Believe it or not – someone you know (including you!) may be unaware that he or she is a U.S. citizen by operation of law. Every year many people waste hundreds of dollars applying for green cards and/or citizenship via naturalization when they are already a U.S. citizen by law. Even worse, thousands of U.S. citizens end up being deported from the U.S. because they either do not know, or cannot prove, that they are U.S. citizens. How can this happen?
- A child was born outside the U.S. to a U.S. citizen mother or father and “acquired” U.S. citizenship at birth from the parent, or
- A child was a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident (green card holder) for a required period of time and “derived” U.S. citizenship from a later event – usually either adoption by a U.S. citizen parent, or when the parent became a naturalized citizen while the child was under 18.
U.S. CITIZENSHIP ACQUIRED THROUGH A PARENT AT BIRTH
This video discusses how you may have acquired U.S. citizenship at birth from a U.S. citizen parent. The most important thing to note about citizenship through a U.S. citizen parent – both acquired at birth or derived from a later event – is that as soon as all of the requirements were met – the child became a U.S. citizen by law, and that fact does not change over time. So a person could be well into adulthood, even retired, and still have a valid claim to U.S. citizenship from either birth or from an event that happened before the person turned 18 years old. If you are a U.S. citizen by law, it is never too late to file paperwork to receive confirmation of your U.S. citizenship status.
To learn what to do if you think you may be a U.S. citizen via a parent from birth, check out this video:Invalid LeadPlayer video - ID not found!
U.S. CITIZENSHIP DERIVED THROUGH A PARENT AFTER BIRTH BUT BEFORE AGE 18
If you did not acquire citizenship at birth, but you were a Legal Permanent Resident who (1) was adopted as a child by a U.S. citizen as a child, or (2) your parent became a naturalized citizen before you turned 18, you may also be a U.S. citizen by law. You can learn more about this by checking out this article.
- Your name, your full date of birth, and your country of birth
- Which parent was a US citizen at the time of your birth? (Mother, Father, or Both)
- Your U.S. citizen parent’s date of birth (if known)
- Were your parents married to each other at the time of your birth? (Yes or No)
- If your parents were not married to each other at the time of your birth, did they later marry each other? (Yes or No)
You may also contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you believe you may have derived citizenship through adoption by a U.S. citizen parent or if your parent became a naturalized citizen before you turned 18. Please provide the same information as above, as well as
- The date you became a Legal Permanent Resident
- The date you were either adopted by a U.S. citizen parent or the date your parent became a naturalized citizen