Citizenship of a baby born in a foreign country – Make your child a Citizen

What is the citizenship status of a baby born abroad to only one American – US citizen (and generally the rule for citizen’s of other counties)? Cutting to the chase and with out all the legalese, a baby born in a foreign country where one parent is an US citizen can be a US dual citizen. Therefore, if you live in Europe and are married to a European or EU citizen the baby is a US citizen. However, the following steps must be taken to register the baby.

Get your baby a Citizenship they deserve.

Steps to register a baby in a foreign country as a US citizen

1. Go to the consulate with the baby
2. Original copy of the baby’s birth certificate
3. Original copy of the parent’s certificate of marriage
4. Parent’s passports
5. $65 USD

It is that simple. See the baby is already a U.S. citizen when born, even to one parent, it’s just really registering the baby as a citizen. Can a child be a dual citizen? yes, simple in the US they go by US laws abroad they go by the laws of that county.

Baby born abroad and Citizenship

There are many reasons why a child might be born in a foreign country. Usually it is a result of a marriage or relationship from an expat working abroad or military. Occasionally you have cases where there are dual citizens living in one country and want to claim nationality of the other another.

  • In the USA the fourteenth amendment outlines the basic citizenship law.

The world is neither black nor white today, and every type of relationship conceivable exists so governments have had to interpret the generalities of the laws to a finer granularity. Further there is a lot of human judgement and case by case situations when it comes to laws connected to determining if a child or adult can achieve citizenship though confirmation or naturalization or repatriation. Even in countries which are not based on case-law, but constitutional law, the department of immigration makes judgements based on past history. The US immigration laws come from the tradition of English common law.

  • Citizenship through confirmation – When one has always been a citizen the government just has to send you a letter to acknowledge this. This results when you provide documentation such as birth certificate. I would also call this birthright citizenship and it can come from place of birth or lineage (jus soli (right of soil)  or jus sanguinis (right of blood)).
  • Citizenship through naturalization – If you like in a country legally for a time specified in the codex as a good, contributing person to the society the government will grant you citizenship through naturalization.
  • Citizenship through repatratitization – This is a combination of the two ideas.  Borders have shifted in Europe and often countries were deleted from the map.
  • Babies born out-of-wedlock – Most confusion about the citizenship of a baby comes from babies born out-of-wedlock.
  • Mother is the Citizen –  If the baby is born to the mother who is a citizen in almost all cases the baby takes the citizenship of the mother regardless of where they are born. For example Title 8 U.S.C. § 1409 states the only requirement is the mother would have had to live in the USA for one year in her life.
  • Father is a Citizen – The father has to prove paternity and have lived in the USA for five years.  If the child grows up and reaches its 18th birthday then the father and child lose this right. This comes from many illegitimate children immigrating over with their father unaware after the age of 18. I personally find bias in the law.

Are immigration laws fair or just? – No. Humans are imperfect. Just look at history and the Dred Scott v. Sanford case.

Is the Department of immigration and Homeland security difficult? I have had mixed results. I would say most people are exceptionally nice and helpful. They are well-trained and screened. However, some of the lower level people often use poor judgement and you need to ask for a supervisor if you feel something is wrong.

Do not let a bad experience or person spoil your dream for immigration – For example, I was at the department in Jacksonville and when my three-year old daughter was walking around the bench we were sitting while waiting our turn, the security guard came over and was yelling at us (everyone was looking at him) that the situation needed to be contained and ready to remove her. The guy should be fired. I was going to issue a complaint but what is the point. I think he  was a contractor, but still he guy was buzzing, I think he could have been on something judging from his erratic behavior. I have had a lot of experience with people on substances and my layman’s evaluation is that guy should be fired. But do not let one person or situation get you off track.  These are all humans and you have to learn patience and courtesy and stay calm and smile a lot.

United States or European Union or other countries, the idea of the laws and they way they operate are similar.

My point is stay positive, do not go to the dark side. As God to remove any negative feelings you have and your visa and immigration journey will go better. We all have been wronged in life, but generally if you do the right thing and are patient good things will happen.

However, the people in the embassy are pretty nice and if you ever have questions you can set up an informational interview and the people will help answer your questions.

Do you need a lawyer to help with citizenship? – There are a lot of attorneys that will take your money. just open your wallet. In most cases all you need is to make an informational interview with Department of Homeland Security. Laws a clear and you can look up laws online and case history. If you are in a complex case, lookup.

For example, go here to look at the US law regarding immigration.

Anyone can search the Laws of any country, you do not have to be a legal professional. Most countries are democracies and the laws are clear.

  • My recommendation is if you use a lawyer abroad use one approved by the US embassy, they have a list is the lobby.
  • I also recommend using a specialist. This is someone who is not a lawyer but knows what they are doing, it is a lot cheaper. There are many expats and people who have even worked for the government that can help you and they charge less.

Travelling to the USA when you are pregnant  – Unlike European citizenship, being born in the US does pretty much guarantee citizenship for a child. However, I have heard that there is risk to the baby for air travel. You can read the statistics but it increases the chance of miscarriage. So be aware of the risk. I do not think anything is worth nonexistence.

What if you do not have the money?  The USA is all about money. I am sorry but it is true. Other countries to a lesser extent but the USA is about money. To get a visa or apply for anything it costs. You need to pay and pay more just for the application.

