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. My 3 month old daughters father is 100% Grenadian who has been in America for 10 years. I’m a Us citizen And he has dual citizenship. Can my daughter get Dual citizenship because she’s half Grenadian who was born In America ?

    1. I do not understand your question as it is unclear. You want your daughter to be a dual citizen? I think she can be no problem as if she was born in the US or to American parents, which you are as I understand it, she is.
      If you are talking about Grenadian citizenship, it is a strange country. Grenada is a tax haven. Almost anyone can get citizenship with 50,000 dollars. The only issue that people do not understand even if you hold Grenadian citizenship you still have to pay US taxes not matter what.

  2. My daughter, a US citizen gave birth to a baby in New Zealand. The father has dual citizenship because he was born in Hawaii but raised in New Zealand. It turned out that he is an alcoholic, plays games of chance, thief, and liar, but has had the baby’s New Zealand birth certificate held by the courts and won’t sign the document for the baby to get a US birth certificate. My daughter is not allowed to leave New Zealand, even for a visit to the US. It was arbitrated that she could bring the baby to the US for 6 weeks a year, but the father refuses to sign so a court said no, even though it was previously agreed to. Our grandson is being denied his rights to US citizenship by the New Zealand courts and government.

    1. I am sorry your daughter had to go through all that. Listen you have to get the US embassy involved and other people in the USA. This is important for the child’s welfare and health. As long as the mother is the citizen, it is usually a pretty clear case if your daughter can prove she lived in the USA for five year of her adult life.

      With rare exception the mother gets more rights to the child then the father in these cases and the father’s privileges are restricted. I recommend a lawyer or personally building a case with documentation.

      She can certainly request a new birth certificate from the local municipality in New Zealand, something is not adding up here. If the father is as bad as you say there is no way a court would be that restrictive, there is either some missing pieces or your daughter needs to prove that the father is not responsible and best for the well being of the child. It should be easy to prove.

      But in my opinion the baby is already a US citizen, just needs to be confirmed and the US embassy can help if she can get a copy of the birth certification.

      1. Daughter has been to court twice. Judge appointed a lawyer for the baby (thank God). Baby got his US passport and they are coming home for Christmas, but we had to post a 5K bond in order for her to leave the country. (the father wanted this just to be punitive so my daughter had it put in the order that if either parent wants to leave the country with the child that they have to put up the 5K). Father has relatives in Samoa. Fair is fair.

        1. I am glad it went relatively smooth to this point. I am sorry you had to go through all this trouble in the first place. The main thing is to stay positive and do not let negative emotions, just or unjust cloud your Christmas.

  3. My husband is student in Sweden and we live in Sweden for 2 years. We are Iranian.
    If we born a baby in Sweden during his study can we get a Sweden citizenship?

    1. No because of jus sanguinis. However, if your child lives in Sweden for many years it will be no problem to be nationalized and get Swedish citizenship.

      1. My husband and I try for years to become pregnant and no results. Unfortunately IVF did not work either, and trying to go to the home country, Iran, to find a Surrogate mother and after the child is born we can bring the Child to the US. We are both US citizen and live in US. My question is are they will accept to put down our name as a “biological parents” so that we can get a Birth Certificate and get the baby a US Passport? we don’t know what to do and very stressed…

        1. If one of the parents, biological parents is American it should not be a big problem. Contact the US emabssy to clarify the issue, but I think as long as one of the biological parents are American is the most important point. I mean the father alone can be American and it is OK. Good luck with the miricle of life.

          1. Thanks for the reply Mark:
            Well, My husband and I are Iranian and we are U.S. Citizen. I have been researching about our issue and finding out more about the Certificate of Citizenship for brining the baby through website, but the problem is that I am not the one carrying the baby. We are going to have a (Surrogate Mother) with having the biological Parents egg and . The issue here is having a Surrogate involve and the INS or USCIS recognizing this. I know we can get the Birth Certificate with our name as the biological parents, but in the paperwork we have to mention there is a surrogate involve. I find this on their website as a public copy. Would you please take a look at this and let me know what do you think about this.


            Thanks so much for your help.

          2. I am not a lawyer and do not claim to be an expert but it looks like everything is fine. I think you would get citizenship for your baby. However, I would really talk to the embassy about this. I was at the US embassy several times a week at one point on various issues. You have to hear it right from them for clarity on this important matter as citizenship for your baby. If it is still not clear get an immigration lawyer to help with something like this. However, I read that legalese document and it looks in my unprofessional view that you should be OK with the proper documentation.

  4. My cousin from china who is single and can’t have babies would like to have a baby in California by a surrogate. The donor would be from the states and if her eggs is unusable then we would find a egg donor also . I would like to know what makes the citizenship of the baby and if you know any law that would bar her from doing so?

  5. My husband has dual nationality US and Egyptian he acquired the US citizenship 14 years ago and I’m a british citizen with dual nationalities also Egyptian , we have been living in Egypt since 2007 and I am having a baby soon and I want my baby to be an US citizen do I have to give birth in America or can I give birth in Egypt and my baby can still have US citizenship?

    1. If the US citizen parent has live in the USA for over 5 years and can prove it with legal documents as an adult and a US citizen than the baby can be confirmed a US citizen regardless of where your baby is born.

  6. I am expecting to give birth to my first baby overseas. I am an US citizen mother married to a Foreign born man – who now has a green card and living in USA. I had to visit some friends in Jordan and now afraid to travel back to the states as I did not know that it is no allowed by Airlines to carry a pregnant women in her 35 weeks. – so I will deliver the baby in Jordan and my husband will probably come for a short time to attend the delivery.

