Acquisition of Citizenship
Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by Birth Abroad to Parents, one of whom is a U.S Citizen, and the other a non-U.S Citizen – There are two requirements for transmitting U.S. citizenship to children born abroad to parents when one of them is a U.S Citizen and the other is a non-U.S Citizen. The law applicable is the law in effect when the child was born. One natural parent must have been a U.S. citizen when the child was born. The U.S. citizen parent must have resided or been physically present in the United States for the time required by the law, in effect, when the child was born.
The Immigration Act of 1952 required a U.S. citizen married to a non-U.S Citizen to have been physically present in the United States for ten years, including five years after reaching the age of fourteen,in order to transmit citizenship to foreign-born children. The ten-year transmission requirement remained in effect from December 24, 1952, through November 13, 1986, and still is applicable to persons born during that period.
The Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1986 changed the parental citizenship transmission requirements from ten years of physical presence in the United States, five of which were after the age of 14, to five years of physical presence in the United States, two of which were after age 14. These provisions apply to persons born on or after November 14, 1986. This is currently the position of the law today.
Evidence must be sufficient to show that the foreign-born U.S citizen parent was in the United States for the required period of time, in order for a foreign-born child to obtain or derive U.S citizenship at birth.
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