U.S. law strictly defines how U.S. citizen parent(s) may transmit their U.S. citizenship to a child born outside of the U.S. A parent must have been a U.S. citizen and have spent a certain amount of time physically located in the U.S. prior to the child’s birth in order to transmit citizenship. The exact amount of time has changed as U.S. law addressing citizenship has been amended since 1791.
Time spent outside of the United States for vacation, study, work, religious, research, business or residence does not count as U.S. physical presence. Merely having a place of abode in the U.S. does not by itself constitute physical presence.
Time spent outside of the U.S. as a U.S. Government or international organization direct hire civilian employee or U.S. armed forces member, on orders, and/or as a dependent of such, counts as U.S. physical presence. Time spent outside of the U.S. as a contractor or locally hired U.S. Government employee does not count as U.S. physical presence.
You must submit evidence clearly showing your U.S. presence prior to the child’s birth. Declarations alone are generally insufficient. The burden of proof is solely with the applicant. The following list of suggested documents is not all inclusive and each application will be considered on its own merits:
- school transcripts or report cards, not just diplomas;
- tax records with W2s;
- U.S. Government or international organization assignment orders;
- U.S. armed forces discharge (DD-214) ;
Other documents or evidence that credibly places the subject at a place in the U.S. for a period of time including: banking, medical or work records; and passports or immigration records showing entry and exit.