    Please advice – how can we take the baby with us back to the states? my husband has to go back to work in the states and I need to go back with him as soon as possible as I can not even afford staying away from home for long.

    Although I lived more than 5 years in the states – but I do not have official documentation to prove. can you please assist me in clearing this up to me.

    1. You must prove that you have lived in the USA for five years. There is no way around it. If you can not prove this your baby can not get US citizenship. You have to think of everything from passport stamps, medical records to bank accounts and school records or whatever you can. There is no way you lived in a vacuum in the USA. What about tax returns, you had to file these. I have to file tax returns even though I live outside the US of A. You can not be lazy and say whatever, this is about your babies future. I would be shocked if you did not file a Federal US tax return, everyone has to do this. I do it even on the pittance I make here.

  7. I am a US citizen born in 1955 and lived there all my life until I married a Canadian lady. In 2000 I became Landed Immigrant in Canada. We are currently going trough divorce I have custody of my daughter, she is 10 Yrs old. I want to get her registered so she can have US citizenship. I am planing to move back to the U.S. and thought if I do it now, it would make it easier when I bring her back to the US with me. Can you help and let me know you thoughts ?

    1. I think you are the father and you have custody and there is no reason you can not get citizenship for your daughter. Just get some old tax records or proof you lived in the USA for at least five years as an adult and you are all set. I think the divorce has nothing to do with anything as you are the one that is the citizen. I am sorry you have to go through all this, really, I am sure it is no fun.
      Go to or write or call the US embassy. I call them all the time, I am their biggest pain in the neck. But remember they work for you are are nothing more than glorified postal worker, no offense to the fine people at the post office.
      The US embassy will tell you exactly but I think there is less then 1% chance you will have any problem whatsoever.

  8. I am having baby number two in Mexico I am a US citizen and so is our first born. I want to know what type of process needs to be done and if there will be any issues when I want to return to the USA to visit with our baby.

    1. Just go to the US embassy after birth with your baby and the birth certificate and proof that you have lived in the USA for five years as an adult. Fill out an Application for Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America for DS 2029. The you will be all set.
      You have to pay 100 dollars also as a fee (to pay for the embassy workers wine and cheese parties).

      1. I am little confused does that mean that I go the mexican US embassy. because I don’t know if I can fly out of Mexico with the baby and the Mexico birth certificate. and will it be in Mexican money or in us dollars thanks

        1. Download the forms from the US embassy website. Fill them out and bring either currency in the equivalent of 100 dollars with the birth certificate and documentation stated. You go to the US embassy in Mexico.

    2. Ok I am 20 years old and I am 100% American, a white girl. My husband is a mexican citizen and we have a baby on the way!I am worried because I live in mexico with him and his family. I read about going to the US Embassy with the birth certificate and all that BUT I AM only 20 yrs old so that means I have only technically been in the USA for 1-2 Yrs AS AN ADULT and not 5 years..does it make a difference being that I have never left my country before or do I have to show proof of 5 Years of living in the USA as an adult? or do I have to leave my husband and family here to have the baby in the USA?

      1. You lived at least 5 years in the United States before the child’s birth however, at least 2 of the years were after your 14th birthday. is a more correct statement of the citizenship law but check with the embassy. So I think you actually are fine. You do not have to worry. Ask questions if you have them.

  9. My wife and I are both U.S, citizens that have been living in Ecuador for the last 3 years, and we just had a baby. I was told our son is automatically a Ecuadorian citizen, and, with process, an US citizen. I was wondering where I had to register his name. Civil registry in Ecuador or US consulate?

    1. Congratulation on the child, just go to the US embassy and fill out some forms, or better yet, download it online first then go.

      1. My Girlfriend is Due for my first baby some day in January. She’s Mexican and I’m an american Citizen. Can my son be a American Citizen although she’s my girlfriend? I’m getting Divorce soon.

        1. If you can prove that the son is yours most likely via DNA testing and you want to go though the paperwork and legal documents, it should be no problem, would help if you are married to the mother of the child also and would even recommend it for the well being of the child, two parents and all.

  10. Please help…If a U.S. citizen mom married a Turkish Citizen father and had a baby in Turkey but never registered the baby and then all 3 came to the U.S. for permanent residence, how can the now child who is 45 become a U.S. Citizen? The child, who is an adult now had always assumed he was a U.S. Citizen, he never had an issue where he needed to have his birth certificate from Turkey, of which he recently has received. Since coming to the U.S., the father in 1982 received his naturalization, the parents divorced in the early 70’s and the mom is unavailable for any information to help with the process of getting this done. She cannot be reached and the family does not know where she is. Is there anything the Adult (child) can do on his own to get his U.S. Citizenship without going thru immigration? He would like to get his passport since he has been told thats the easiest way to go. Can he research his mothers records of anything that will show she was in the U.S. for 5 years and present that to the passport office? He has copies of his parents marriage certificate from Turkey and both parents birth certificates, and a copy of his dads naturalization. Does the mom have to sign anything for him to get his passport, or can he just present the documentation and her records that prove she was in the U.S. for 5 years? And when does this 5 years have to cover? Please help with anything you can with this or any suggestions.

    1. The child is now an adult so I think the window of opportunity is lost. I would talk to homeland security and immigration to see if you can get an Ir1 green card visa.

  11. OK so My German girlfriend is having our baby in Germany this December. Can I apply for Dual Citizenship for our baby without Marrying the mother? If so what do I need to do?

