There are four main ways to become a U.S. citizen and two of those entail being eligible for citizenship through your parents.
Many people who were not born in this country may be eligible for citizenship without even realizing it.
Generally, if you were born in the United States, you will be a citizen through birth, so the status of your parents won’t be relevant to your status. The only children born in the United States who don’t receive citizenship as a result of being born on U.S. soil are those of diplomats or other classifications of officials from foreign countries.
Methods of Obtaining Citizenship Through Your Parents
If you were born to parents who are U.S. citizens, you may be a citizen yourself through a process known as “acquisition of citizenship.” If one or both of your parents are naturalized, you may become a citizen through “derivation of citizenship.”
Citizenship by Being Born to U.S. Citizens
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a child born outside the United States is a citizen at birth when the parents are married to each other and both are U.S. citizens or one parent is a citizen and the birthdate is after Nov. 14, 1986.
If the child’s mother and father are not married, the child is a U.S. citizen at birth, if the genetic or non-genetic gestational legal mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of birth. The birth date should be after December 23, 1952.
If the mother is not a citizen, the genetic father should be a U.S. citizen at the time of birth, and the birthdate should be on or after November 14, 1986.
There are other qualifiers relating to physical presence terms of parents in the U.S. and establishing clear evidence of the blood relationship between the parent and the child.
The laws regarding citizenship through acquisition are among the most complicated in the field of immigration. It makes sense to hire an experienced Texas family citizenship lawyer to help you out.
Derivation of Citizenship Through Naturalized Parents
A child can gain citizenship through derivation. At least one of the child’s parents must be a U.S. citizen via naturalization. Also, at the time the parent becomes a naturalized citizen, the child must hold a green card, be under 18, and reside with the parent.
Children who gain citizenship through this route do not have to go through the normal naturalization process of taking a test.
As with “acquisition of citizenship’, the laws relating to derivation have changed considerably and the date of the parents’ naturalization is relevant to applications.
It makes sense to hire an experienced Austin family immigration lawyer in these highly complicated cases. Call us today for a consultation at (512) 474-4445.