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I was Born Outside the U.S. to a Citizen Parent and an Alien Parent in Wedlock. Am I a Citizen?

Posted by attorney Jeffrey Devore

The answer to this question will depend upon the date you were born. If you were born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent and an alien parent apply the chart below to determine whether you acquired U.S. citizenship at birth even though you were born outside the United States:

Date of Birth

Transmission Requirements

(Parents’ Residence) [1]

Retention Requirements [2]

BeforeMay 24, 1934

Either U.S. citizen father or mother could transmit. U.S. citizen parent resided in the U.S. before child’s birth.

None

On or after May 24, 1934 (noon EST)

but beforeJanuary 13, 1941

Either U.S. citizen father or mother could transmit.

U.S. citizen parent resided in U.S. before child’s birth.

1) 5 years or residence between the ages of 13-21 if begun before 12/24/1952; or

2) 2 years of continuous physical presence between ages 14-28; [3] or

3) 5 years continuous physical presence between ages 14-28 if begun before 10/27/1972. [4]

4) None if parent employed in certain occupation. [5]

5) None if alien parent naturalized and child began to reside permanently in the U.S. while under the age of 18.

On or afterJanuary 13, 1941,

but beforeDecember 24, 1952

Citizen parent resided in U.S. or possession 10 years prior to child’s birth, five of which after the age of 16.

1) 2 years of continuous physical presence between ages 14-28; [6] or

2) 5 years continuous physical presence between ages 14-28 if begun before 10/27/1972. [7]

3) None if parent employed in certain occupation. [8]

4) None if child born on or after 10/10/1952.

5) None if alien parent naturalized and child began to reside permanently in the U.S. while under the age of 18.

Citizen parent in U.S. military 12/07/1941 to 12/31/1946 and resided in the U.S. or possession 10 years prior to child’s birth, five of which after age 12.

1) 2 years of continuous physical presence between ages 14-28. [9] or

2) 5 years continuous physical presence between ages 14-28 if begun before 10/27/1972. [10]

3) None if child born on or after 10/10/1952.

4) None if alien parent naturalized and child began to reside permanently in the U.S. while under the age of 18

Citizen parent in U.S. military 01/01/1947 to 12/24/1952 and physically present in the U.S. or possession 10 years prior to child’s birth, five of which after age 14.

1) 2 years of continuous physical presence between ages 14-28; [11] or

2) 5 years continuous physical presence between ages 14-28 if begun before 10/27/1972. [12]

3) None if child born on or after 10/10/1952.

4) None if alien parent naturalized and child began to reside permanently in the U.S. while under the age of 18

On or afterDecember 24, 1952,

but beforeNovember 14, 1986

Citizen parent physically present in the U.S. or possession 10 years prior to child’s birth, five of which after age 14. Honorable U.S. military service, employment with U.S. government or intergovernmental international organization, or as dependent unmarried son or daughter and member of the household of parent in such service or employment may be included.

None

On or after November 14, 1986

Citizen parent physically present in the U.S. or possession 5 years prior to child’s birth, two of which after age 14. Honorable U.S. military service, employment with U.S. government or intergovernmental international organization, or as dependent unmarried son or daughter and member of the household of parent in such service or employment may be included.

None

[1] In all cases residence must take place prior to the child’s birth. The law does not define how long residence must be.

[2] Persons failing to fulfill below requirements may have U.S. citizenship restored upon taking oath of allegiance.

[3] Absences of less than 60 days in aggregate during the 2 year period do not beak continuity.

[4] Absences of less than one year in aggregate during the 5 year period do not break continuity.

[5] U.S. Government, American education, scientific, philanthropic, religious, commercial, or financial organization or an International agency in which the U.S. takes part.

[6] Absences of less than 60 days in aggregate during the 2 year period do not beak continuity.

[7] Absences of less than one year in aggregate during the 5 year period do not break continuity.

[8] U.S. Government, American education, scientific, philanthropic, religious, commercial, or financial organization or an International agency in which the U.S. takes part.

[9] Absences of less than 60 days in aggregate during the 2 year period do not beak continuity.

[10] Absences of less than one year in aggregate during the 5 year period do not break continuity.

[11] Absences of less than 60 days in aggregate during the 2 year period do not beak continuity.

[12] Absences of less than one year in aggregate during the 5 year period do not break continuity.

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