If you want to get a green card to the USA expect to be making about 30,000 dollar USD as shown on your income tax returns and US-based. Otherwise get a sponsor or apply for a lesser visa. Here is another resource you might want to explore.

What is an anchor baby? It is use as a pejorative term to describe infants born domestically in America and the relatives use the child’s legal status to gain access to rights and benefits.

Is it worth getting a citizenship to the USA? No always. Unless you have family ties or really have a love of the country, I think the USA is not what it was even twenty years ago. It is still a rich country and jobs are easy to get (paying $10 dollars an hour) but it is not what it once was because the global market has changed everything. You can make just as much money in Eastern Europe or India if you have skills that are in need. If you do not your, your absolute wages as an unskilled worker will be higher but not your relative wage. Sure it is a great country but there is crime and other negative social externalize you will have to pay for in non-monetary ways.

I think the great advantage is the weather is better and English is a cool language to learn. The cultural experience is positive as people generally are friendly and there is a lot of exciting things to do like go to Disney and we have good TV. But I am telling you the world is changing and if getting your child a US citizen at all costs is your idea of being a good parent, it is a misconstrued notion. Better is to spend time with them on a daily basis and show them a lot of love, when they are under 18 years old.  Trust me, a US citizenship means nothing compared to spending an hour or so one-on-one with a child everyday and taking a real interest in them.

Let me know if you have any questions about being a US citizen though foreign birth with or without American parents or though grandparents or adoption or non-conventional methods of conception.

Author: Mark Biernat

I live in with family between two worlds, US and Europe where I create tools for language learning. If you found my site you probability share my passion to be a life long learner. Please explore my site and comment.

601 thoughts on “Citizenship of a baby born in a foreign country – Make your child a Citizen”

  1. So what benefits does dual nationality have?

    What happens if you fail to register soon after birth? Is there a time limit?

  2. Time limits- 18. But if you want to get a citizenship after that it gets more complex so do it before 18. I would recommend when they are a child it gets harder with time.
    benefits, of citizenship – the right to live and work in two different places in the world, open yourself up to new languages cultures many. Also it is kind of fun to have dual citizenship. If I am a citizen of an EU country and the USA for example then I work and live more places my life will be richer.

  3. my grandaughter was born in trinidad my son a born american citizen is having a tough time getting an american passport for his daughter. His birth certificate is not enough proof he is an american citizen his w2s is not enough now they want his school records he also supplied his social Security records

  4. @Seta, Something sounds funny. If you are an American, you can show you passport and Birth certificate some evidence that you are American. What they might be looking for is that the American citizen at sometime resided in the USA before the birth of his daughter. If he never, ever lived in America it could be a problem. But as long as he once lived in America it should be fun with his daughter’s citizenship.

  5. e ojna – That is a hard question. I do not want to mislead you so it is better asking a citizenship lawyer I think. I think the best way is to be 100% honest apply. I do not know all the facts but if his parents live in the USA he should be able to get into the USA even as an adult and get citizenship.

  6. My step son is a 38 years old. He had lived in the U.S. from toddlerhood until age 35, when he was deported. He was born in Isreal to an American father and a French mother. His American citizenship, apparently was never established at birth. What is the best way for him to establish his American citizenship, at this point, so that he can return to the U.S?.

    His deportation was quite a shock to all of us!!

  7. I have a good question? My girlfriend is pregnant in Jamaica! I am an American citizen! What steps do I have to make to get both of them to America soon as possible?

    1. Hi Tony, First having a child is the best. You will see. Get married. If you want to get to the USA, you can do a quick marriage even in Vegas in about 20 minutes, look into Vegas weddings or similar weddings where you are. Then march to the US consulate and get a visa. But you can also just move to the USA now on a fiancee visa, again from the US consulate. Yes today you can move to the USA if you get this visa as long as you will be married in the next six months. So I would do that. About getting your baby a US citizenship of course you know if you are a citizen even if born in a foreign country. Or your baby is born in the USA then he or she will be get citizenship.

  8. We come from Vietnam.
    My boy was born in US last year (2008). He has already his US passport now.
    We are moving now back to Vietnam.
    Will he still able to keep his US citizenship? even if he will live all his life in Vietnam.
    Thank you and I am waiting for your answer.

    1. Yes. He will be a US Citizen unless he formally gives up his US Citizenship to a US official. Once a citizen he will always have citizenship.

  9. Hi there, thank you so much for doing this service. I am a US citizen and my russian girlfriend, of 5 years, has our 13 month old baby in Moscow. Assuming she is lucky enough to get a tourist visa for them both, how soon can I marry her in Bangor, ME? Should we fly to vegas? Get married in moscow? The fiancee visa application looks like it will take at least 8 months, but I am worried if she gets denied the tourist visa [she has already been here 4 times], we will incur major problems. I just graduated college one month ago and currently have no job, this might make it extra tough, although searching daily. Altogether, money is certainly not an issue, just proof of income and support.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Stephen your child is a US citizen all you have to do is paperwork at the embassy. I do not think you even have to be married. I think the baby is a US citizen if born to one US citizen, married or not. You can get married in Moscow and teach English. You can certainly get married in Vegas very easy all you need is her passport. The whole issue is can you get your girlfriend in the USA. Baby yes as the baby is a US citizen. Girlfriend should not be a problem, on student or fiancee visa with patience. You should not worry about not having a job. You are a young guy right out of school. Tell them your a consultant anything. You are a US citizen and you have full right to live in the USA with your family. Even if you are unemployed. You can work at Walmart if you have to, I would. I am an American living and married in Eastern Europe and who cares about money if you have a beautiful family. You are a US citizen and are you telling me the government would deny you and your baby the right to be with their mother, married or not? I would try everything and not worry about income. Tell them you will live with your parents anything, but they can not deny you or your child the right to live in their own country and your girlfriend as she is the child’s mother. Get married where you both want to get married and figure the other stuff latter. Personally I think Moscow is more interesting than most places in the USA.