    1. It is harder and you will need in my opinion DNA proof it is yoru baby as there are many dishonest people that want to try to scam the US, you not being one of course, but they need to keep honest people apply. I think you just prove it and follow normal paperwork. But I would highly recommend marriage. Why not? It is great and the mother of your child needs love and support, why not marry her and give her that emotional security of love?

  12. If I am able to get my child a US passport in addition to her German Passport. Will that lock her into the US Tax obligations when she becomes an adult? I’m an American working in Brazil living in Germany and I am researching now how to Expatriate from the US in the next few years. If I give up my Citizenship would that affect my child’s 3 years from now?

    1. US citizens must report all income to the US government forever not matter where they live. If they give up their US citizenship they must still report and pay taxes for about ten years. This is American taxes. But trust me you want to get your child a US citizenship and keep yours. The benefits are many times more than the tax burden.

      I am a dual citizen and I have to pay double taxes with an exclusion but I am not rich so it is pennies. Unless you are making the big bucks do not give up your US citizenship. Look it up, or call the IRS, giving it up does not mean you are exempt from US taxes for about 10 years. Worldwide income has to be report as well as bank accounts over 10k. I even reported my pittance I made teaching English.

  13. I am a Mongolian citizen and lives and studies in the United States. I gave a birth to my daughter while i was in the University. So, my baby was born in the US but she has been living outside of the United States over three months now. My question is that we have not register her in the country she is living right now. Is it ok she can stay outside of the country for a year without registering? Or does she has to have dual citizenship?

    1. If your baby was born in the USA, your baby is a US citizen, notthing more is required. However, I would highly recommend getting a passport for your child at some point so your child can come back in the USA without a problem.. She has a US birth certificate right?

  14. First of all, I need to know how long does it normally take to get passport for the child once CRBA is filed. Secondly, can I apply for my wife to get a visa as immediate relative and what is the time frame on that.

    1. It all depends but lets say one month and three months respectively. Please write back with the actual time frame once you get these so others can benefit. But it depends on what visa. Are you talking about IR1? That is about six months from start to finish depending how well-organized you are.

  15. Hi, so I have a question. If I( a US citizen) am married to a Japanese woman and we are both living in Europe, for example the Neatherlands and we have a child in Europe are we able to apply for duel citizenship there? What are our options. Thanks for your response.

    1. The child will be American and Japanese, but not European as European citizenships go by boodline not place of birth. However, after a few years of living in Europe legally I think you all can get naturalized eventually.

  16. My daughter will soon be born in Poland how easy it to get a British birth certificate, I am British, also will I be eligible to claim child benefit for her in England she will be living in Poland.

    1. The baby will be British at birth, you just need to file the prpoer documents at the UK embassy, it will not be a problem, however, when you say benefits, do you mean a tax deduction, should not be a problem, but do you mean get money from the UK government I think you have to be living in the UK. Check with the UK embassy.

  17. I am Dutch, and my husband American. We will have the baby in Holland (the baby will get a passport there). How do you get back in the states? Do they give the baby a I94 or something?

    1. You need to go to the US embassy and get the child a document that is like a birth certificate. That is a report of an American born aboard.
      Then your American spouse needs to apply for a IR1 or an immediate family visa for you. This is known as a greencard or perminent resident. You can also aply for other visas, but you might as well go for this. You can start the process in Europe.
      Your husband will have to agree to support you for 10 years no matter what, including if you God forbid left him. He also has to show, income 1.5 times the poverty level that is US based. Many guys come to the States get a job then bring their family over. I think it is very unfair to break families up this way. But there are legal ways around it.
      Let me know if you have any questions regarding immigration. I am not an expert but I have been though the process.

    2. I have a USA Greencard. My husband is an american, and we are having the baby in Holland. You mentioned that I need a certificate from an American born abroad. Does that mean I have to sign up in Amsterdam for an American Passport as well? Or can I still do that in the states?

  18. Well I have a couple of questions, I was born in the United States, when I was 2 years old I moved to mexico since my parents are Mexican, I got both Mexican and American citizenships. Now I am 22 years old and had a baby with my Mexican wife. I want to go to live to the United States already and don’t want to leave my family here, is there a way I can give my wife and baby an American citizenship or any legal procedure I need to follow? Thank you!

    1. Check with the US embassy, but this is what I think you will find. You can not confirm your baby’s birth as a US citizen because you did not life in the US for five years of your adult life. However, I think you will have no problem getting an I-90 visa for your family if you apply and do the paperwork. However, all US citizens bringing their families in must have US based income equal to 1.5 times the poverty rate or about 25,000 dollars a year. I think this is horrible that the US would break up a family based on income. But there are ways around it if you know the law. I think you have to do a lot of paperwork and writing another government agency. An immigration lawyer can help you with this.
      They would beable to still come to the USA, just not on a greencard visa.
      Let me know if this answers your questions

  19. I’m a Peruvian mom, that lived in the USA for 10 years and become American citizen. I’m right now pregnant and working in Peru, The baby’s dad is also from Peru. If the baby born in Peru, can the baby have an American citizenship too? what is the process?

    1. You would have had to live at least five years in the United States before the child’s birth and two of these five years in America after your 14th birthday. Check carefully with the US embassy. But as long as you live in the USA for 5 years as an adult you should be fine.
      You are not married you would have to have lived continuously for a period of one year in the USA prior to your child’s birth. So if you are not married you might not be OK.

