The USCIS issued a statement last week regarding a change of citizenship status for some children of U.S. military members and government officials who were born overseas. Essentially, the guidance rescinds previously established USCIS policy, which stated certain children who were born and lived outside of the United States were considered “residing in” the United States. Following the change, these parents must now follow a new process to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship for the children.
Essentially, this policy seeks to explain the distinction between residence and physical presence in the United States, establish that temporary visits to the U.S. do not justify residence, and to explain that the USCIS no longer considers these children to be “residing in the United States” for citizenship purposes.
The policy will affect a relatively small amount of people, some of whom include non-citizen children who were adopted by a U.S. citizen, U.S. government employee, or U.S. service member after their birth. It may also affect children with non-citizen parents such as lawful permanent resident government employees or service members who naturalized after the child was born. Lastly, the new policy may affect children who were born to two U.S. Citizen government employees or service members who did not meet the residence or physical presence requirements to transmit citizenship to their child at birth.
However, this policy’s scope is rather narrow. For instance, you will not be affected by this policy if you:
- Were born to unmarried parents, one of whom is a U.S. citizen and one a foreign national, if the U.S. citizen parent meets the requirements listed in INA 309
- Are otherwise eligible to receive a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) or a Certificate of Citizenship documenting U.S. citizenship acquired at birth
- Are residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of your U.S. citizen parent after being lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence
- Were born to two U.S. citizen parents, at least one of whom has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions before you were birth
- Were born to married parents, one of whom is a U.S. citizen and one a foreign national, if your U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the U.S. or one of its outlying possessions for at least five years, at least two of which were after they turned 14 years old
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John Sesini is an experienced immigration attorney with offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin. Our firm understands what is at stake when it comes to immigration law matters, which is why If you have any questions, you should not hesitate to contact the Sesini Law Group, S.C. and schedule your initial consultation with our firm today.