  10. I am a US citizen and my boyfriend is a citizen of India. He is here on student visa and I am pregnant, will he get citizenship when the baby is born?

    1. Rebecca, yes your baby will be a US citizen.

  11. hi,

    I just recently gave birth at Dec last year (2008) in Australia and I moved back to US a month ago with my baby. My husband is a US citizenship and I am the PR of US. So what’s the fastest way to get the citizenship for my baby?
    I called the USCIS and they told me I have two options – one is to apply US Passport and the other way is to apply Certificate of Citizenship through USCIS. The lady from USCIS suggested me it’s better to apply US Passport. What do you think? And do I need to apply social security card for my baby first before applying passport?

    1. Your baby is technically already a US citizen, you just have to get it confirmed. Social security and passport have nothing to do with citizenship. They are something separate but most people do them at the same time. You can download the forms online for a certificate of citizenship from the US embassy. I by the way will most likely get a passport and social security number also, but these are different forms.

  12. hi,I just gave birth 2 months ago, I am not an American but my husband is, we are living in middle east. I know that my daughter can have American citizenship from her father,but somebody told us,that we should apply for it before the baby have 2 month,after that she can have it ,is that true?

    1. I think you can apply up to the age 18. I hope so as I have not brought my daughter to the embassy yet. See you have to bring your child to the embassy so this is why I am very sure there is no 2 month rule for US citizenship. That is silly. And of course being from the middle east has nothing to do with citizenship, your daughter is a US citizen.

  13. Hi there. My question is this: My wife and I are both US Citizens. We are pregnant with our second child. I would like to get this child citizenship in (ideally) a European country (or the UK), AND I would like to be able to use the birth of that child in that country to help get citizenship for myself. Is there any European country in which this is possible?
    If not, in any south American countries?

    1. Your baby might get Citizenship of the county your baby was born, but Europe goes by blood not birth place. If you are born in Germany, you are not a German citizen, unless you are a stateless person. However, I think in reality it would be pretty easy to get a citizenship. I do not know the specifics of the UK or other countries, but if you baby is a citizenship for sure it does not affect your status. You can apply with special consideration but only if you are living there for like 5 years. My family was from Poland, an EU country. My wife is Polish, I have a Polish baby, I have lived an worked in the EU legally for over five years and still waiting for citizenship consideration. My brother has lived in the UK for 20 years and his son is a full citizen, but he does not have citizenship yet. I think he could get it in a second, but he does not have now. So if you are a foreigner do not think they will hand out a citizenship, like in the USA (I am an American). But I like your idea and I think there will be some country that will, maybe in the EU, I am just not aware of this country. Please write here when you find out as I am very interested and others can benefit from your research. Again its a great idea regarding citizenship, yours and your baby’s.

  14. Hi. I am in a mess. When I left the US, I have a US citizenship, to marry my husband in Jordan, my sister took custody of my daughter without my knowledge. She told them that no one knew where I was…blah blah blah…which wasn’t true. Asyway, long story short, I decided to stay here until all immigration was over with since my daughter was old enough to make her own choice and my sister had gotten her afraid of my new husband. My sister told me that she had asked for no child support, and me being apparently stupid believed this. Now I have applied for a passport for my son who’s citizenship I just had verified and the embassy called my husband just now to inform him that they need me to bring my passport to them, as it has been revoked due to owing child support! I wish I could, but I can not pay it now. It was hard enough coming up with the money to pay for the passport for my son. My question is…if anyone knows will the passport for my son be denied because of me owing child support? They are going to give me a temporary one to get back to the US, but what about him? I mean it’s not his debt yet I am one of the parents applying for it.

    1. Although I am not an expert on Citizenship law per say for the USA, I think nothing you do can really affect your child’s US citizenship. There are two different issues. As long as your child is born to a US citizen and get citizenship, no one can take that away unless they resign their citizenship in an official way. Passports are just travel documents for citizens so I think you have nothing to worry about. But I am not an expert on babies born to US citizens but this is what I think.

  15. I like to visit in Australia but now my wife is pregnant so tell me if i have a baby at the time of visiting in Australia what is the status of my baby born in Australia. baby is Australian citizen or Indian citizen.

  16. Hi,

    I am a french citizen. I go to school in America under a F1 visa. My boyfriend iis a canadian citizen who is going to school under a F1 visa also. Actually, I am pregnant, so my question is if I get birth in America will it change our status my boyfriend and I? Thank you for responding.

  17. I am maintaining my F-1 status from last three years and my wife is here on independent Visa, she is 7 months pregnant. After she gives birth to a baby, it is obvious that the baby will be American citizen, on the other hand, will it be possible that we can get the American citizenship; if yes, then what are the procedures if not then do we have to keep on maintaining our F-1 status.