  20. I am Canadian and I had my twin babies in Australia. My partner is a Australian citizen. I am currently going through my permanent residency visa. My partner and I are not married. He had a avo put on him for domestic violence, he then breached his order and has court. I obviously want to move back to Canada where I have support. In my case is this possible because he is a unfit parent? Help I don’t want to be stuck here and not be able to go home.

    1. I am truly sorry you have had to go through all this. However, you have two beautiful babies and that is the good thing, many people try for years and can not have children. OK, I am not a lawyer so I can not give you legal advice. I do have some general ideas about this. First, I would go right to the Canadian embassy in Australia or call them ASAP. You can call them and write them e-mails but get clear on all this. They will tell you exactly what your rights are. Your embassy will help you. You are not stuck thereat all. Australia is beautiful and residence is nice but Canada and the USA and rock and it will be good to be home. The babies need to have Canadian passports. You are the mother and it is easy to get. If you do not have the money, your folks back home can help.
      I personally would not tell my partner anything if he is violent. That is just me. You have to look out for the health and welfare of your babies. I would work with the Canadian embassy and get the those Canadian passports. Once you have these I think you just fly home. If you are not married, and he has a court order with domestic violence I think his rights are limited as you are the mother. I would talk to the embassy first so he can not file any crazy charges against you taking the children, but you could counter that with women’s advocacy agencies. The mother is responsible for the children in most cases. I am a guy and I am not saying that is fair but that is the way the world works. The babies are Canadian citizens at birth, get them home where you have support from your family or the government. That is what I would do. If the father gets his act together and you love him then maybe at some distant time you get married. I do not know all the details but it does not sound like anything other than you have to get help from home.
      I was a foreigner for many years and I know how hard it is. I know you do not feel supported if you are not at home.
      My wife is now the foreigner in my country and I have to be 100% supportive of her as it is very hard to live in a foreign country.
      You need support.

  21. My wife and I are from Iraq,we both are living in the states, I am on F-1 visa pursuing graduate study,my wife has dependant visa type(F-2) and she is pregnant, if she delivers birth here on US soil,will the baby get US citizenship?

    1. Yes, American citizenship if given to all children born on US soil with very few exceptions. US citizenship is determined by place of birth not bloodline or parents citizenship unless it is a birth abroad. The only problem with a US birth is it is expensive. If you can not afford it look into Midwives as an alternative.

      1. Ok,about how much should the birth of a baby cost to get US citizenship? and what do you mean by Midwives,please give me clear information on it!thanks.

        1. If the baby is born in the USA you do nothing. The baby is a citizen and can be President of the USA and there is nothing that anyone can do to take that citizenship away. Midwives are trained professionals that help mothers to be give birth at home or in a medical setting that is a fraction of the cost of a birth at the hospital. These are for low risk pregnancies. Also hospitals have financial counselors who can help you get discounts on births if you do not have a lot of money or at least credit. They are not going to turn you away .

  22. My husband is US Citizen and I am a Resident. For the birth of our first child we wanna go to Europe, where I still have my family and also healthinsurance. But we wanna fly back 2 weeks after the baby is born. Do we have to do the procedure with the embasssy or can we enter and apply from over here.

    1. I understand 100%. A birth in the USA is a lot of money. I think the baby will need a US passport. Our little one has one. This takes time. Maybe the embassy knows some way around it but A to Z it might take like a month to get citizenship confirmed and a passport, but if you have everything lined up before hand it could take ten days. But that is pushing it in my opinion. It is OK to rest for a month after giing birth before you fly of course.
      Think of the cost of a flight to Europe, that could be like 3,000 dollars for you. If you have a low risk pregnancy consider a midwife it would be the same price.

  23. I have information that a child born in the U.S, which has acquired the citizenship of receiving financial assistance from the U.S. government, even if living outside SShA.My parents, living in Ukraine and citizens of Ukraine, our son is 2 years and 1 month, born in the U.S. has U.S. citizenship, but has 2 years living in Ukrayini. My question is it is true that I can submit certain documents to the U.S. and receive a monthly cash assistance for the child from the U.S. transfer to Ukraine?
    Thank you.

    1. What specific kind of assistance are you talking about you have to be more specific? Most programs are Federally funded programs operated by states. Therefore if someone lives in the Boston then they could get food stamps and medical care from the State of Massachusetts. Education assistance is also provided through the state if your child has a disability. However, if you think the US goverment will send cash to Ukraine just because the child is a US citizen, I do not think so. Maybe, I do not konw for sure you can go to the US embassyand ask.

  24. My son got his US citizenship since 2003, he is 24 years old and his girfriend is pregnant due in February;Baby will born in Mexico, Do they need to get marry to get double citizenship for the Baby?

    1. The question will be did he live least ten years in the United States before the child’s birth. There are more rules of course and he has to prove it is his child. Check with the embassy but a child born out of wedlock in a foreign country needs at least ten years of US living from the parent. If he were married it would be a lot easier and the rules are less. The questions is why do he not get married? I believe in marriage and it is a wonderful time in his life.

  25. I am Greek and living in Greece at this time. I have a dual citizen US and Greek. I have two daughters, they wore both born in Greece and I would like to make them US citizen. Can I? Please let me know what steps to take to do this. Thank you so much for your help and information.

    1. You need to go to the USA embassy with proof that you lived in the USA for 5 years as an adult all birth and marriage documents and fill out the paperwork. If you can not get it right away since you are a US citizen it will be no problem though a longer process. But first you want to try to report a birth abroad and try to get confirmation of ctizenship, rather than applying for citizenship. Two different ideas.

