The Roles and Responsibilities of Immigration Attorneys

Obtaining Citizenship For Your Child Born Abroad

According to the law, children born abroad to at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen are deemed to also be citizens. Although the law is widely recognized, what is not as widely known is that it is the parent's responsibility to apply for this citizenship. There is a legal process by which every parent must certify their child's citizenship. 

Citizenship Claim

You must submit a formal citizenship claim to begin the process to establish citizenship. Typically, immediately after the child is born, you would need to visit the U.S. Embassy in the country in which the child was born. 

This step is critical because it certifies the birth. Think of this step, in the same manner, you would a birth certificate, in that it is a legal declaration that the birth did take place. Once you complete the process, the office will give you a document to certify the child's citizenship.

Passport Request

Certification from the U.S. Embassy provides your child with citizenship validation, but it does not grant your child entry into the United States. All children born abroad must first obtain a passport before the child can travel to the country, as both this document and the citizenship verification are required for entry. 

Ideally, you should apply for the child's passport immediately after you receive the citizenship certification form from the embassy, as it can take some time for the passport application to process, especially if there are errors on the application. 

Social Security Registration

The final step to establish your child's citizenship is the social security registration process. Every U.S. citizen must have a valid social security number. To obtain this documentation, you must submit an application to receive a Social Security Number for the child. If the child is an infant, you can submit the application by mail. 

However, if you did not begin the citizen process immediately after the child was born, you may be required to bring the child in and complete the application and interview at the Social Security Administration office, once you arrive in the country. 

Attorney Assistance

Attorney guidance can be especially helpful during this process, as even the slightest error can cause a delay in the processing of your child's citizenship request. An attorney cannot only help you determine what process you need to follow, but also assist you with each step to help you obtain your child's citizenship request as soon as possible.

Do not hesitate to contact an attorney if you need additional assistance, someone will be more than happy to help. 

For more information, reach out to immigration law services in your area.