U.S. Military Members Children Face New Citizenship Policy Overseas

by America's Keepers on August 29, 2019
A policy clarification from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service published Wednesday does not revoke automatic citizenship for children of U.S. citizens born abroad, including troops and federal workers, Homeland Security Department officials said Wednesday.

Here's the official statement on Twitter from Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services...

Here's the statement I promised (1/3):
The policy manual update today does not affect who is born a U.S. citizen, period. It only affects children who were born outside the US and were not US citizens. This does NOT impact birthright citizenship.

(2/3) The policy update doesn't deny citizenship to the children of US gov employees or members of the military born abroad. This policy aligns USCIS’ process with the Department of State’s procedures for these children - that's it. Period. Background in next tweet...

(3/3) US laws allow children to acquire US citizenship other than through birth in the US. Children born outside of the US to a US citizen parent or parents may be US citizens at birth under INA 301 or 309, or before age 18 through their US citizen parent(s) under INA 320.

— USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli (@USCISCuccinelli) 
See Full Thread here

Previously, all children born to U.S. citizen parents were considered to be "residing in the United States," and therefore would be automatically granted citizenship under Immigration and Nationality Act 320. Now, children born to U.S. service members and government employees who are not yet themselves U.S. citizens, while abroad, will not be considered as residing in the U.S., changing the way that they potentially receive citizenship. Children who are not U.S. citizens and are adopted by U.S. service members while living abroad will also no longer receive automatic citizenship by living with the U.S. citizen adopted parents.

The policy states that "Effective October 29, 2019, children residing abroad with their U.S. citizen parents who are U.S. government employees or members of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed abroad are not considered to be residing in the United States for acquisition of citizenship. Similarly, leave taken in the United States while stationed abroad is not considered residing in the United States even if the person is staying in property he or she owns."

Full Policy Alert Here

Excerpt from Military.com...

"The policy goes on to say that "U.S. citizen parents who are residing outside the United States with children who are NOT U.S. citizens should apply for U.S. citizenship on behalf of their children under [policy] must complete the process before the child's 18th birthday."

Here’s who the policy affects:

  • Children who live with their U.S. parents abroad but who did not acquire citizenship at birth, including infants and children adopted overseas.
  • Children born of non-U.S. citizens who are adopted by U.S. citizens.
  • Those whose parents became U.S. citizens after the child's birth.
  • U.S. citizens who do not meet the residence or physical presence rules needed to transmit birthright citizenship, such as a person born overseas with birthright citizenship who never lived in the United States."