  26. I am a Filipino mom of a 4 month old baby. His father is an American who works outside the US. We broke up when I
    was still pregnant. I am currently jobless and residing here in th Philippines. I just wanna know if $200 a month is enough support? He is earning $7500 per month. He’s not married, no other dependents except our baby and not paying big taxes.I just don’t think that my baby is getting enough from his dad who’s living a single life and travels from one country to another with his current girLfriend. Also I haven’t file for child support because he is threatening me that he will file for custody and will surely win. I’m afraid to lose my son. Please advise.

    1. I would make him pay a lot more. He is the father of a child and should somehow take responsibilty. Contact his parents in the USA and see their reaction. Send the a letter with your child’s picture and any copies of your and him together. Call them and explain the situation, it is their grandchild and flesh and blood and can not imagine they would be cold to this.hristian they can not turn this honest request away. Be positive and do not get negative. Do not go to the darkside. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to the darkside. Trust God like the Holy Mother did.
      Contact the US embassy if you need to and ask if they have advice.
      He should pay one way or another. If he does not help you with your child, tell him you will contact the IRShe US tax office. I do taxes for a living as a side job and as a US citizen, he has to report all income and bank accounts (over a certain amount) even if he lives abroad, not matter what. If he does not, report all income he could go to prison. Many American expats think they are above the law or if they are out of the country tax laws are different. No way, has to report everything.
      Give me more information if you can.
      There are lots of ways to approach this and I am not a lawyer nor giving advice really, but these are some of the things I would do.

      1. All the Filipina would need to do is get a court order for child support from a Filipino family court. This is a valid support order and would be honored in the US. Next give that order to the embassay of counculate and it wil be transmitted by the state department, I think to the appropriate legal authorities of the state of last known residence where it can be enforced.

  27. My husband and I are from Iran, we both are living there.but we are coming to the Us for a trip. If I give birth to my baby here on US soil, will the baby get US citizenship?

    how much should the birth of a baby cost to get US citizenship? Thanks a lot Mark.

    1. Good news is the child would be American at birth and require really nothing to become one. Born in the USA equals a citizen. However, the cost of giving birth in the USA is a lot of money, hospitals and all, it might be up to 10,000 dollars and further many airlines will not let you travel while pregnant. You can go to home birth alternative births or in a cheaper free clinic maybe but in the USA medical care is expensive because of the insurance.

  28. I am from India and living in Toronto, my wife is on study permit and expected a child in few months can my wife also get citizenship along with child.

    1. Citizenship is passed from Parent to child not child to parent. Your child will be a citizen but your wife will not be. However, because her child will be a Canadian citizen, there is a good chance she can extend her visa based on the wealfare of he child.

  29. My mother was born in El Paso TX, dad in Mexico. I am almost 56. They were never married. I have my birth certificate from CA and apostille and my dads birth cert from Mexico. Both parents are dead. My mom never had a birth cert. I found online that I needed just the above docs. By the time I located all those dads birth cert was difficult, I went to a Mexican embassy and the paperwork said I only needed what I had 2 copies of everything. They said I needed moms birth cert and a marriage lic. dated at least 180 days before my birth. Last two docs do not exist. Also dads name on his birth cert is German (pronounced Herman) and when my American mom wrote his name on my birth cert she wrote Herman. Is it possible in Mexico to get my birth registered with what I have? My dads place of birth is listed simply as Mexico, no state etc. I am in Mexico city and can get to smaller towns I heard Chiapas was less bureaucratic I should go there? Any ideas? I have been trying to do this since 1998 when the dual citizenship law with Mexico changed!

  30. I’m originally from Egypt but reside in the United Arab Emirates with my husband. I came to the US on visa 7 months pregnant, and while in the US 2 months later gave birth to twins (2 beautiful girls) who are now American Citizens.

    I need to go back to united Arab Emirates within a couple a month and would like to know how I go about getting passports for my new-born babies. Thank you in advance.


    1. All you need to do is apply at the US embassy even at home. But you need a passport to leave on. I think you need to contact your Egyptian embassy as soon as possible as all this takes time. I am very happy for you, by the way. But do not delay as it cost money to stay in the USA and who knows how long it will take to get them a passport, any passport. But they are US citizens so they can get a US passport in Eygpt, but you want to have something for them to leave on also.

  31. Hello,

    So My husband is German and I am American. We live in Germany, and I will give birth to a baby here in Germany. I am told since the dad of my baby is German that the baby can get both German and American passports? Is this true? How and would I just need to have the babys birth papers translated in English to get His or Hers American Passport?

    1. If you get all the papers together he will be a dual citizen. The US embassy will provide a list of documents, basically birth and marriage certificates and proof you have lived in the USA for five years. I think if you apply in Germany you do not need to translate it.Germany citizen is a given as born to a German father and in Germany.
      Passports come after citizenship and are nothing but a form at the German passport office then the US embassy – once you have the confirmation of a birth abroad.
      Then you have a dual passport child.

  32. I just discovered today that since I’m a US citizen (for the next couple of month), I passed US citizenship to my son automatically, who was born in Brazil. Soon, I won’t be an American citizen longer and my wife is not an American citizen. I find it really strange and somewhat unacceptable that the parents can’t choose for their children to only be a national from where they are born. My wife and I don’t want to travel to America if we only have Brazilian passports and our son must carry a US passport. It’s just strange you acquire citizenship and can’t shake it off very easily.

