Transmission of U.S. citizenship depends on:
- At least one parent having the nationality of the United States at the time of the child’s birth;
- The existence of a blood relationship between the child and U.S. citizen parent(s);
- Documentary evidence demonstrating the U.S. citizen parent(s)’ presence in the United States prior to the child’s birth, as specified in the Transmission Requirements Table below.
Examples of Documentation
- Wage and tax statements (W-2)
- Academic transcripts
- Employment records
- Rental receipts
- Records of honorable U.S. military service, employment with U.S. Government or certain intergovernmental international organizations; or as a dependent, unmarried child and member of the household of a parent in such service or employment (except where indicated).
- U.S. passport stamps may be considered a part of the evidence submitted, but should not be the sole documentary evidence. Drivers’ licenses do not constitute evidence of physical presence.
If you have other children who have been issued with a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, this may be considered as supplemental evidence. Please also read important information regarding Supporting Documents.
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 before June 12, 2017: 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 mother on or after June 12, 2017: A child born outside of the United States and out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother and a non-U.S. citizen father is entitled to U.S. citizenship if the U.S. Citizen mother was physically present in the United States for five years prior to the child’s birth – two of these years must have been after the mother’s age of 14.
Child born out of wedlock to a U.S. Citizen father: A child born outside of the United States out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen father and non-U.S. citizen mother and not legitimated by the natural parents’ subsequent marriage can be legitimated under the Immigration and Nationality Act by the method indicated below.
The child can be legitimated if:
- While the child is under the age of 18 years old, the father acknowledged paternity of the person in writing under oath or the paternity of the person was established by adjudication of a competent court, and
- Before the child reached the age of 18, the father (unless deceased before the applicant’s 18th birthday) agreed in writing and under oath to provide financial support for the applicant until the applicant reaches the age of 18 years old. (NOTE: The father should complete the form “Affidavit of Parentage, Physical Presence and Support” (DS-5507), in conjunction with a CRBA application, to satisfy the requirements for legitimation.
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.
Children of American citizen parents who are not eligible for U.S. citizenship at birth may be able to acquire U.S. citizenship through expeditious naturalization or an immigrant visa.