A person may derive or acquire US citizenship:
1) AT BIRTH:
· Persons who are born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States are citizens at birth.
· Persons who are born in certain territories of the United States are also citizens at birth. In general, this includes persons born in:
Puerto Rico on or after April 11, 1899
Canal Zone or the Republic of Panama on or after February 26, 1904
Virgin Islands on or after January 17, 1917
Guam born after April 11, 1899
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands on or after November 4, 1986.
(Persons born in American Samoa and Swains Island are generally considered nationals but not citizens of the United States)
· A child born outside of the United States is a US citizen at birth if one or both parents were US citizens, at the time of child’s birth. The child’s parents should contact the nearest US embassy or consulate to apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) of a “Citizen of the United States of America” to document that the child is a US citizen.
If the US embassy or consulate determines that the child acquired US citizenship at birth, a consular officer will approve the CRBA application and the Department of State will issue a CRBA, also called a Form FS-240, in the child’s name.
According to US law, a CRBA is proof of US citizenship and may be used to obtain a US passport and register for school, among other purposes. The child’s parents may choose to apply for a US passport for the child at the same time that they apply for a CRBA. Parents may also choose to apply only for a US passport for the child. Like a CRBA, a full validity, unexpired US passport is proof of US citizenship.
The term “parents” includes: the genetic father, the genetic mother, and the non-genetic gestational mother, if she is the legal parent at the time of birth under the law of the relevant jurisdiction.
USCIS issues Certificates of Citizenship to children of US Citizens who were born abroad but are US citizens at birth through their parents, if N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship is filed to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship which serves as evidence of the child’s US citizenship.
2) THROUGH NATURALIZATION:
Naturalization is the process by which US citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). To apply for naturalization, file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.