How can one obtain citizenship through parents?

Individuals often ask what the laws are surrounding citizenship through his or her parents. There are a number of different situations that can allow a child to become a United States citizen at birth. If both parents are citizens of the United States at the time the child is born and at least one of the parents lived in the U.S. before the child’s birth, they will be born a U.S. citizen. This generally holds true even if the child is born outside of the United States.

Another question that arises is how citizenship through a parent works if the parents are not married and one of them is not a citizen. If the child’s mother is a U.S. citizen at the time the child was born and she had been physically present in the U.S. for at least one continuous year prior to the birth, the child is born a U.S. citizen. It is a little more complicated when determining citizenship at birth if the father is the U.S. citizen and the mother is not. The parents must prove that

  • there is a convincing and clear blood relationship between the child and the father;
  • the father had U.S. nationality at the time of the child’s birth;
  • the father has signed a written agreement to financially support the child until they turn 18;
  • the father acknowledges paternity in a written oath or the paternity is established by a court

If you have questions about determining citizenship at birth, contact our firm today.

John Sesini is an experienced immigration attorney with offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin. If you have any questions regarding these matters, please contact the Sesini Law Group, S.C. and obtain your initial consultation.

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