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. I am a US citizen. My partner is from the Europe and only has a European passport. We now have two children. The eldest child is a dual national. The youngest has just been born. My conundrum is that my partner no longer wants us (myself and eldest child) to have US citizenship because of the new tax laws. I said I would look into it but I presume the eldest would need to wait until he is 18 to renounce citizenship. But my more immediate concern is I want my family to see the children. I have been told that I can not travel to the US with the youngest if he does not have a US passport. Will we be denied entry to the USA even though my partner does not want the youngest to grant citizenship? Would they discriminate in that way? My partner is fine with us visiting and I could get a note and documentation proving that we are married etc.
    Also, if my partner changes his mind (again), will the baby be denied citizenship because he entered on a visa before going to the consulate to register his birth? I hope that makes sense. In the meantime I am trying to convince him that dual citizenship is worth it. Thank you for your time.

    1. Ask your partner to write me. There is no new tax law in the USA that should affect any of this in a radical way. My brother’s family is a duel UK/US citizen and I am US/EU. I do taxes in the USA. It is very simple. You have to pay taxes in the country you reside and for US citizens, unless your super rich you can exclude the income on the US taxes living abroad. Double citizenship can really add value to a family beyond nickle and dimes. Give to Caesar’s which is Caesar’s What new law does he refer to?

      1. Hi Mark. I have a potential surrogate who lives in Jamaica and my donor is also in Jamaican. Neither have a visa to travel to the U.S. which is where I live. Once the baby is born, how can I get the baby to the U.S. if the baby is not biologically mine (using her eggs and his ). Thx.

        1. Maybe if the baby was adopted by you but if the baby is not biologically connected then the child needs to be legally connected.

      2. I have a friend that is pregnant right now and does not want the baby. She is willing to give the baby to me. I am a US citizen and planning to sign the birth certificate, so I can take the baby with me. Can I just bring the baby at the embassy and apply for citizenship, and next, I can take the baby with me here in there US?

        1. By taking the responsibility of a child and effectively saving the child’s life from a grim alternative, I can say you have earned my respect and and I think a place in heaven if I understand the situation. Further, that child will be very grateful you did so.

          All things are possible with a little paperwork and patience.
          This is what I have learned dealing with governments. All they want is documents, that is all.

          Yes you can do this with ease. Yes you can get citizenship for the baby and take the child to the USA. You just have to fill out forms.

          If you are the father or will adopt the child it is not problem. You just have to prove you are a citizen, and fill out some documents. There might be a delay but the main thing is to get the child confirmed as a US citizen. Once confirmed you are free to go and you will have a magical life with this child.

          The main thing the US embassy will want is papers and documents that show you are a US citizen. You can order your birth certificate online from the state you were born and they will send it overseas. You can use your passport and you can use other support documents that should you are a citizen and have lived in the USA.

          The next step is determining your relationship to the child. If you are the father that is easy to proof with a DNA test. A simple prenatal test will do, I believe, talk to the embassy with an informational interview. If you are state side you can talk to the Department of Immigration.

          If you are not the father, it was unclear from your comment, then you can adopt or assume legal responsibility for the child.

          Trust me what you are doing with worth the effort.

          Oh and raising a child is not that hard, they do not need a lot of money, we grow our own food in our garden and you can get assistance if you need to. They just need love. They will be your best friend.

  2. I’m an Italian citizen who lives in UK. My girlfriend is now pregnant but we would like to stay together in US but the problem is that I cannot work over there. Is anything I can do?

    1. Does she have a job in the USA? If she does you can get married and problem is solved, just apply for a visa. If she does not. I think when she has the baby she can live in Europe with you until you solve the issue. Traveling while pregnant is not advised.

  3. I am a us citizen and 6 months pregnant I left the us because of personal problems I will be having my child outside the us will my baby still be able to get his us citizenship ?

    1. A baby born to an American citizen abroad can get US citizenship.

      1. Hello. I am an American citizen (born and raised) and a Turkish citizen. I got married in Turkey and currently live with my husband (Turkish citizen) in Turkey. I am 3 months pregnant and plan to have my child in Turkey due to the risks of flying while pregnant. Now I know you mentioned it is possible for my child to become an American citizen but does that vary from foreign countries. Turkey is not considered European even though we live on the European side of the country. And as far as I know in Turkey the child takes the fathers nationality. Is it still possible for my child to become an American citizen?

