US Citizenship through Parents

Updated on Monday 05th September 2016

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The US citizenship through parents can be obtained if a child is born with parents which are U.S. citizens, or after birth, however before the young individual turns 18 years of age. Our immigration lawyers in Miami can provide further information on this subject. 

Being born in the U.S. or in a U.S. territory

A child born in the U.S. or in a territory of the U.S. obtains automatically the right to be a citizen of the country. Exceptions are the cases when the child is born to a foreign government official who is found in the U.S. at the birth date. 

Children who are born in some U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands or Guam, can obtain the U.S. citizenship through parents as well if at least one of his or her parents has the U.S. citizenship and actually resided in the U.S. for one year continuously at any moment before the child’s birth. 

According to the immigration legislation in Miami and the U.S., a person who obtains the U.S. citizenship through parents is able to retain it for his or her entire lifetime except if he or she gives it up voluntarily.

Children born with naturalized parents

Children born outside the U.S. can also obtain the U.S. citizenship through a parent who becomes a naturalized citizen of the country, which is called a derivative citizenship. According to the current legislation, in order to receive the derivative U.S. citizenship through parents, the following requirements have to be met:

•    the child has to be under 18 years of age;
•    he or she must have at least one parent with the U.S. citizenship either by birth or by naturalization;
•    the minor has to be a green card holder;
•    the young person has to live in the country in the custody of the parent who is a citizen of the U.S.

Children born with parents who are U.S. citizens

In many cases, despite the fact that a child is born outside the country, if at least one parent was a citizen of the U.S. when the child was born, the later automatically obtains the U.S. citizenship. If the child later gets married and has children, they could also acquire the U.S. citizenship when they are born.

If you are interested in obtaining the U.S. citizenship through parents, an immigration attorney in Miami can provide guidance in overcoming the complex application procedure; we invite you to get in touch with us.


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