Is Your Child a U.S. Citizen if Born Abroad ?
The aim of 2001 Child Citizenship Act was to simplify the process of providing citizenship to the foreign -born children of American citizens.
It is evaluated that in America between 4 and 10 million U.S. citizens live abroad.
Most of these Americans have children in their current home country America.
In general, a child born in a foreign country with one U.S. citizen parent is allowed to American citizenship.
What is U.S. Citizenship ?
America citizenship is determined by one’s place of birth, which follows the English common law rule of “right of soil”.
Those born in the U.S. or its territories like Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam are American citizens regardless of their parent’s Citizenship status.
Those born within U.S. ports and dockyard or within 12 marine miles of U.S. borders are also American citizens.
Also babies born in planes flying over the U.S. or its territories acquire U.S. citizenship.
The country of origin ship or plane’s makes no difference about citizenship.
So,delivering a baby at a U.S. naval base or embassy in a foreign country doesn’t entitle the baby to U.S. citizenship.
What is the Child Citizenship Act ?
As the “citizenship by birth” rules have been complicated, the Child Citizenship Act (CCA) February 2001 simplified the process.
Now the child under the age of 18, was born outside the U.S., and has at least one U.S. citizen parent automatically acquires U.S. citizenship after entry into the country as an immigrant. There is no need of any paperwork. The parent may apply a Certificate of Citizenship and U.S. Passport for the child of proof of the baby’s American-ness is desired
This process applies only to the children permanently residing in the U.S. . If the child is under 19, was born outside the United States, but lives abroad in the physical and legal custody of a U.S. citizen parent or U.S. citizen grandparent, then the parent or grandparent must apply for the naturalization of the child.
Parent or grandparent of the U.S. citizen must have been present physically in the U.S. for five years before the children’s birth, at least two of which were after age 14.
For the naturalization process and to deliver the oath of allegiance the child must be temporarily present in the U.S . However,this requirement may be waived if the child is too young to understand the oath.
The foreign-born, foreign-resident babies gain not only a certificate of citizenship but also membership into an exclusive club at the naturalization ceremony.
Citizenship Rules Change
As with other areas of immigration and naturalization, the time guidelines often change.The children born on or after the effective date of the CCA,these rules only apply to them. The law which was in place at the time of the child’s birth governs the immigration, therefore research carefully.
You may contact with your local embassy for the latest law if you are expecting a child abroad and want to be sure of your baby’s citizenship.
The first step in beginning your child’s claim to U.S. citizenship at birth is that, as soon as possible you should register your child’s birth with the embassy.