        1. If you are American than the child will be American. Each country has their own rules but America says the child is American. You are wise not to fly during pregnancy.

  4. I am pregnant Filipina green card holder; my husband is natural born American citizen . We are planning to fly to the Philippines and are thinking to give birth there so that servants can take care of me at my parent’s home. I wanna know , after I gave birth, can I bring the baby back to the U.S? If yes, how ? Is he a U.S citizen?

    1. The baby will be a US citizen once you apply, it is a simple process of proving documents but I did it and should be no problem.

  5. Hello everyone I’m looking for some information about visa to the states, I went traveling last year to Australia. And I was out there for around 7 months and while I was out there I met my girlfriend who is from the states. We were living with each other in Australia for a while and then decided to come back to the UK in May 2014, so we both was living at my parents house, after a month of being here I had the best news anyone could ask for (baby) so we found out we was expecting our first baby together so we waited to for the first scan which we had not so long along ago. And now I’m wondering what sort of visa I am entitled to if any one knows or can point me in the right direction.

    1. You are not entitled to any visa, but have to go through the process of obtaining one. If you want to live in the USA then you apply for a immigrant visa. But I worn you the process is slow and if you do apply you will not be able to visit while the application is being considered.

  6. My question is about my 1year and 5 months old son, who was born in Ukraine. Both my husband and I have a Green Card, and now wee want to take our son to US. How can wee do this, and is this possible?

    1. Yes just apply for a visa for your children. If you have jobs in the USA you will have no issue. The main thing is you need jobs to support them in the USA. Together you can make a minimum of $50,000, I think which is more than enough to support them or get legal assistance to help you.

  7. Does anyone know of a law that would not allow a Ukrainian citizen to leave Moscow simply because she is pregnant and the father is Russian?
    There is a lot more to the story as to the reason I am involved in this mess and I can go into more detail but I just wondered if Russia has such a law requiring this unmarried female to remain in Moscow until the child is born.

    1. There is no law like that that I know. How can anyone prevent you from leaving the city limits or going back to your home country. If someone is married a judge might have a restriction if you have a child and the child is in dispute in court. However, being unmarried and pregnant I can not see a law like that.

  8. My husband and I are both USA Citizens and are not staying in the UK legally.
    We don’t want to go back to the USA now but I am pregnant, if I have my baby in the UK and one day I decide to go back to the USA will my baby be able to be USA citizen, or how can I bring him back to the USA once we decide to go back? Can I just go to the USA consulate in the UK and show my USA documentations even if I am staying here in the UK illegally? And would this prevent my baby to be become USA citizen.
    Thank you

    1. I can not advise on anything legal and especially if your legal status in the UK is questionable. However, I can tell you this, the most important part of this citizenship equation is the health of your baby. Flying during pregnancy is not recommended. Besides the change in cabin pressure there are also problems with radiation, you can research this. Air travel as a good amount of radiation as the atmosphere is thin at 40,000 feet.

      I believe your baby does not have to apply for citizenship, rather just needs to be confirmed that the baby is. I think although there might be some issues with paperwork, it should not affect the status of your baby’s US citizenship as both parents are US citizens that have lived for five years as an adult in the USA.

      So first put your babies health as the priority and then worry about visa and citizenship status. That is what I would do personally.

  9. Hello Mark,
    Thank you for this wonderful site! It’s the first one in months that actually answers the questions we all have with immigration, children born abroad ect. So thank you!
    My question is: my husband and I have been attempting to adopt for almost 3 yrs. We had 2 adoptions looking like they were a perfect match, after months working with them and thousands spent, the mothers changed their minds last minute. After months in mourning, We decided to give it one last scordial, and a birth mother from Vietnam contacted us. Which was perfect because my husband was a born in Vietnam and a refugee during the war. He was brought over by Operation Baby lift and given US citizenship. So my question is, initially we thought having the mother apply for a travel visa and come to the US to deliver since the US has closed all adoptions to Vietnam a few years ago. Plus, medical care over in a third world country is not what I want for my child. However, My worry is for her health at 7 months and a 25 hr flight. And other major concern is a vietnamese resident obtaining a visa is next to impossible unless you have a home or funds to put up as collateral. ( the govt wants to know you will not flea the country). So even if she secured an interview to file for visa, the chances of her getting it quick enough before she can’t fly at all also is to be contended with. So if flying her here isn’t an option,then can my husband claim the child as his? We were there in July for 3 weeks visiting family and touring the country. I normally wouldn’t consider anything like this, but for your children, you’ll move mountains. And since it only takes one parent who’s a citizen to file for the child, could this theoretically be done? The time we were there matches up in terms of appearance sake. What is the process for a parent to file for a visa or citizenship for their baby? How long would this take? Because my husband is a physician, I was planning on going over alone to get our baby, and I could stay with my husbands family but since it is my husband who (might ) lay claim to child, would he have to go over and appear in person or is all the citizenship paperwork done here in the states? I apologize for the long email. Any help would be a huge blessing. This is the last scordial for adoption. We are hanging up our hats if this doesn’t work.
    God Bless,