    1. He is not a US citizen unless he applies with you. He does not get it and it is hard to get, the embassy needs to look at many aspects of your case. To resign from being a US citizen it is easy, just go to the US embassy and fill out a form. I do not recommend it though. Why must he carry a US passport if he is a dual citizen and in Brazil? I think you need to ask questions or read up on laws, because what you write I do not understand. I am on your side just do not know if you have the correct information.

  33. Actually Mark, I was reading the embassy’s website yesterday and it said it very clearly – kids born to Americans abroad in Brazil are dual nationals, even though I never registered him. They also said to register him, get a passport, and then get a SSN for him!! What does an 18 month child in a different country need a SSN for?

    Yes, I’m already in the process of naturalizing here and renouncing US. That FACTA has me scared that my accounts here will be closed in 2013. Look at what happened to the Americans in Germany and other countries? I have a life in another country, and I can’t risk this.

    This is why.. when I read some of the comments here, I’m a little shocked that people want to have a baby born in the America because US Citizenship brings added “responsibilities” when people live abroad. I don’t think these people are aware of this….

  34. Hi I am rewriting my message again because I cant find my comment I posted this morning. Anyway I am a Filipino-American citizen, if I will give birth either in the USA or Philippines is my baby will be automatically dual citizen too? What are the things I should do to make my baby having dual citizenship like me.

    And also my friend Sarah is sitting beside me, she is a green card holder here in the USA, she had 7 months old beautiful girl and the dad is a Filipino, still in Philippines. Is the baby can be dual citizen too in both countries even though she still a green card holder? Thank you and more power.

    1. Any baby born in the USA is a US citizen. Not a problem. A baby born to a US citizen abroad is US citizen if certain requirements are fullfilled. The most important is if you have lived like 5 year in the USA after the age of 14 and can prove it. Your friend the greencard hold’s child will only get citizenship if her child is born in the USA. Documents are needed to prove that you lived in the USA such as tax returns and school records if your child is born abroad. On the US embassy website they have a detailed list of documents and steps. But from my understanding you most likely will get dual citizenship for your child.

      1. So my understanding about my friends situation is that since she is only a green card holder and she gave birth here in the USA so her daughter is only an american citizen since she was born here in the USA and doesn’t qualified to be a Filipino citizen? If ever she will try to apply for her daughter to be a dual citizen. We were wondering because she is not an American citizen and the father as well. Isn’t have the right to claim her daughter also as a Filipino citizen since she is only a green card holder here? Thank you so much Mark you are such a big help.We are absolutely clueless about this stuff and we really appreciate your help.

        1. Yes she can get confirmation of Phillipine citizenship you can read about the The 2003 Republic Act No. 9225. Dual citizenship should not be a problem.

  35. I am a second year university student and hold a study permit, temporary resident in Canada, currently pregnant from a Canadian man.Is this going to affect my study permit? Can it help me in getting Canadian citizenship or giving birth in Canada can it help in getting a permanent permit? what will be my baby’s citizenship?

    1. Your child should be Canadian if born in Canada, but unless you get married you can not get citizenship. So this might help you chances of getting another visa but you have to be married for a citizenship. If you are unclear talk to an immigration lawyer but really, this is something you have to consider. I think a Canadian citizenship for your child is great, however, where do you stand with the father. The good news is Canada is the not USA and maybe they would let you stay. Look into it and read up on it. Canada is more liberal than the USA.

  36. Okay, me and my husband were married in china..I have a green card and I had my baby in the United States. Right now I’m in the process of getting my baby’s US passport, but it is not easy, there were all these information and documents we needed to do. I would like to take my baby back to China to see his dad for the first time but getting his passport is not easy, are there certain notaries or documents that he need to do in China to consent on getting a passport for our baby? If there is, what do I and him need to do?

    1. Why is it not easy. If you have the child’s birth certificate and hots and fill out a passport application the child will get a child passport. My daughter has one. The citizenship is the hard part but the passport is just an application.

  37. My husband is American and me is Filippa and already been there in US for 1 year. I am pregnant now for 6 months and going to born the baby here in Philippines. my question: Is my baby automatic US citizen? How to apply my baby would be a US citizen? Do I need to go nearest US consulate before my baby out?

    1. After your baby is born the whole family must go to the US embassy and obtain a FS-240 Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). You need to comply with Section 301(g) of the INA, basically proving that the US father and husband lived in the US for five years.

  38. I live in Stockholm with my ex-partner and wish to return to England with our 2 children but legally I have to have his permission to return home and he won’t give it, is there anything I can do? Both children are born in Sweden and are therefore protected by Swedish law. If I up and leave there will be a warrant out for my arrest. All my family are in England and desperately want me to come home. I am stuck as I can’t get a permit here for financial report even though I have 2 Swedish children and no right to leave.

    1. I understand your situation and you are right to be rational about it. Go to Interpol and browse all the mothers who have done this. First is do not panic. I am not a lawyer but this is what I wold do. Make sure you get your children UK citizenship if you can. Talk to the UK embassy in Stockholm and they will guide you. If not they have a list of English speaking lawyers in Sweden they can recommend. I think both countries are EU and you are the mother so it is not as bad as you think.
      However, is there no way you can work it out with your ex? Why do so many people get divorce? I mean the children need a father like a mother. Is there no way to make it work? I am not saying that for any other reason than the healthy and welfare of the children?