    1. Your child’s citizenship does not affect your citizenship. It does help, with visas and eventually citizenship in the whole picture, but I do not think there is any law about you being a parent to a citizen will get you a citizenship. However, if you are marriage does accelerate the process of citizenship and visa’s. This is my understanding.

  18. Hi,

    I am an Australian Citizen and my girlfriend in Thai, I have been living in Thailand past 3 years.

    We came to Australia on a 3 mth holiday at Xmas, only to find upon arrival that she was 5 weeks pregnant.

    I understand that if we have the baby here it will automatically get Australian citizenship from me (she is on a bridging visa for a Permanent application), but what happens if we need to go back to Thailand and the baby is born there?

    I have heard such differing reports, from (a) its easy, just apply for Citizenship to (b) you will never get your partner and child back!

    Immigration have advised she can be granted a part-b bridging visa “permission to travel” which lets her retain her Briding/Permanent visa status when away, but its not clear if this is affected due to a birth when away, or what this means to the right of my child ie. will it be easier/harder due to my partner being on the bridging visa at the time.

    Its very confusing and no one ant to give a straight answer!

    1. I am not an expert on your situation, but I think the main point is, a baby does not affect the citizenship of the parent. Marriage affects the citizenship of the parent.

      However, the babies citizenship is determined by the parents nationality. However, Australia has very hard requirements and I am not sure but I think, the child must be born in the country for automatic citizenship, otherwise it does get complex. But I am not sure, check the embassy website.

  19. Hi there,
    My father was born in the US from an American father and a french mother. His parents divorced, and he came back to France with his mum when he was 8, he then became an french citizen. He doesn’t have an US passport anymore (he didn’t renew it). I’m 35, I was born in France and live in Canada since 2 years, can I apply for the American citizenship ?

    1. Great question Greg, yes you can apply and there is a chance you will get it as your father never gave up his US citizenship. However, for the citizenship to pass automatically to the child I think the parent needs to live in the US for like 7 years of his or her life. However, if you have an American father regardless I think you can apply and there is a good chance they will accept you. I am an American with a similar case in Europe, even though I did not get automatic EU (Polish citizenship) I got favorable treatment and a green card. Now after five years I will get citizenship. So the short answer is no ( I think) you do not get it automatically. But the long answer is yes, I think with some paperwork you can get your US citizenship. But you also are 35 so you are not under 18. But somehow I still think there might be a legal way to get citizenship.

  20. I have a daughter who is an American citizen, she is 16 years old can me and my wife can get a citizenship of US on the basis of my daughter ?

    1. @Shaik Citizenship is not passed from child to parent. However, if you daughter is living in the US and you are living in the US legally, with time you can apply for citizenship and I think this will help. But because you have a child who is a citizen, it does not affect your citizenship status.

  21. I came from Cuba at age 23 and became a US citizen at age 35. I married a women and had a child before coming. I recently just brought my daughter from Cuba at age 18. what steps must I take to make my daughter a US citizen?

    1. Yandy, She needs to live legally in the US for a period of time. She can get the information to apply at the Consulate. However, since she is 18,I think she does not get any automatic citizenship, rather it will be a process. It will be a process of writing and applying and making a case.

  22. Hello,

    I am a US citizen, born and raised in the US. I have a Peruvian girlfriend, who lives in Peru and has never been to the US. We have filed for a Fiancee visa. It turns out, she is pregnant now!! What does that mean for the Fiancee visa? What will that mean for my baby?? Will my baby be able to get US Citizenship even though she/he will be born in Peru? Will I have to apply for a K3/K4 visa for my baby? Or will we just be able to go to the Consulate in Lima to get my baby citizenship? Lastly, once/if the baby gets Citizenship can the baby come to the states without the mom?? Not that I want that, just questioning it?

    Thank you so much for your help.


    1. Hi Mike, your fiancee being pregnant does not affect her visa status in any way. Your child will be a US citizen no matter where your child is born as one parent, you is a US citizen. You can get the citizenship at the consulate in Lima. And yes as a US citizen your baby can come to his/her country without the mom.

  23. Hi Mark,

    I live in America with my Husband (who is American). I have a Green Card (I am Australian). I am currently in Australia awaiting the birth of my baby and intend on taking her back to the US when she is born. Do I need to obtain any documentation for her to get through immigration in the US (apart from a Passport)? I am planning on obtaining an Australian Passport for her as it is the easiest and quickest process (since I am in Australia at the moment). There is a chance that my Husband won’t be able to travel back with me therefore, I won’t have proof that her father is American since he won’t be there to show his US passport.
    I have been told by an immigration Lawyer that I won’t need any documentation for my baby (apart from a passport) and she will automatically be able to get into the US with no problems; however, I find that a little hard to believe!

    Thanks for your help!

    1. @Cass, Listen to the lawyer. Your baby’s age is not a factor in citizenship and immigration laws in your case. Your baby will be an Australian citizen on an Australian passport and that is all that is needed. If fact he will also be a US citizen but simply does not have confirmation. So just a passport.