    1. I would say that flying is generally safe for a child unless there’s unusual health problems. You might want to research this yourself. The only alternative is a boat which is a much longer journey.

      When flying the main danger is the radiation which occurs at the higher altitudes, especially when there are solar flares. But this can be mitigated by flying mostly at night or by taking antioxidants. You can read about this online and do the research yourself but solar radiation at higher altitudes is very real. I wouldn’t worry about pressure changes in the cabin as these are fairly well regulated. I have flown hundreds of times literally. And only once or twice did I experience any major change in pressure. I would think that the most important thing is that the child is in the arms of the mother or father and really wrapped well with the loving arms of an adult. It is a long flight. But maybe you can find ways to mitigate this. Like you stop in Hawaii. And rest there overnight or for several days. I think the visa issue should be fairly easy because your husband is a physician. I do applaud what you are doing, that is adopting a child . And you doing it into a loving household. I’m sorry I don’t have specific advice on how to navigate the legalities of the system at this point, as my efforts have been focused on other things at this juncture. Specifically financially I am trying to work on different ventures that hopefully will give me a little bit more independence and stability myself. So I would recommend professional advice that you would pay for. However my general advice is this, it’s a good thing that you’re doing and don’t give up and ask for God to guide you.

  10. Hello mark,

    I have a situation that I really need some education on. I am an American Citizen working in Israel. A woman is claiming to be pregnant by me. I believe there is some kind of set up to obtain a us citizenship. What do I do? What’s the worse case scenario if the baby is truly mine? Question? Should I not help establish paternity or do a DNA test before the baby is born? Will that also help her cause?


    1. If the child is yours, than I personally would be take love to be a father. If not she can do little to get a US citizenship without your cooperation.

  11. Hello Mark, Could you give please some information what I should do to make father of my baby recognize her and eventually pay child support. He is American citizen was stationed in Italy, because he was in the Army. Then he left and now I haven’t any news from him. I do not know if I have to go to consulate or try to hire attorney in us.

    1. There are two ways, the legal way and the emotional appeal way. The legal way is hard without his consent. You would need DNA testing and him to work with the US Consulate. You could always hire a lawyer but only if they feel there would be a positive outcome. I would at least talk to the consulate for an informational interview. Be very factual and present an outline of events. They will guide you before a lawyer does.

      However, there is the other way you might want to consider. That is, does he have parents? You could write them a letter with hots included. I am sure they do not know they have a grandchild. You can in an honest way explain your case and are concerned about the welfare of the child. You can tell who you are and that you are an intelligent multilingual person who is responsible but as a Christian you feel that a child needs a mother and a father. I personally can not recommend any legal advise but I would do something like that if I were in your situation. He has parents and you could appeal to them. You are a good person I am sure, and your child deserves to be raised in optimal circumstance.

      1. Thank you very much, Mark, for your kind words and the answer. It’s so heartwarming to hear something nice especially when everything seems so difficult and complicated. I’ll definitely try to get in touch with his grandmother, because he has very strange and not the best parents and I have only to hope that she’ll be OK with it, then will see what consulate going to tell me.

  12. I have a pretty relevant question. I am a US Citizen, my wife (Russian) has her green card, and is expecting her permanent resident card within a couple of months of so. My wife is pregnant. Her mother is overjoyed and really wants to be around and about when the baby is born. However, it will/would take a little time before we could legally get her here before the baby is born. SO. My question is this: if my wife and I went to Russia to visit with, and be around her mom, and give birth there so her mom could be there for that as well, how does that work?

    In essence, if I am US citizen, and she has her green card and is expecting her permanent resident card shortly, and we travel to Russia to visit with her mom and family, and she happens to give birth there, is this a bad thing or a good thing? Will this drastically affect things negatively, or is it little more than a few weeks and a paper shuffle of sorts. Any help or advice regarding this would be immensely appreciated.