  39. I was born in America in the state of Ohio in the year 1982.
    I want to get a U.S. Birth certificate and the American passport.
    I did not try before to get U.S. citizenship.
    I came back to Egypt since I was 1 year.I am now 30 years old.So What are the steps that must be followed and the papers to be submitted to obtain an American citizenship? I’m living in Egypt now.

    1. You are already a US citizen, just go to and they can send a birth certificate to you in Eygpt. Then go to the Embassy with it and apply for a passport, but it will cost money. But you are a US citizen if you were born there.

  40. We are planning to get a surrogate mother from Philippines.. My husband’s sister in law is willing to be a surrogate mom to us. We have tried several ivs and egg donor cycles here in ny but it did not work for us. We are running out of fund to pay for surrogate mom local, so we wanted to bring my sister in-law to us tobe my surrogate. Since we have no law for surrogate in the Philippines.

    1. Just because she is a surrogate she can not come to the USA without a visa status. You can have the child in the Phillipine and apply for US citizen for your baby based on the Father, but check with a immigration lawyer in the USA who specialized in surrogate born children. But my understanding of the law is every person needs a visa status in the USA and being a surroae alone does not change this in any way. Let me know if you find information to the contrary.

    2. Me and my husband is a greencard holder. We tried advance infertility treatment here in NY and still no positive result. We cannot afford to pay the surrogate here in US. We found out that its more affordable in India, we will be using my husband’s seed and the surrogate’s egg since I cannot produced healthy egg. based on Indian law, they could put the parents name on the baby’s birth certificate. Can we bring back the baby to US even if we are not an US citizen yet? we just got our greencard last year but we don’t want to wait that long. How can we register a baby born out the country with parents holding a greencard status?

      Thank you.

      1. I am sorry you are having such a hard time and I commend your efforts to bring life in the world, really. I think every problem has a solution, you just need to find it and do not give up and you are right NY is expensive I imagine. I think your situation is so different you need to go to the US embassy or if in the USA the department of immigration which is a subsection of homeland security and set up an info appointment. You can find the department of immigration/homeland security on the web and the city near you will have a center where you can set up via the web an info pass appointment, usually the next day. After a security check you wait for a few minutes and there is someone there that is better equip to answer your complex situation. I personally think green card holders who have a baby in a foreign country will have to go through a visa and eventually green card process for their new-born, but it should not be complex as the US government is not out to separate families, but you need to apply and you have to ask someone in the department as I am not sure. An immigration lawyer might be needed but I would start with the department of immigration.

  41. I wonder what the status re citizenship etc. is for my daughters? Their father has dual nationality, Canadian and British and I am British.

    I understand that you have to be a permanent resident in Canada to gain citizenship but could the children just go to Canada one day and decide to live with their father without all the immigration process?

    1. It would be no problem. However, what passport do they hold now? There still might be an application process but with a Canadian father not an issue.

  42. I am an american Citizen but I lived in USA utill my 12 years , now I live in Colombia, I am having a baby can my baby be an american Citizen.

    1. I do not think so, you could apply in a more round about way, but confirmation is based on a test of how long you lived there after a certain age.

  43. My little baby girl was born accidentally (7th month) in Amsterdam when I and my husband were on vacation. She was incubated there for 2 months before she was discharged.
    Both I and my husband are Lebanese and do not have any other nationality.
    Is there any way for her to get the NL nationality?
    Thank you.

    1. Your baby can not get confirmed citzenship in the Netherlands. This is a common question in Europe. What she needs to do is first get a visa, which I think her place of birth will help with, then apply for citizenship after five years of legal residency. I think it is possible the long way but not the short way as most of Europe goes by the parents citizenship at time of birth not the location.

  44. I am an American citizen and I moved to Italy about three years ago. In this period of timme I have gotten married to an Italian man and we have had a child together. It is to my understanding that since I an a U.S. citizen that my baby, being born in Italy, is an American citizen. The thing is, I would like to take my baby boy to see his grandparents and other family members in America. Will I be able to take my baby to the U.S. without any problems.

    1. Why are you worried my friend? You are an American and your child can easily get confirmation of birth of American citizen abroad. Just go to the US embassy and fill out form FS-240. You need of course birth documents.

      As an Italian your child can travel to the USA no problem for three months but get the paperwork going for your child’s baby passport. Italy and Europe is a beautiful place. My daughter was born in Europe and it was no problem to get confirmation of US citizenship.

      I think you will live a wonderful life as Italian people are generally nice, family oriented religious and the culture is interesting. Let me know if you have any questions about visas or passports etc.

  45. I am an american citizen married to nz citizen since 2005. I had our daughter in the US in 2006 and having been raising her in the US alone since 2007, as my husband and I are separated. If I would like to try living in nz again so that my daughter could have more of a relationship with her father, would she be able to get NZ citizenship since her dad’s a kiwi and still lives there? I’ve heard people can nz citizenship by descent. Also would I then be able to get NZ citizenship from her getting it?

  46. My husband is USA permanent resident, Mexican citizen. I am a USA citizen. If we go to India and use husbands , egg donor and a gestational carrier.How do we obtain passport and papers for this baby. I as the USA citizen do not have any genetic ties to this baby. Would this baby be a mexican citizen? Can a permanent male resident bring home his baby from India? What type of immigration papers would we need?

    1. It is all about the laws at the time of birth and the legal documents. Governments want to see birth certificates with parents names on them. In the case of a surrogate, you need to get a legal document to make the connection and responsibility of parenthood. Can you get a lawyer who knows about this or contact the embassy, I would?

