Many people think that if a US citizen has a newborn child overseas, that the child is automatically a citizen. This is not always the case and depends on several factors including whether the U.S. citizen is the mother or the father and the amount of time that the citizen parent spent in the U.S. prior to the child’s birth.
Our firm was hired last year to help a young US citizen mother who had a child born in Africa. The mom had fled the family home because her husband was abusive and she brought her child to the U.S. on a tourist visa. We were hired to try and prove that the baby girl was a U.S. citizen.
We prepared the N-600 application for a certificate of citizenship and submitted evidence regarding the child’s birth. USCIS issued a request for evidence, asking for proof regarding the amount of time that the U.S. citizen mom had spent in the U.S. prior to the baby’s birth. The law requires that the beneficiary’s mother spent five years in the U.S. prior to the beneficiary’s birth, with at least 2 of the years occurring after the mother turned 14 years old. 8 CFR § 322.2(a)(2). In this case, the mom was born in 1996, turned 14 in 2010, left the U.S. in 2013 and the baby was born in November of 2014. After we provided a timeline and documentary support, the case was approved and our client has been scheduled for her ceremony to obtain the certificate.