    1. There are three aspects to this question 1) citizenship 2) money 3) health of the baby. Money, it is easier to give birth in Russia because you will save 10k after you deduct airfare, also the support of the mother is a factor. If you have a job with income, here and have lived here a long time it should be no problem for the child after paper chase to be confirmed a citizen. Even if being a natural born US citizen can help, its not a big deal, but that is another conversation.
      The health of the baby should be considered. Flying while pregnant is a concern you have to research. I would look at radiation and solar flairs in particular. This is well known and you have to understand the health risks to the unborn. If you can afford it I would have the baby without flying. If you can not afford it in the US there are mid wives here and cheap if you look. That is me personally, but citizenship is not an issue, especially if you check with the consulate to confirm.

  13. Hi
    I’m a South African woman who fell pregnant in the US. I’m back in South Africa now and almost 4months pregnant. My boyfriend is a US citizen. He wants me to give birth in the US. Does the baby automatically become a US citizen, and what happens to me once the baby is born and we are not married yet? Will it be easier for me to gain citizenship in the US or do we have to get married?

    1. If a child is born in the US it is a citizen. However, you have to beware of travelling while pregnant might not be optimal during certain months of your pregnancy, you can research this. You can not stay in the US unless you are married.

      1. Thank you so much. The information is very helpful.

  14. Hi,
    I’m a U.S citizen while my husband has dual citizenship in Russia and the U.S. I am 15 weeks pregnant and we decided to give birth in Moscow. His entire family is in Moscow, Russia and it would mean the world to them to see the baby right after he is born, especially the hubbys mother. So my First set of questions are : If I gave birth to our son under these circumstances would he automatically be a U.S citizen ? If not how would I go about applying for U.S citizenship for him? And secondly, if he was born in Russia would he be able to gain Russian citizenship and have dual citizenship like his father and what would it take to get it?

    1. I recommend researching travelling while pregnant, for medical reasons and the affect on the baby. However, if you have your baby in Moscow you will have to get the baby’s citizenship confirmed through a process with the embassy. For example, you will need to prove five years of residency of the US citizen spouse. Once you prove our the requirements you should be fine.

  15. Hi Mark,

    I’m expecting my first baby due in April 2017. I’m not married, I live with my boyfriend who is the father of the baby.

    My question is:

    Will the baby be automatically on US citizen born in the USA?
    I have a German passport and from my mother the Polish one.

    Will I be able to bring the baby to Europe to introduce them to my family with no problems?
    Will I need any paperwork?

    I’m just afraid that after giving birth that my family in Europe will never meet the baby.

    Thank you so much for your time to read my e- mail.

    1. If born in the USA the baby will be American citizen and European citizen. Your family of course will see the baby, relax everything will be fine. I think the main concern is not to travel while pregnant and just relax and eat well as this will affect the babies health, the citizenship and post birth will be fine.


  16. I am not military or in government service. Both my kids have dual citizenship, one being US, but have never lived in the US. At 20 here, they are supposed to make a decision about giving up one of heir nationalities. (Although it is common practice to just keep quiet and keep both.) My son, a US citizen who has never lived in the US gives up his other nationality and meets a woman in a similar circumstance. (Besides giving up the other nationality, not such a far fetched circumstance.) Two US citizens living abroad and never having lived in the US, what becomes of their child’s nationality?

    Being born in this country doesn’t automatically give you citizenship, like in the US. And the child would be born to two US citizens never having lived in the US. Would my grandchild be nation less and without passports?

    1. The parent need to have lived in the US as an adult. I would immediately have an informational interview with the US embassy and be proactive about the child’s citizenship so you know your options.

  17. Hi Mark,
    I am a Vietnamese woman and I have a son with a US citizen .
    However, I doesn’t really want to accept or do any paper work to make my son become a US citizen . Our son now is 5 years old and he has Vietnamese citizen now.
    What can I do to help him (my son) to become a US citizen when his father refuses to do anything for us

    1. Have you spoken to his parents? I would make them aware your boyfriend has a son. I would also talk to the US Embassy for an informational interview.

  18. When applying for citizenship of a baby born to an American father and a foreign mother, does the baby have to take the father’s family name to become an American citizen or can the baby be given the mother’s native family name?

    1. The family name has nothing to do with anything. It is all based on the law of citizenship.

  19. Hello!

    I am an American citizen who has been living in Costa Rica for over a year now. I am pregnant and the father is a Costa Rica native and does not have any USA citizenship or visa.