  24. Hi, my ex boyfriend and I had been together for almost 9 yrs until I gave birth here in the Philippines to a baby girl, she’s 3 yrs old now. the father of my child is an American citizen he works as an MSC merchant marine thus he’s always out of US, anyways, last January I broke up with him after learning that he’s been cheating on me for 3 yrs to a thai woman, when we broke up he promised to fix our daughter’s citizenship since that’s her birthright, but after that talked he did not keep his promises so i ended up requesting for a citizenship packet from the US embassy in Manila, I sent it to him in Michigan since he’s there right now, but then people from Fedex told me that he refused it 2x. My question is this: Is there a way for me to file for my child’s citizenship without asking anything from his end? the reason i asked is bec. he’s making it so hard for me and my daughter bec, he knows I need some documents from his end. Can I just file it providing documents only from my end and some pix of us together when we’re still together? I am sure I cant get his old passports, etc. because. that’s his way of making it so hard for me… thanks and I will wait for your reply.

    1. @Bhong Sorry to hear about all your troubles. I think he does not want to pay child support or something. This is what he is afraid of. 1) Did he ever file the child as a dependent on his tax return. 2) I think you need his cooperation to get citizenship. Maybe not him but just his cooperation. Did you talk to the US consultant also if you can afford it a lawyer. But I think, technically you can apply without him if you can clearly establish a legal or biological connection, including birth certificate or passport or other forms of ID plus the baby’s birth certificate translated to English with a legal translator etc.

      Make the application clear with as much evidence you can. In theory, I think, the child does not need the father to claim citizenship but they prefer it. So if you want to claim citizenship for your child start building a case on your own. A big case with all the documents you can get from the US or military or him and hospital.

      Try his parents. Maybe they want their grandchild to have US citizenship. The parents might help you and get his birth certificate etc. Try child services in the state he lives, see if they can help.

      Because even though I am a guy, I am a parent and I think a father should help with the innocent poor baby. I am a parent myself living in a foreign country.

      Once you have your documents filled in Applications for Consular Report of Birth Abroad, in order it only cost $65 dollars for the application and appointment at the embassy of the US.

  25. Thanks Mark – I appreciate you taking the time to write back!

  26. My Thai girlfriend and I are expecting twins in a few months, but realize we’re not in a situation to take care of them ourselves and don’t plan to marry. Fortunately, my American brother and his Korean wife are anxiously hoping to adopt a baby, or perhaps babies! As an American myself, I’m curious to know how to go about such a thing. Should we wait for the babies to be born in Thailand and I submit for American citizenship there, then bring them to the US for my brother and his wife to adopt? Or just have them submit an adoption for the babies as Thai Citizens and complete the US citizenship requirements themselves? Thanks in advance!

    1. If your brother is adopting your children that is very good of him. You have a nice brother. I do not have the information as to what you should do first. However, I have to say if you are not married, I have been doing more research and it sometimes is harder because the US government’s stance on granting citizenship to a child where the father is the American parent, but not married, to get citizenship for the child is harder for obvious reasons. That some American could falsely and knowingly claim to be the father, and get citizenship for the child, even for money.
      On other note, it is your life, but you could teach English like many of my friends and even I do and anywhere in the world you can live a middle class income, so maybe you want to keep your family together?

  27. I am not sure who wrote this article. In theory, you are correct it is that simple. However, I have been fighting for 9 months now and the U.S. Consular in the Philippines still has not told me why she will not decide on the citizenship of my twin daughters born in wedlock. I have paid considerably more than $65 due to legal adjudications of parentage and the State Department will not recognize that decision either as being enough to grant my daughters’ their birth right of citizenship.

    1. @ c the easy answer is that they are not 100% sure that you are the father. I am sure you are, but they are not, because many people try to scam for US citizenship of children. That is they pay an American to claim they are the father of their unwed children. Marriage on the other hand increases this confidence. This is not the case with mothers who are citizens, it is clear their foreign born baby can be a citizen.

  28. Hello! My name is Kateryna and I have a question. I am a Ukrainian citizen but live and work in Italy as a legal resident but not a citizen yet, I am expecting a baby who is going to born in Italy. The baby has an American father who lives in the US at the moment. What steps do we have to follow to give a baby a dual citizenship? Do we have to marry for that?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Kateryna! If you are married to a US citizen, your baby can be a US citizen, if the father goes with you to the embassy and registrars consular Report of Birth Abroad. For your husband to get his baby born in a foreign county a US citizenship you will need:
      1)Original copy of the birth certificate
      2)Original copy of parents’ marriage certificate
      3)Parents’ passports
      4)Proof of the termination of parents’ previous marriages

      I think it would be hard to impossible to get a US passport for your child if you are not married, unless, the women is the us citizen.

      Further, as you know, Ukraine does not have dual citizenship so your baby would be just a US citizen, however, maybe you do not tell Ukraine anything and you could in theory have two passports.

      Italy also in theory grant your child citizenship under certain conditions.

      Lastly, do not listen to me, because I believe, if you love this man, it would be best for the child, to love and stay together your whole life. I am married and really love it. I can fully recommend marriage.

      Let me know if you have any questions (I do not have all the answers but can try) about citizenship for your baby, and bet of luck.

