Transmitting Citizenship

Transmission of U.S. citizenship depends on:

  1. At least one parent having the nationality of the United States at the time of the child’s birth;
  2. The existence of a blood relationship between the child and U.S. citizen parent(s);
  3. Documentary evidence demonstrating the U.S. citizen parent(s)’ presence in the United States prior to the child’s birth, as specified in the Transmission Requirements Table below.

Transmission Requirements Table

  Children born outside the U.S. or its outlying possessions may be entitled to U.S. citizenship provided:
Child born IN wedlock to two U.S. citizens: One of the parents had, prior to the birth of the child, been resident in the United States or one of its outlying possessions.  No specific period of time is required.
Child born IN wedlock to one U.S. citizen parent and one non U.S. citizen parent on or after November 14, 1986 The U.S. citizen parent had been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for five years, at least two years of which were after s/he reached the age of fourteen.
Child born OUT OF wedlock to a U.S. citizen FATHER and non-U.S. citizen mother on or after November 14, 1986 The U.S. citizen father had been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for five years, at least two years of which were after they reached the age of fourteen.  In addition, a U.S. citizen father must acknowledge paternity and agree in writing to provide financial support for the child until s/he reaches the age of 18 years. NOTE: Periods spent overseas with the U.S. government or military or as a government or military dependent, are NOT considered as physical presence in the U.S. for transmission under this category.
Child born OUT OF wedlock to a U.S. citizen MOTHER between November 14, 1986 and June 11, 2017. The U.S. citizen mother had been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of at least one year (365 days) at some time prior to the birth of the child.
Child born OUT OF wedlock to a U.S. citizen MOTHER after June 12, 2017. The U.S. citizen mother had been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for five years, at least two years of which were after they reached the age of fourteen.

NOTE: All periods of residence or physical presence must have taken place prior to the birth of the child.

Adopted children or children under 18, born to U.S. citizens who are not eligible for U.S. citizenship as described above may be eligible under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. Further information is available from the Department of State’s website.

Examples of Documentation

Some examples of documentary evidence which may be considered to demonstrate that physical presence requirements have been met may include (but are not limited to):

  • Wage and tax statements (W-2)
  • Academic transcripts
  • Employment records
  • Rental receipts
  • Records of honorable U.S. military service, employment with U.S. Government or certain intergovernmental international organizations; or as a dependent, unmarried child and member of the household of a parent in such service or employment (except where indicated).
  • U.S. passport stamps may be considered a part of the evidence submitted, but should not be the sole documentary evidence. Drivers’ licenses do not constitute evidence of physical presence.

If you have other children who have been issued with a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, this may be considered as supplemental evidence. Please also read important information regarding Supporting Documents.