Acquisition Of Citizenship For Children Born Outside The U.S. In Wedlock
This Acquisition of US Citizenship chart shows how a child born abroad in wedlock to US citizen parent(s) can acquire US citizenship at birth. These laws charged in 1934, in 1940, in 1952 and again in 1986.
Whether the child acquired US citizenship at birth depends on the following factors: (1) the child’s date of birth; (2) whether one parent or both parents were US citizens at the time that the child was born; and (3) in some instances, the length of time that the parent(s) resided or were physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions (OLPs) regardless of the immigration status of the parent(s) at that time.
Attorney Carl Shusterman served as a Citizenship Attorney for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) from 1976 to 1982, and decided hundreds of such applications (N-600s) for US citizenship.
We hope that the following chart aids you in determining whether you, or your child, acquires US citizenship at birth.
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Nationality Chart # 1
|PERIOD STEP 1||PARENTS STEP 2||USC PARENT STEP 3||CHILD STEP 4|
|Period in which child was born.||Citizenship of the parents at time of child’s birth.||Determine if residence requirement was met prior to the birth of the child. If yes, the child was a USC at birth.||Determine if child has lost U.S. citizenship. The child lost on the date it became impossible to meet the retention requirements.|
|Either parent a USC*||U.S. citizen had resided in the U.S.||NONE|
|On/after 5/24/34 and prior to 1/13/41||Both USCs||One parent had resided in the U.S.||NONE|
|One USC and one alien||USC parent had resided in the U.S.||** 5 years residence in the U.S. or its OLP between ages 13 and 21. (Must start before age 16.)|
|On/after 1/13/41 and prior to 12/24/52||One USC and one alien||USC had resided in the U.S. or OLP for 10 years, at least 5 of which were after age 16. EXCEPTIONS for honorable service in U.S. Armed Forces: 1. Between 12/7/41 & 12/31/46, 5 of the required 10 years must have been after age 12. 2. Between 1/1/47 & 12/24/52, 10 years physical presence, at least 5 of which were after age 14. Note 3||OR ** 2 years continuous physical presence in U.S. between ages of 14 and 28. (Must start before age 26.) OR ** NONE, if at time of child’s birth, USC parent was employed by the U.S. Government or a specified U.S. organization . does not apply if parent used an exception. Notes 1, 2, 4|
|Both USCs||One had resided in the U.S. or OLP Note 3||NONE|
|On/after 12/24/52 and prior to 11/14/86||Both USCs||One had resided in the U.S. or OLP Note 3||NONE|
|One USC and one alien||USC physically present in U.S. or OLP 10 years, at least 5 after age 14. Note 3||NONE|
|On/after 11/14/86||Both USCs||One had resided in the U.S. or OLP N ote 3||NONE|
|One USC and one alien||USC physically present in U.S. or OLP 5 years, at least 2 after the age of 14. Note 3||NONE|
1. Absence of less than 12 months in the aggregate will not break residence; absence of less than 60 days in the aggregate will not break continuity of physical presence. Honorable service in the U.S. Armed Forces counts as residence or physical presence.
2. A child is relieved from the retention requirements if, prior to his 18th birthday, the child begins to reside permanently in the U.S. and the alien parent naturalizes.
3. Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization OR as the dependent unmarried son or daughter member of the household of such employee.
4. Public Law 95-432 of October 10, 1978 repealed retention requirements prospectively only. Anyone born on or after 10/11/52 (i.e., not age 26 on 10/10/78) no longer had retention requirements.
* Mother added because of Technical Amendments of 1994.
** Retention requirements were repealed because of Technical Amendments of 1994, which made a process available for restoration.