  29. Dear Mark!
    Thank you so much for your answer! I appreciate your help very much. This is a really great thing you are doing and a really precious help for the others according to the answers I read.
    In my case we are not married yet, so I wanted to ask if it is possible for us to marry in Italy or any other European country to get a valid marriage for the US?
    I went to the US in 2008 and my visa is valid till 2013 being a tourist one, so I can stay not more than 6 months every time I am in the US.
    My boyfriend was kind of hesitating to start the marriage case when I was in the US last time in 2009 as he heard that for marriage I had to come to the US only with fiance visa. I’ve got my tourist US visa in the embassy of US in Florence which took 1 day only and the procedure was fast and easy with all the documentation I’ve brought.
    Anyway, after my last visit to the US in 2009 we found out that I am pregnant but I had to come back to Italy first of all because my 6 months of being in the US were running out and then it seemed easier to born a child here because of some problems with getting a health insurance for me being not married to him.
    So, now, I wish to find out the best way for us to move and ask what difficulties can appear if we will marry after a baby born, not before? Will my boyfriend have to move through the adoption process or just to prove that he is a biological father?
    As for foreigners in Italy who stay and work here with the special “permesso” , like me, it is 10 years for getting Italian citizenship, so I am going to get it in about 3 years, in case the laws will not be changed, as once it was about changing for 5 years, and another time for 15.
    Surely I wish to make the future life of a baby easier according to the freedom of movement that I personally appreciate a lot after moving to Italy and getting my “permesso” which gives me the right to move freely around the most part of Europe and even the normal way of getting the US visa.
    So, in our case, I just wanted to get the shortest way for a baby to get his/her US citizenship, maybe even dual one if the father of a child will not express his willing to marry me and a child will be following my citizenship changes getting Italian one.
    Thank you again for your help! And I appreciate the way you talk about a family and your happiness of being married in your answers! This is just great!


    1. Kateryna,
      I think marriage is easy in the USA. In Nevada for example, it takes like 15 minutes, all you need is your passport. You have your Ukrainian passport and he has his US passport, you sign a paper and that is it.
      I do not think you need a fiance visa at all.

      Once you are married in one place, you are married all over the world. If you are married in Ukraine or Italy you are married all over the world. Your marriage is 100% valid for citizenship of your child anywhere.

      Europe is better with social benefits of course, and a good place to raise a child, but if you are husband and wife in the US you are covered by his health plan as is your child.

      Citizenship for your child is clear and easy if you are married. If not, I think it gets complicated.

      I think you should get married now. Ukrainian girls are beautiful ,smart and hard working, and many have faith and ideals. He is very lucky to have you as a partner.

      If he is afraid of marriage, I do not know, work on him, your a women you have the power of persuasion, appeal to his ideals and the importance of children.

      I think its about the baby’s welfare and citizenship and he can be married, you guys meet for a reason. Maybe this is your destiny. But I do not have all the facts.

      But the main thing is do not worry. Worrying does no good. The baby will be fine one way or another. Citizenship is not the most important thing, it is more important that the baby feels loved as you can never show a child too much love.

  30. Thank you Mark!
    For your easy and clear explanation!
    I appreciate it !
    I know that the things will go well in any case as I feel really blessed to give a new life to this world, then we’ll see what will happen.
    I’ll let you know about the happy end or the new beginning!
    Thanks again for the good things you are saying about Ukrainian girls !
    Wish you and your family all the best!


  31. So I’m marrying a Laotian woman. I am an American man. I plan to live in Laos. When we have kids, will they receive both citizenships? That is what I would like. Or do they have to choose?

  32. Also, if an American man and a Laotian woman had a baby in say Netherlands, could the baby receive a citizenship from that country?

    1. Laos and the US do not recognizes citizenships of the other country. However, I think you can be a dual citizen and do not have to choose one or the other.

      You just have to use the right passport when traveling to the US or Laos, that is all.

      The Netherlands will not grant your child citizenship unless that child is a stateless person without citizenship of another country, I think.

  33. Thank you for the info. I really appreciate it.

  34. Hi,

    Me and My wife both are not Citizen of USA and planning to visit there this Jan’2010. My Father’s brother (Uncle) invited to all my father’s family including me and my wife to Chicago in order to attend his daughter marriage . Me & My wife is planning to go to attend the ceremony. This is to inform u that my wife is pregnant and expecting second birth in March-April’2010. Now my questions are:
    1- What if my baby borns in Chicago – USA, would he get American citizenship ?
    2- Later, as a parent can we get American Citizenship too ??
    3- My first child is of 8 months now, can she get citizen in case my expected child gets US citizenship ??

    Your Expert advice required !

    1. If the child is born in the USA it is an American citizen. Your citizenship nor your other child’s citizenship will change. You can get citizenship from your parents but not from your children. Children do not affect parents citizenship. You can check the US website to confirm this.

  35. Hi –

    You have answered many times over that a child born abroad from an American Citizen is automatically a Citizen after proving a couple things with the appropriate documentation….
    My question is, does it matter if this parent that is the American Citizen was born here in the US or has acquired his Citizenship later? (born outside of the US)
    I know additional documentation will be required to prove marriage or divorce if applicable but does it interfere with the child being able to be a Citizen or not?
    Please advise. Thank you.

    1. Hi Roberto, it does not matter where the US parent was born as long as that parent has lived in the US for at least 5 year as a US citizen.

