now, it is necessary for at least one parent to have resided in the United States prior to the child’s birth, in order for the child to be a US citizen.

Are Children Born Outside of the United States to Married Parents, one of whom is a US Citizen, US Citizens?

Right now, a child born outside of the US to a married couple, one of whom is a US citizen, must demonstrate that the US citizen parent was physically present in the United States for at least five years prior to the child’s birth.  In addition, at least two of those years need to be after the U.S. citizen parent was 14 years old.

Are Children Born Outside of Wedlock and Outside of the United States to a Mother who is a US Citizen, US Citizens?

Right now, children born outside of the US to unmarried U.S. citizen mothers will qualify for U.S. citizenship if the mother was physically present in the United States for 12 continuous months prior to the child’s birth.

Are Children Born Outside of Wedlock and Outside of United States to a Father is a US Citizen, US Citizens?

Right now, children must show that the US citizen father  resided in the US for at least five years prior to the child’s birth.  Further, two of those years must have been after age 14.  In addition, it is necessary for the father to agree to certain conditions.

But How Does a US Citizen Child Show US Citizenship?

A US citizen born overseas does not have immediate documentation to proof of his or her US citizenship.  Instead, US citizen children must present the necessary information to get proof of citizenship from the US government.  Most often, this is accomplished by a US citizen’s parents obtaining a Consular Report of a Birth Abroad.

To learn what is needed to obtain a Consular Report of a Birth Abroad, please contact a NYC citizenship lawyer.

Servicemembers Granted Citizenship Through Service

The USCIS recently announced that 11,146 Service members become U.S. citizens in fiscal year 2010.  That is the highest number of naturalized service members since 1955.   The number is also a 6 percent increase from fiscal year 2009.

Immigrants who are service members are able to obtain U.S. citizenship without meeting many of the requirements normally required by non-service member immigrants.  Those serving since 9/11 have an even easier process.  Over 65,000 have naturalized since 9/11.

However, even service members need to make sure they are eligible to naturalize before starting the process.

If you are thinking about naturalizing, please immediately contact a naturalization lawyer the ensure eligiblity.

Helping Your Parents As A Newly Naturalized U.S. Citizen

As a newly naturalized U.S. citizen, it is now possible to help your parents immigrate to the United States.  In fact, the process is one of the fastest ways for a foreign national to obtain permanent residency (a green card) in the United States.

The Rule:
A U.S. citizen, who is 21 years old or older, may petition to sponsor his or her parents to become lawful permanent residents of the United States.

The Highlights:

  • The U.S. citizen must be 21 years or older
  • In most cases it does not matter that the parent has no current immigration status or has previously overstayed an immigration status
  • In most cases, it does not matter if the parent has previously engaged in undocumented work in the United States
  • In certain circumstances, it may be possible for an adopted child to sponsor his or her adoption parents

Your Parents Helped You Grow Up, Now Its Your Time To Help Them.

If you are interested in learning more about the options available to you and your parents, please do not hesitate to contact Gafner Law Firm.

Recent Naturalization Application Changes

Without warning and effectively immediately, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service has changed the address where an applicant must send an application for naturalization.   Although the change is only a minor procedural change, it represents a major hindrance to those applicants who are unaware of the change.   If an applicant submits an application to the wrong address, the application will almost certainly be returned and the application will be delayed.

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