  47. My wife and I are both dual citizens: Nicaraguan by birth and U.S. by Naturalization.

    We were married in Nicaragua in 2000. In 2002, we both went to live to the U.S. We both lived in the U.S. as adults for about eight years (from 2002 to 2004 as L-1 and L-2 non-immigrant visa holders, from 2004 to 2009, as permanent residents or green card holders), and from 2009 to 2010 a US Citizens. We came back to Nicaragua to live in 2010.

    My wife is now pregnant. The baby will be born in Nicaragua.

    I understand that both my wife and I do comply with the 5 years residence requirement in the US (as merried adults). But we became US Citizens in 2009 (just one year before we decided to move back to Nicaragua). In other words, during most of the 5 years residence requirement, we were not US citizens, but US permanent residents. Does this matter? Can my baby be denied US citizenship because of this, if she were to be born in Nicaragua?

    Best regards,

    1. It is a very good question and I do not know for certain. I think you are OK, but can you contact the US embassy and let me know the rule for sure. Even if the baby does not get citizenship at once, the baby will eventually get citizenship as both parents are citizens. It is much cheaper to have a baby in Nicaragua as US medical care is a mess.

      1. Thanks Mark for your rapid response.

        I will check with the US Embassy and let you know for sure.

        Yes, the main reason why we are having the baby in Nicaragua is because we cannot afford to have it in the US (it is too expensive)!

        Best regards,


        1. Dear Mark:

          I check the US Embassy in Managua website. This is what they have posted for a child born abroad to two U.S. citizens parents:

          “A child born outside of the U.S. or its outlying possessions to parents, both of whom are U.S. citizens at the time of the child’s birth, is entitled to citizenship provided one of the parents had, prior to the birth of the child, been resident in the U.S. or one of its outlying possessions. (No specific period of time is required.)”

          So Mark, according to this, it is my understanding that in the case of both parents beeing U.S. citizens, the residency requirement is no longer of five years. It can be of any time.

          The five years residency requirement applies when only one of the parents is a US citizen.

          1. Thank you very much for this information. I am the only US citizen parent as my wife is Polish so I had to jump though a few hoops to get our daughter confirmation of US birth abroad, but even that was not bad. If you are an American, one way or another you can get citizenship for your child.

        2. Having a baby in the USA is 10,000 dollars. You can go to home birth centers for about 3,000 dollars if everything is fine and healthy. I think the cost if too much. Nicaragua you would get affordable care and good quality. I mean basically with a few exceptions childbirth is a straightfoward process, there is no reason to go indept for it.

  48. I am an African living in Europe, my son was born in Africa but his father is an Australian living in Hong kong where we met. He supported his child only three times sending amount of us $300 each time and he earns more than us $20,000 per month or more with his companies all over the world. All I would like and dream of is for my son who is currently living in africa to have a good life. I moved to europe so I would be able to support him but its still hard 4 me, he wil be 6 years this year June, I try to write him and still scan hots to him but he doesn’t send anything, what should I do or should i contact Australian Embassy here or what, please give me an advise.

    1. without the father’s help it would be very hard to prove anything regarding the paternity of the father. Unless you can do this, it will be hard. I would write his parents and tell them they have a grandchild and the father is not taking any responsibility to support their precious child. That is what I would do. I would also look into women support agencies in Australian, they would be able to better guide you. You could e-mail the Australian embassy but I think without proof you are just a single mom from Africa.

      I would say do not give up hope and your child’s life happiness, does not depend on living in some rich western country as much as one on one contact and love with you, which I am sure you are willing to give.

  49. I am an Indian citizen (woman) living in Italy since 10 years and my American boyfriend wants to adopt my daughter who doesn’t have a father on her birth certificate. Is that possible and how can it be done?

    1. Go here as international adoption is very complicated. Maybe it would be easier if you all got married I think, really why would you not be married? I think either way it is very possible and every child deserves a mother and a father.

      1. The problem is that I would want to get married to him and he does to me, and my divorce so take another year because here in Italy. The procedure is really long. And my future husband would want me to go live with him in the States which I can’t do it as a fiancé since I’m not completely divorced and he sincerely wants to be the father of my child (which is not from my ex-husband but from another man).

        1. I believe in love and marriage and I do not believe in physical relations outside of the context of marriage and not dating while married still. You will have to let your fiance deal with it via the USA embassy and the departmen of immigration and homeland security. I have no answers for you.

  50. My son recently married a US sitizen, both living in the UK, and our grandson is registerd as a British citiazen, his wife will recieve her UK passport in the comming months, after this she is planning to apply for dual citizenship for our grandson. My son is concerd with this application, can this be done without his permission?

    Also can she leave the UK with our grandson without consent from the father?

    1. I think she can leave the UK with her son anytime, if they are both US citizens. If her son is only a British citizen he can not stay in the USA for more tha 3 months. Now if there is a legal dispute or they plan to get separated, the court decides who has custody over the son. However, this has to be done all on paper and through the court to the arrangement both parties agree on. But I think if they are married and there is no court motion or papers in progress, I think the mother can take the son as unless there is legal paper that defines and agreement she is the mother, just like the father can take the son.
      The law gets complex and I would consult a lawyer if she or he plans to do anything like breaking up the family.
      They are young and restless, have the wisdom to try to keep the family together as children need both parents.

      About the passport/citizenship. The US embassy wants both parents present, at least in my case they did. Maybe through some round about process she could get US citizenship or because she is a woman not a man, but in my case the embassy wanted both parents and the child brought into the embassy.

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