February 15th, 2016.-
In order to transmit United States (U.S.) citizenship to a child born abroad, the U.S. citizen parent must meet the requirements of physical presence in the U.S. The requirements vary depending on the gender and marital status of the parent. Many parents are confused about what evidence is sufficient to prove physical presence.
Unless both parents are U.S. citizens, the citizen parent must complete an Affidavit of Physical Presence (AOPP) showing your time in the U.S. and bring evidence supporting the stays on the AOPP. Acceptable evidence includes: social security statement available on the Social Security Administration website, tax records, official school transcripts, military records, and old passports.
For two U.S. citizen parents, the requirement is simply residence in the U.S. at some point by one parent. If one of the parents was born in the U.S., that requirement is met by showing his/her passport. If neither was born in the U.S., we will need one of the above documents to meet the presence requirement.
For an unmarried U.S. citizen mother, the requirement is one year of continuous presence in the U.S.
For a U.S. citizen parent married to a non-U.S. citizen parent, the requirement is the same as the requirement for a U.S. citizen father who is not married: five years of presence in the U.S. before the child was born, with two of those years after the age of 14. The time does not have to be consecutive and the immigration status of the parent is irrelevant.
Note that in order to transmit U.S. citizenship, the parent must have been a citizen at the time of the child’s birth. To make the process faster and easier for the parents and children we encourage all parents to come prepared to their child’s Consular Report of Birth Abroad interview.