  36. This is the ONLY site that offers us help. Thank you so much for answering the question. My is, I have been married to an American citizen for 7 years now. I am in Brazil at the moment waiting for my green card process to go trough (long history). we already have 3 American (born in USA) children. But, in case, I get pregnant and have another baby (with my husband of course), and the baby is born here in Brazil, all I have to do is go to the american consulate with my husband, baby and birth certificates and apply for an american passport for the baby right? Thank you in advance.

    1. Cintia, as long as your husband has lived i the USA as an adult and can prove it for 5 years no problem. You can bring old passports, tax returns school records anything to show he is not only a US citizen but has lived there for 5 years. Besides that it is very easy. After I got my documents I got my daughters passport in 4 days.

  37. Hi, I am a US Permanent Resident living in US, married and waiting for a i-130 for my wife and my 1st son, but Im trying to get the citizens too, 2 weeks ago I went to a ASC in Atlanta to do the fingerprints(the interview is close), But I traveled to Peru 45 days ago and my wife is pregnant now (2nd time). My plan was : as soon as i get the citizen, i will change my petition from resident to citizen and also apply for a K3 and K4 for my wife and son. But Now I am confused I dont know which is the best way to do this.
    1. My next child will born in May 2009, should Him/Her born in Peru and apply for the citizen in US (Peru, lima) Embassy or
    2. Wait for the K3 and K4 and have my baby in US. (I think is possible)

    Will my pregnat wife have a problem to travel/get the visa.
    plz, advice me

    1. Renan, I am not sure I understand, if neither you or your wife is a full US citizen that has lived in the US as a US citizen for over 5 years, your child will not be a citizen of the USA unless they are born in the United States. I am not a lawyer but look at the law, it is clear. If your wife is 6 months or more pregnant, I do not think the visa is an issue but airlines usually will not allow her to fly. I am not an expert but this is what people say. I do not know if this helps?

  38. markbiernat, thanks I will find the way, yes I asked the airlines about it, they confirm that.
    I will have to wait more time.

  39. I have a question…my daughter is American married to a Pakistani they are in Pakistan right now she is pregnant and due in November of this yr. Will it be hard for her to get the baby out of the country to come home and will the baby have the same rights of citizenship that natural born Americans do?

    1. Lena as long as your daughter has lived in the USA for five years during her life it should be no problem and she will be a full US citizen. I do not know about if she could be president but in every other way yes, She is an American and do not worry, America tries to take care of their citizens. I live in a foreign country and they watch out and help their citizens.

  40. Since my baby was born in Mexico, I’ve been working and wasting my money to
    get her citizenship since I’m US naturalized citizen before her birth. She was born in Aug. 2001. Is there a way I can get her a tourist passport to visit her grandfather and uncle since there is alot of obstacles and questioners to fill out and I do not have anyone to leave her here in Mexico, it’s just us two in Mexico. I was taking care of my ill mother in Mexico I could not leave her by herself she had artheritis and osteosporosis she could barely move, so I had to have my baby in Mexico in order to continue taking care of her. She past away 2 years 10 months after my my baby´s birth.

    Please advise, I want her to learn the language. Thank you.

    1. Daniela, I am sorry about all your troubles. Ok the main issue as you know is you need to have lived in the USA for 5 year and be able to prove it. You need to have lived as a US citizen. It does not matter that you are naturalized. Its the 5 year rule and proof. Besides that it should be very easy, like 4 days to get her a US passport. If you do not fullfill those requirements, than I am sure you can get your child a visa to live in the USA, anyway, in fact I almost know this. They are not going to separate a US Mother and her child.

  41. Ok I’m in a huge mess….I was born in Sweden to a Canadian mother, Swedish father and they were married. They then divorced and my mom and I moved to Canada. My mother then obtained American citizenship through her father who is an American. We then moved to America. (I was about 2 and this was probably around 1990) My mom was always told that because she was an American citizen that I automatically was…case closed right?…So I graduated high school, went to university, had a job (I have a SSN I was issued forever ago) But halfway through university I decided to come back to Canada because university is a lot cheaper here for citizens…But now I miss the states so much and have been looking at returning and wanted an American passport however I noticed a hiccup in the process that because my mom was not a citizen at the time of my birth I am now questioning if I ever was even a citizen…Looks like I’m stuck in Canada even though I lived in the US for over 18 years and even graduated from a highschool there…Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

    1. I think you are right, you mom needed to be a citizen at birth. However, I think you need to go to the US embassy in Canada as its very complex. I think you can get citizenship under special consideration that your mother is a US citizen now. I wish I knew more about the exact law but the embassy can tell you exactly. Ps Canada is such a cool country and there are basically no boarders anyway. But I think it depends how you live in the US, what was your status.

  42. Hi,

    I am an American citizen and was born in New Jersey and lived there for most of my life. I am now living in Brazil and my partner, as we are not yet married, have been living together for about 7 years. My beautiful baby girl was born here in Rio de Janeiro on September 2, 2009 and would like to register her as a U.S. citizen BUT as mentioned above are not yet married and I can not provide a certificate of marriage. What should I do?
    Thanks for setting up this blog!! Jerry

    1. Jerry, The US embassy does state you need an original copy of the marriage certificate. So sorry I would check with the embassy on this one. Best of luck to you and your baby.

