In an increasingly globalized world, it is more and more common for people
to study abroad, take jobs in another country, and spend time traveling.
It is possible when a person leaves the United States that they may find
themselves building a life elsewhere, including getting married and having
children, however, this can pose a problem for a child's citizenship.
Children Born Abroad to U.S. Parents are Citizens
A child born outside of the country to a parent that is a United States
citizen is also a citizen of the United States. If a child is born without
a United States birth certificate, they must prove their citizenship before
obtaining documents that detail their
A parent that is a U.S. citizen can file the birth of their child with
the U.S. consulate in the country they live any time before the child
is five years old. The child will receive a Consular Registration of Birth
Abroad which acts as proof of citizenship, similar to the way a U.S. birth
If a child never received or lost this document from the U.S. consulate,
then the individual must apply for a birth certificate or a certificate
of citizenship to prove United States citizenship.
Proving United States Citizenship
There are two different ways a person born outside the United States to
parents that are U.S. citizens, either through birth or naturalization,
can prove their citizenship.
The two documents that can prove United States citizenship are:
- A United States passport that can be obtained at passport offices within
the United States or from a consulate office abroad; or
Certificate of citizenship from the U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services found within the United States
Options for Citizenship Proof
A passport will require a person to prove their parents' citizenship
through their birth certificate or naturalization papers, work or tax
records that show their parent's residency requirements, records that
show the person has been living and working in the United States, and
statements explaining why they did not access their citizenship rights
before the age of five. These documents are required in addition to the
standard proof of identity required to apply for a passport.
If a person's parents were not born citizens of the United States but
became naturalized as citizens, filing for a certificate of citizenship
may be a better option. While this process can take longer than filing
for a passport, the documents needed in this case may be easier to obtain.
When filing for a certificate of citizenship you will need parents'
birth records, marriage records, and naturalization certificates, as well
as your own birth certificate and potential name change records.
American citizenship is a right granted to those who have been born even
outside of the United States to American parents. Proving citizenship
can be difficult and requires the collection of paperwork that not every
person may have access to. Immigration attorneys can help a person navigate
any issues and concerns that may arise in the process. If documents are
missing, there is no need to despair! Calling an experienced Winter Park
immigration attorney to help the process can ease the stress of filing
Contact Robert Brown LLC in Winter Park, FL today.