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How does a child acquire U.S. citizenship at birth?

For many, it is a priority to ensure that their children enjoy all the benefits of U.S. citizenship as they grow up in Kentucky. If you are currently expecting a child, you may wonder what conditions would confer this right to him or her at birth.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services explains.

Through married parents who are citizens

If you and your spouse are U.S. citizens, and one or both of you have lived either in the country or in American Samoa or Swains Island, your child will automatically be a U.S. citizen, no matter where he or she is born.

Through one parent who is a citizen

When you are married but only one of you is a citizen, that parent must have lived in the U.S. for a minimum of five years, and at least two of those must have been after the age of 14. However, if the non-citizen is a U.S. national, then the citizen parent must have lived in the country, American Samoa, or Swains Island for at least 12 consecutive months.

If you are not married to the other parent, and the father is a citizen but the mother is not, you must provide evidence that there is a paternal biological relationship. The father must also agree to support the child until he or she is 18, and ensure that your child is legitimated under the law where you live. Alternatively, the father may acknowledge paternity under oath and in writing, or you may have the court adjudicate paternity.

Through location

Even if you and the other parent are not U.S. citizens, your child will be if he or she is born in the United States.

Although this information is provided to educate you about citizenship at birth, it is general in nature and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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