Is your child a citizen?
(Last updated 19 May, 2017)
- 0.1 The Real Truth
- 0.2 If You Are A US Citizen, Your Child Is Also A US Citizen
- 0.3 But As The US Parent You Have A Responsibility
- 0.4 If The Parents Are Married
- 0.5 If The Parents Are Not Married
- 0.6 Your Chid Is NOT Automatically a US Citizen
- 0.7 But Don’t Forget That Five year Rule
- 0.8 Regardless Of All These Technical Details, the CRBA Process Is A MUST
- 0.9 You Don’t Want To Drag Your Feet On This
- 0.10 As The Ranch Foreman Always Told Us When There Was a Job Of Work Waiting:
- 1 Related Posts
- 2 Readers who viewed this page, also viewed:
- 3 Share this Article:
Wow there’s a common question … also the subject of one of the most popular and most frequently commented upon post here on PhilFAQS.
A while back I received a comment from a gentleman who uses the name Heinrich who was quite emphatic in replying to another reader. This in particular distressed me a little because Heinrich was mistaken in his very direct and possibly demeaning reply.
When I called this to his attention his reply to me was a bit more curt:
Well should I use less certainty in my responses when I am right? Do you prefer misinformation?
A child born abroad to US Citizens are not US Citizens and not entitled to US Citizenship. You can read that on the US Embassy’s website or the DOS.
There is absolutely nothing in the law that says a husband has to “register” the child at the US Embassy.
The CRBA does not serve as a US Birth Certificate. It is a CRBA. And it does not give one the right to “just ask” for a US Passport. One still needs to apply, pay the fees, and meet all the requirements. Of which, the CRBA is not one of them.
Don’t know what your purpose is making up lies online…but at least this should help others with the misinformation.
The Real Truth
I don’t publish lies here. I may have made mistakes, and will probably make more in the future … one of the risks of putting yourself out to the public. When brought to my attention I will be glad to acknowledge and correct mistakes, but registering your child overseas has nothing to do with lying.
It’s something that you need to do, certainly if you are an American citizen parent.
If You Are A US Citizen, Your Child Is Also A US Citizen
This is true no matter where your child is born, no matter what the citizenship of the child’s other parent, no matter if you and the other parent are married or not …s/he becomes a US Citizen at birth.
(with one important exception we will cover a little later in this article.)
There’s no question about this, nothing to debate and nothing you, as the US parent can control about it.
But As The US Parent You Have A Responsibility
The basics on who qualifies as a US Citizen at birth:
If The Parents Are Married
|In a general, a Child Born Outside the U.S. is a Citizen at Birth when the Child’s Parents Are Married to each other at the Time of Birth IF…||AND…|
|Both parents are U.S. citizens at the time of birth,||At least one parent lived in the U.S. or its territories prior to the birth.|
|One parent is a U.S. citizen at the time of birth and the birthdate is on or after November 14, 1986||The U.S. citizen parent had been physically present in the U.S. or its territories for a period of at least five years at some time in his or her life prior to the birth, of which at least two years were after his or her 14th birthday.|
If The Parents Are Not Married
|In general, a Child Born Outside the U.S. is a Citizen at Birth when the Child’s Parents Are Not Married to each other at the Time of Birth…IF||AND…|
|The genetic or non-genetic gestational legal mother is a U.S. citizen at the time of birth, and the birth date is after December 23, 1952||The mother had previously been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of at least one year.|
|The genetic father is a U.S. citizen at the time of birth, the mother is an alien, and the birthdate is on or after November 14, 1986||
The U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the U.S. or its territories for a period of at least 5 years at some time in his or her life prior to the birth, at least 2 of which were after his or her 14th birthday.
Remember The Exception I Mentioned Earlier?
I highlighted the requirements in the quotes above to make sure you “got it”.
If you are an American citizen father and you did NOT spend at least 5 years in the USA or its territories, there’s a big, important exception/difficulty.
Your Chid Is NOT Automatically a US Citizen
Surprisingly I get a lot of comments and email on this subject. Folks who were born as US citizens because of their parent’s citizenship, but spent their lives in the Philippines, or otherwise not in the USA. They are still US citizens but they lack one important right that other citizens have. They can not pass their US citizenship on to their children. Ouch!
I hear from nay couples here in the Philippines who have US citizen children by virtue of the father or mother’s citizenship, They have registered their children=, the children g[ave US passports, and everything is fine.
They have no intention of going back to the USA and their children are being raised and educated here in the Philippines. Great. I applaud them. A US citizen stays a US citizen even if he or she never returns to the USA. It’s our right.
But Don’t Forget That Five year Rule
If your US citizen child, born overseas, never returns to the USA for at least five years, at least 2 of those years after his or her 14th birthday, the child loses a very precious right. He or she can’t pass on his or the US citizenship to your grandchildren.
I’m not in any way trying to tell you that you MUST send your children to the USA, but I am urging you to be aware of this important provision in the law and think things through.
There is a “loophole” by which grandchildren can attain US citizen through their US citizen grandparents. It’s no where near as easy, though, as getting them their 5 years in the US before they become patents in their own right.
Just one reason to avoid the “grandfather” clause is the fact the child has to go to the USA to become a citizen under this rue anyway … so it just seems a lot simpler to me to “perfect” their citizenship way before the issue of grandchildren comes up.
Regardless Of All These Technical Details, the CRBA Process Is A MUST
You need to enable your child for the rest of his or her life with an approved CRBA (Consular Report Of Birth Abroad).
The CRBA is the only legal substitute for a birth certificate form a US sate or territory. A US birth certificate is the basis of everything you can think of in that person’s future life.
Want to go to school? Need a birth certificate. Want to drive a car? Need a birth certificate. Want a passport? Need a birth certificate. Or a CRBA. The list goes on and on.
You cannot take your children to the USA “sometime in the future” and get them a “regular US Birth certificate”. First of all, you can’t get them a passport without the CRBA.
Secondly, no state can issue a birth certificate to any child not born within that state.
You Don’t Want To Drag Your Feet On This
The sooner after the birth you file the application for the CRBA, the easier the process is. Also, even though 18 years seems to be a long time, the pages just fly off the calendar when you’re busy living life, and after the child is 18 years old, the whole process becomes insanely complicated … and expensive.
As The Ranch Foreman Always Told Us When There Was a Job Of Work Waiting:
“Git ‘Er Done”