Can people become citizens upon birth?

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2023 | Naturalization |

Birthright is when a person gets automatic citizenship in a country either due to parental citizenship or the location in which they were born. Because it is a long process to become a U.S. citizen, anyone born in the country should look into their birthright.

There are two situations in which a person can gain citizenship in the country through birth.

In the U.S.

Anyone born in the country is a citizen automatically. It does not matter if the mother is a citizen or any details about parentage. The act of giving birth in the United States makes the child a citizen by rights under the U.S. Constitution.

Outside the U.S.

It is also possible for someone to become a citizen of the United States when born outside the country. It requires meeting three criteria. The first requirement is one of the parents must be a citizen. The next is the parent who is a citizen must have lived in the U.S. prior to the birth, and if it is the father, the establishment of legal paternity must occur if the parents are unmarried. The final criterion is the parent who is a citizen has to meet all other requirements of citizenship.

Abandoned child

If authorities in the U.S. find a child who has no apparent parents and is under the age of five, then that child automatically becomes a US citizen.

Being able to get birthright citizenship is important. It helps people to easily establish their rights as U.S. citizens without having to go through the complicated naturalization process. But it is important for parents to understand the rules to ensure their child gets those rights.