Generally, there are many ways one can become a permanent citizen of the United States of America, but in this article, we will focus more on “How to Get U.S Citizen By Birth”.
There are mainly three ways by which one can become a U.S citizen by birth and they are:
• By being born in the U.S or within one of its territories (“birthright” citizenship)
• Being born to parents who are U.S citizens (“acquisition” of citizenship)
• One can also become a U.S citizen by birth if one or both of the parents have been naturalized (“derivation” of citizenship)
How To Get U.S Citizenship By Birth
However, it may come as a shock but many people in the United States have already obtained their U.S citizenship without them realizing it and most of them still ask the question “How To Get U.S Citizenship By Birth” without knowing that they are already citizens. These people can be seen in three categories:
People who were born in the U.S but lived most of their lives outside of the state:
Most of these people wrongly believed that they may lose their citizenship owing to the fact that they have lived outside of the country for an extended period of time. But that is not the case as citizenship by birth does not expire.
Those who believed that they’re not citizens even thou they have ancestors that were U.S citizens:
It is that, even though an individual was born outside of the U.S, that individual is still a U.S citizen if the parents or grandparents were U.S citizens.
Some minor children of naturalized U.S parents may wrongly believe that they may not be U.S citizen:
That is wrong as whenever parents become naturalized citizens, their children (under the age of 18) with green cards will also acquire U.S citizenship.
Acquisition of U.S citizenship by being born in the United State:
In many cases, any child that is born in the United States or in one of its territories is automatically an American citizen, this is known as “Birthright Citizenship” and it is contained in the 14th amendment to the U.S constitution which (in Section 1) states that
“All persons born or naturalized in the U.S and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United State and the state wherein they reside.”
If you are born in the U.S, your American citizenship will last your lifetime unless you take an affirmative action to give it up like filing an oath. However, children born to Diplomats and other recognized government officials from foreign countries won’t receive citizenship even when born on American soil.
Read Also: U.S Citizenship Test
Acquisition of American citizenship by being born to U.S citizens:
If you were born to parents at least one of whom was a U.S citizen at the time of your birth, you will automatically gain U.S citizenship through the process of acquisition in many cases. It doesn’t matter if you were born on American or foreign soil and if you have children, they will also acquire U.S citizenship at birth through you. In addition, foreign-born adoptees to the U.S may also claim U.S citizenship.
The laws regarding citizenship obtained through acquisition are quite complex and take into account factors such as the citizenship of parents and whether the child was born outside of wedlock. This complexity has not lessened at all because Congress has made major changes to these laws throughout history.
Derivation of U.S citizenship and naturalization of parents:
A child may become a U.S citizen through the process of derivation if one or both became an American citizen through naturalization.
However, at the time the parent became naturalized, the child must have gotten a green card, be under 18 years of age and must be living with the naturalized parents in order to take full advantage of these laws. It is also important to note that a child who became a U.S citizen through this process does not need to go through the process of applying for and passing a naturalization test.
People Often Ask: Do you need to carry your proof of citizenship?
For those convinced that they are citizen of the United States of America, they should acquire proof of their citizenship (e.g passport) to ensure that they receive all benefits of citizenship. Where there is no requirement to carry their proof of citizenship in their day-to-day activities, they may need it for job application, to apply for a driver’s license or other processes where proof of residency is required.