    I worked as a social worker in the states within the last three years and my income was enough to support a household of three. However, since being in Costa Rica, I cannot prove a high income. I do have a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a strong work history.

    I want us to move to the United States after the baby is born and of course I want him with me.

    What is the best way to go about this? We are in a legitimate relationship (having a child together). I am 5 months pregnant now.

    Would it be best to get married here and apply for a marriage visa? Will having a child together make a difference (we would gladly pay to have paternity proven).

    Any help would be much appreciated. Feeling very lost in this process.

    1. Sarah Elena,
      You will have an interesting and beautiful life. I love being married and having a child. You will too.
      Yes moving to the USA with the baby will be no problem at all. The big question is, do you have enough US based income currently to qualify? This can be determined with an informational interview at the US consulate in Costa Rica. I highly recommend an informational interview. That is what we did.
      You can also read the form here:

      Also go here:

      This is a checklist.

      I suspect that you might not have the income, but I am not sure. You can get a family member like your parents to sponsor you partner. If that is not an option, then do not worry.
      Next step is to ask what visa he can come to the US on. He can come on another visa and then you can secure income and then apply for the I-130.

  20. Hello,

    My wife is an American citizen and I am Irish. We married in the states but had to leave as we were unable to raise the funds to pay for the visa process. I also overstayed my tourist visa by 5 months and left the states May 2013 planning to revisit the matter in the future.
    Could I return to the states on a visitor visa now after all that time?

    Our baby was born in Ireland and is currently on a tourist visa in the states.. I am currently in Ireland and am seeking to know what happens when the 90 visa for our baby expires soon?
    My wife wants to possibly extend her stay a bit longer.
    Can she get citizenship for our daughter without my consent while there? I am on baby’s birth certificate

    Thank you kindly

    1. I understand completely about your visa and money issues. You are good people with a family and yet economics makes life hard for you. You have to get the child citizenship. The child needs to be confirmed a US citizen. This will make your life much easier. You should have full right to come and live in the US if your wife is a citizen and if your child is that is a stronger case. It is all a matter of talking to the embassy and applying. I know it costs a lot but beg for the money Begging is a time honored profession. I would do it for my child. Work at night in a retail store. Do anything, sell vegetables in the farmers market. It will make your life much easier. If you are Irish you are most likely Catholic or at Protestant and the Christian way is to put the child first. I would seriously focus on raising money, even if you crowd source, beg on the streets or work.

  21. Hi Mark . I am here on H4 visa in US. I am 22 weeks pregnant and due in May. I am really concerned about the recent changes being made by trump regarding immigration and birthright citizenship. I want my baby to have US citizenship but I am also scared that because of some law being made later on I should not be asked to travel back to my native place i.e India when I can not do so . Kindly help me with this confusion.

    1. President Trump can not change citizenship laws, that would have to be an act of the US Congress. If your child is born in the US, I think the child would be American. Trump just wants to kick out illegals and criminals. I mean would you personally want an illegal squatter living in your house uninvited if they have a criminal record? So Trump does not want this in the US. You are a legal person and have nothing to worry about.

  22. My husband is Canadian working in the US for over 10 years and holding green card for over 5. He will soon be applying for the US citizenship. I am in Italy with the kids (4 years old and 15) I was wondering if once he obtains the citizenship my children and I can apply for the US citizenship too while living in Italy. Or we need to move to the US and have the green card first?

    1. Complex issues, basically from my understanding the children need to live in the US as a green card holder but you could check with the embassy. Why on earth is the family not together? That is not right to break up the family over work unless there is so unusual need.

  23. Seems I might find some answers here. My husband and I just had our fourth child here in Moscow, Russia. We should have his passport and American birth certificate this week Our problem now is that we need (as far as we know) to obtain a visa for him. I have read that you can not apply for a Visa in Country, that you must apply from your home country. We are in a bind as we finally finished jumping through all the hoops to get his Russian birth certificate so we could apply for and get his American birth certificate and passport. It has been a long process (mostly obtaining paperwork and waiting). Due to the visa’s that my husband and I and our three daughters already have we have to leave the country every 6 months. We are scheduled to leave and then come back in two weeks now. We are starting to wonder (based on how many hoops we had to jump through already) if we need to cancel that trip until we get his visa. We are pretty sure we can’t exit without him having a visa. He is only 2 months old right now.

