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Transmission Requirements for U.S. Citizenship
 

Children born abroad to U.S. citizen parents may have a claim to U.S. citizenship. The following is a brief description of the various circumstances under which a child born abroad acquires American citizenship.

Child Born in Wedlock to Two U.S. Citizens

A child born outside of the United States or its outlying possessions to two U.S. citizen parents is entitled to citizenship, provided one of the parents had, prior to the birth of the child, been resident in the United States or one of its outlying possessions. (No specific period of time is required.)

Child Born in Wedlock to One U.S. Citizen Parent and One Non U.S. Citizen Parent on or after November 14, 1986

A child born outside of the United States to one U.S. citizen parent and one non-U.S. citizen parent may be entitled to citizenship providing the U.S. citizen parent had been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for five years, at least two years of which were after s/he reached the age of fourteen. This period of physical presence must have taken place prior to the birth of the child.

Child Born in Wedlock to One U.S. Citizen Parent and One Non-U.S. Citizen Parent between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986

A child born outside of the United States to one U.S. Citizen parent and one non-U.S. Citizen parent, may be entitled to citizenship providing the U.S. Citizen parent had, prior to the birth of the child, been physically present in the United States for a period of ten years, at least five years of which were after s/he reached the age of fourteen.

Child Born Out of Wedlock to a U.S. Citizen Mother

A child born outside of the United States and out of wedlock to a U.S. Citizen mother is entitled to U.S. citizenship providing the U.S. Citizen mother had been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of at least one year at some time prior to the birth of her child. (Note: The U.S. citizen mother must have lived continuously for 1 year in the United States or its outlying possessions. Periods spent overseas with the U.S. government/military or as a government/military dependent, may not be computed as physical presence in the U.S.).

Child Born Out of Wedlock to a U.S. Citizen Father

A child born outside of the United States to an U.S. Citizen father where there is no marriage to the non-American mother is entitled to U.S. Citizenship providing the American citizen father had been physically present in the United States for the period of time as specified in previous paragraphs for children born in wedlock to one U.S. Citizen and one non-U.S. Citizen parent, either before or after November 14, 1986; and

  • the alien mother completes an "Affidavit to establish paternity of child" at this office before a consular officer; and
  • the father signs a sworn statement agreeing to provide financial support for the child until s/he reaches the age of 18 years; and
  • the father provides a written statement acknowledging paternity; or
  • the child is legitimated under local law; or
  • paternity is established by a competent court before the child attains the age of 18 years;

I believe that my child has claim to U.S. Citizenship. What next?

If you believe that your child has a claim to U.S. Citizenship, it will be necessary for the U.S. citizen parent to appear in person at this office in order to execute an application for a "Consular Report of Birth Abroad" before a consular officer. At that time, a passport application may also be executed.