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Long Island Citizenship Acquisition Lawyer


Citizenship Through Acquisition

If a person was born abroad, and if this person’s parent or parents are US citizens, then that person may have automatically acquired citizenship. For U.S. citizenship through acquisition, the U.S. citizen parent or parents must have resided or be physically present in the U.S. for certain periods of time before the child’s birth in order to transmit citizenship.  This is different from obtaining citizenship through derivation which has other requirements.

In order for an individual to identify whether they have acquired citizenship, the person must carefully note when and where they were born, when one’s parents were married as well as whether one’s citizen parent or parents satisfy the residency requirements.  This is because, like citizenship through derivation, the law has changed over the years and the law in effect on the date of the claimant’s birth is the law that governs.

Children Born To a U.S. Citizen Parent or U.S. Citizen Parents

For children born on or after November 14, 1986, the current requirements for U.S. citizenship through acquisition for a child born abroad are as follows:

  • If both the child’s parents are U.S. citizens, then the child need only show that one parent was physically present in the United States for at least one day anytime prior to the child’s birth.
  • If the child has a U.S. citizen parent and a foreign national parent, then the U.S. citizen parent generally needed to have been present in the U.S. for at least five years prior to the child’s birth, two of which after age 14.

Children Born Out of Wedlock

The acquisition rules governing children born out of wedlock (born of parents who are not married) is quite complex.

  • If the child was born out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother, then the mother must have been physically present in the U.S. continuously for 12 months prior to the child’s birth.
  • If the child the child was born out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen father, then the father must: 1) have been physically present in the U.S. five years prior to the child’s birth, two of which were after 14; 2) must have been a US citizen at the time of the child’s birth; 3) agrees in writing to support the child until 18 years; 4) blood relationship between father and child is established; and 5) Before the child is age 18, the child is legitimated under the law of his/her residence or domicile; or the father states in writing that he is the father of the child under oath; or the paternity of the child is established by a competent court.

If you believe that you have acquired U.S. citizenship or are a parent who needs assistance concerning your child’s citizenship, contact the Law Firm of Kyce Siddiqi right away.