    Any thought, help or guidance would be appreciated.

    1. You should be able to go to the embassy and ask for assistance there. If you have a Russian and American birth certificate I can not image that the issue is.

  24. How do you get the passport at the embassy when they require both parents? The parents are together just not married. She is visiting relatives in Kuwait and looks like she will deliver here. The embassy is really no help. I have written and tried to make an appointment. This question is not on the embassy’s menu to make the appointment, cause the child is not born yet.

    What to do?


    1. As long as the mother who is an American citizen, has lived in the US for a certain number of years, the baby should be confirmed a US citizen, that means they are already a US citizen, just need to get a birth certificate, at least this is my understanding. You need to keep searching on the US Embassy website and look at the criteria for US birth overseas. It is not that hard of a process as many people I know when thought this.

  25. I am a US citizen and I had a child by a Japanese woman. We were never married and are no longer together. They live in Japan and I in the US. I have been looking into getting my child US citizenship. This means agreeing to support my child financially until 18, but how does that work? Do I just keep proof of sending them what i can when i can, will the embassy make a schedule, will they garnish my wages? I just want to make sure i understand what i am committing to legally as I go along.
    Thank you for the guidance,

    1. I have a question? Why not just get married? If you are willing to support your child, why not just get married, have a beautiful wife to be with. You can spend more time with the child daily, it is an experience of a lifetime. In many countries and in the West in the past there were arranged marriages that worked well. Why not life the dream and become a father and a husband.

  26. Hi Mark,

    What would be the citizenship situation for a child born in Spain?
    I’m American (father) my wife is (American and British dual citizen) and we’re planning to relocate to Spain. I know the baby will get US citizenship and perhaps British, but what about a Spaniard citizenship for the baby born in Spain? Any info you can provide will be helpful. Thanks

    1. American and UK yes, but Spanish it is more complex as they go by right of blood rather than birth. I think you would have to live there for a while with a visa, however, double check on the embassy website.

  27. Dear Mark
    This is a mother of an undocumented American child, my question is why, until an immigrant American father won’t give recognition to the child willingly who was born in outside of the USA, that child can’t be an American citizen legally. Why there is no possible way to make him a documented American citizen. Why such kind of person can’t be punished or won’t be punished for playing with a life of a child. Why this injustice with that innocent soul. If there are some rules that a father must give recognition of a child then don’t you think, there are also be some rules to give extraordinary kind of punishment to him for such undone with lives! So that man like him must think if he does anything wrong outside of the USA he will be punished for his did if reported in USA. Do you have any answer to my question Sir? Do you agree when he cheated his ex wife and the child he must be punished or be free to live a wonderful life because the rules of Immigration feel that he should be set free and the child should be unrecognized. Why country like America has such type of partial rules for a children and talk big about human rights?

    1. I do not have all the fact. However, I believe in marriage. Marriage is a social agreement that facilitates many legal issues with regards to immigration. If that is not possible at this juncture, try not to be so negative. Look at positive and what is possible. I believe you can be happy anywhere you live. Why does it have to be the USA?

  28. Hi Mark,

    I am a US citizen, wife is not. We are happily married and have a 2 and a half y/o son that was born in Israel. When he was born we applied for his citizenship at the consulate general in Israel but I had issues with proving I lived in the US after the age of 14. I lived more than that but had problems finding official documents as I never attended high school or college in the US. Fast forward 2 years and I finally got the needed forms together. I spoke to the consulate again and they said that since 2 years have gone by, we need to start the process over again. This would be no problem except I am currently visiting family in Florida and wont be back to Israel for the next 2 months. My question is: is it possible to apply for his citizenship while I am here in the US and they (wife and son) are in Israel? Or must we only apply in his country of birth (Israel)? Any assistance would be much appreciated, thanks.

  29. Hello Mark. I am a US citizen, but my husband is not. I am pregnant and my expected due date is in 2 months. I intended to go back to the US to give birth for the sake of my child’s citizenship but wasn’t able to. I’m living in Yemen and there isn’t really anything I can do at this time in terms of getting my child US citizenship. Is there anything my parents who are living in the US right now can do for me? Or is there anything I can do?

    1. Citizenship is based on place of birth in the US but also your citizenship even if the child is born abroad. When you give birth you need to go to the US embassy and your child should get citizenship after a lot of paperwork based on your citizenship being a US citizen who has lived as an adult in the US.

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