Can You Claim US Citizenship By Birth?
Published July 26, 2022
Yes. To put it simply, almost everyone in the United States and its overseas territories such as Puerto Rico and Guam is considered to have U.S citizenship by birth by the government. However, there are several notable exceptions to this rule that you should know.
In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know regarding the matter. That way, you will know exactly what your current citizenship of the United States status is if you were born there.
U.S Citizenship At Birth:
Nearly all children born in the United States, including in Hawaii and Alaska, are dubbed citizens by the country. Furthermore, the same rule also applies to those who are born in overseas territories such as Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
U.S-Born Children That Don’t Qualify For Citizenship
- Children born in the U.S to parents that both have diplomatic status. Such parents have immunity to most federal laws.
As such, their offspring are labeled as citizens of the parent country of their parents. That being said, parents have the option to file for permanent U.S residency applications for their children so they can remain in the U.S and eventually attain citizenship status.
- Kids who are born in one of the United States’ outlying possessions, which includes but is not limited to Swains Island, American Samoa, and the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands.
Such children lack citizenship but will have “national” status. Because of that, they may reside and work anywhere in the country. However, they still can’t vote during elections.
- An individual born in any of the United States’ outlying possessions with one U.S citizen parent who was partially present in the U.S or its non-contiguous states for a year or beyond before the child’s birth in the given United States outlying possession.
- People born abroad to parents with national but not citizenship status. It does not matter whether either parent has acquired U.S citizenship or residency prior to the child’s birth.
Citizenship At Overseas Birth To U.S Parents
Persons born overseas to married parents are U.S citizens at birth if:
- Both parents are U.S citizens with at least one of them residing in the United States or any of its territories and outlying possessions before the birth of the child abroad.
- One of the parents is a U.S citizen who’s been continuously on United States land for a contiguous year. Meanwhile, the other parent is classified by law as a U.S national.
- One parent is a U.S citizen who was physically present in U.S territory for a total of five years (two of which must be after the age of fourteen) and the other parent is a foreign national.
Anyone born abroad, out of wedlock, to a U.S. citizen mother, is a U.S citizen if:
- The mother was in the United States or any of its territories and outlying possessions for a full twelve months prior to her birth aborad.
Persons born abroad, out of wedlock, to a U.S. citizen father and foreign mother, are U.S. citizens if all these conditions are met:
- The father was physically present in the United States for five years. Two of which have to be after the age of fourteen.
- The father was a U.S citizen by the time of his child’s birth. Has an established blood relationship with his child and a support agreement lasting until the age of eighteen.
- The child was legitimized by the father or a court ruling has established the paternity of said father to the child.
Acquisition Under Child Citizenship Act Of 2000
Children born abroad who were not U.S. citizens at birth automatically acquire U.S. citizenship if the following conditions are met, on or after 02/27/2001:
- At least one parent is a U.S citizen by birth or naturalization.
- The child in question is residing within the United States or any of its territories and is within the legal custody of their U.S citizen parent.
- The child has lawfully been admitted as a permanent U.S resident.
- The child is below the age of eighteen.
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About The Author
Christian Cruz is an experienced blogger with a deep passion for delivering factual advice to his readers. He is part of a family of lawyers, writers, and educators. Over the years, Chris has written about a myriad of topics that have helped many people around the world.