Guide to Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by Birth Abroad

Our newest publication is now available: Guide to Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by Birth Abroad covers the legal requirements for a child born abroad to automatically acquire U.S. citizenship at birth, as well as the procedures to apply for a U.S. passport, consular report of birth abroad (CRBA), and/or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Certificate of Citizenship.

You can download the article here:

The law sets forth different legal requirements for U.S. citizenship depending on the following factors:

  • Child born to two U.S. citizen parents:  A child is a citizen at birth if one parent has had a residence in the U.S. for at least 1 year prior to the birth.
  • Child born to one U.S. citizen parent in wedlock: A child is a citizen at birth if that parent was previously physically present in the U.S. or its outlying possessions for periods totaling not less than 5 years, at least 2 of which were after age 14.
  • Child born to U.S. citizen father out of wedlock: the child is a citizen at birth if: (a) the blood relationship between the father and child is established; (b) the father was previously physically present in the U.S. or its outlying possessions for periods totaling not less than 5 years, at least 2 of which were after age 14; (c) the father (unless deceased) has agreed in writing to provide financial support for the child until age 18; and (d) while the child is under age 18, the child is legitimated under the law of his or her residence or domicile, the father acknowledges paternity in writing under oath, or paternity is established by adjudication of a competent court.
  • Child born to U.S. citizen mother out of wedlock: the child is a citizen if the mother was previously physically present in the U.S. for a continuous period of 1 year.

The article covers current topics, including births through extramarital relationships, artificial reproductive technology (ART), and gestational surrogacy.

Check it out. Feel free to ask questions or give feedback in the below comments section. And feel free to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.

5 Replies to “Guide to Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by Birth Abroad”

  1. Thank you for the article. In the case of ‘child born to one U.S. citizen parent in wedlock’, does the citizen parent have to be present in the US (for at least 5 years) as a citizen or would any kind of legal presence count? For example, would it satisfy the requirement, if someone lived in the US for 15 years as a permanent resident, then got their citizenship but only lived there a year as a citizen?

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