Posted on August 29, 2019

Changes in Citizenship Rules for Children Born Abroad

Danyal Hussain, Daily Mail & Associated Press, August 29, 2109


US Citizenship and Immigration Services released updated guidance on Wednesday that appeared to mostly affect non-citizen service members.

It means that children who are adopted by US service members abroad and children who are born to immigrant service members while overseas will not receive automatic citizenship.

However, it caused confusion among immigration lawyers and advocates after a document appeared to show children of American citizens would also be affected.


Agency spokeswoman Meredith Parker told the military news organization Task and Report that the policy change ‘explains that we will not consider children who live abroad with their parents to be residing in the United States even if their parents are US government employees or US service members stationed outside of the United States, and as a result, these children will no longer be considered to have acquired citizenship automatically.’

However, her boss, acting director Ken Cuccinelli, {snip} added in a statement: “This only affects children who were born outside the United States and were not US citizens. This does NOT impact birthright citizenship. This policy update does not deny citizenship to the children of US government employees or members of the military born abroad.’


It appears to target children of service members who are legal permanent residents and not US citizens, but could also affect citizens if they can’t prove they lived in the US for a certain amount of time.

People in those scenarios would have to undergo a more cumbersome process for obtaining American citizenship for their kids.