  43. hi ,i have a green card and both my daughter and husband have american citizenship . i am pregnant now but i’ll probably deliver my baby outside usa((lebanon),will my child automatically gets american citizenship,and have same benefits as his sister concerning social security and education in public schools

  44. My brother brought over and married a Russian girl, had a baby, and now they don’t get along what so ever. She wants to get the baby dual citizenship so she can take the baby back to Russia to visit. She wants to do it now. he’s afraid if he lets her get dual citizenship, she’ll never bring the baby back. what do you think?

    1. Lesley, That is an issue of the heart. I do not have the wisdom for that. She can take him back to Russia on a visa for sure without a citizenship. Russia is a big place and she could easily disappear, and Americans have no recourse in a country like Russia in my opinion. I think the child can get citizenship from Russia no matter what as Russia follows the jus sanguinis principle, she could get this Citizenship in the USA.

      Therefore, if there is any way possible work on an agreement with lady or on the relationship. Try to go back to what brought them together in the first place because at one time they did have a working relationship and build from there. I think children need and father and a mother.

  45. hi,i have a green card and both my husband and daughter have us citizenships i am pregnant now and probably deliver my second child outside usa(in lebanon) my question is will my baby get the american passport and have same benefits as his sister(social security,education at public schools) and what should i do after his birth,thnx

    1. Suzan, if you have lived in the USA for 5 years, yes, your new baby will get all the same benefits of being a US citizen. But both you and your husband must bring her to the embassy and present all the required proof.

  46. I am a filipina and was married to and american. Our marriage did not work out he went to the states and got a divorce. He did not know I was pregnant and I dont know where he is now. Our daughter is two years old now how can our daughter get a US citizenship.

    I. Birth certificate of the child . I have this of course

    II. Evidence of U.S. citizenship of the parent(s). I have nothing to show except a copy of his passport and that is just the first page.

    III. Marriage certificate. I have this

    IV. Previous marriages and evidence of termination. He was not married before our marriage

    V. Physical presence in United States of U.S. citizen parent(s). The copy of the first page of his passport is all I have to prove this.

    VI.Proof of parents’ physical presence in the same location during the approximate time of the child’s conception. I have no way to prove this

    What if I do find him but he wont claim our daughter or come to the Philippines to do a DNA test?

    1. Joyce, You have all the right documents. However, since you are not married I think it will be very hard to get citizenship for your baby as this is done after you are divorced. I would talk to embassy directly on this one. However, if he is the father he should be a father and raise the child as the child needs a father. I am sorry but this child is innocent an needs help in the world. Maybe appeal to the grandparents.

  47. Hi, Me and my wife are not US citizens i am working here on L1A and my wife is pregnant. If the baby born in USA does she gets US citizenship?

    1. Suresh, a baby born in the US is an American citizen, it is not like in other countries. So you will have a US baby and maybe even a dual citizen.

  48. Hi, I am a US Citizen and wife is an PR in usa. She is pregnant now and she is planning to go to India and have the baby there.If she do what is the baby’s citizenship and what is procedure to bring the baby to USA. Please let us know. Thank you

    1. Raj, if you are a US citizen than you and your wife just have to go to the embassy and present the evidence require as stated on the embassy website. Such as proof that you lived in the USA for at least 5 years etc.

  49. I am a US citizen and was married to a woman in Thailand found out she was cheating on me and divorced her in the states. She has never been to the states before. The problem I have now is she had a boy before we were divorced but she was pregnant with him about a month before I came back to Thailand. Now she is saying she is going to get the child US citizenship so I have to pay child support. She is say since we were married when the child was born and I am a US citizen he will automaticly get a US citizenship and I have to pay for him even though he is not my child. This is not right just because we were married and she gave him my last name and put my name as the father on his birth cirtificate. I was not even there when he was conceived I will not go back to Thailand I dont have the money because of the economy.

    1. Harold, If the child is not yours you have no obligation. She will be hard pressed to get citizenship for the child, in fact, without you it will be almost impossible and now you are divorced it is not an issue. She can not make you do anything in my opinion (I am not a lawyer). I am very sorry you went through this.
      If the child is your child, no matter what the mother is like, this is your child. I am not in your shoes but I think the child is innocent and needs a father and support. Legal issues aside think about child.

  50. I am American citizen for almost 5 months, i have lived in the us for 25 years I am married to french citizen for almost 9 years in the states have two kids; came to France to facilitate his us papers since he was living in the states with expired visa; i am pregnant ; is my best option to have the baby here in France or USA, if i want to go back to the states will i have problem getting baby out if the baby is born in France; if i want to stay in France what rights will baby have; and how do i obtain rights as medical for children here in France: i have heard that it could be a long process if one wants get baby out if born in france but want to move back to usa please clarify ; i have return ticket for nov 4 if i have to have baby in usa or i can request an extension for three more months to give my husband time to put our papers through but baby would be born here in france:

    1. amina I am not an expert and you have a complicated situation. I think if you have lived in the US for five year and can prove this to the US embassy with all the records etc of birth, marriage, school records the child can have a US passport if born in France. I think if the child is born to a French parent in France they are French. They will have full rights of a citizenship of both countries. I also think the converse is true if the child is born in the USA. If the child is born in the US, they are a US citizen. That is clear, but French citizenship is passed by blood and more complex. I would look on wiki which is a good source, then taking my advice as I do not want to miss lead you. Me personally, I would also consider your health and flying etc. Its a long flight for pregnancy. I think either way you can get dual citizenship and certainly right to travel to the other country for your baby born abroad.

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