Appendix: Children Born Outside the United States in Wedlock (Nationality Chart 1)

Nationality Chart 1

Children [1] A child must meet the definition of child under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). See Volume 12, Citizenship & Naturalization, Part H, Children of U.S. Citizens, Chapter 2, Definition of Child for Citizenship and Naturalization [12 USCIS-PM H.2]. Born Outside the United States in Wedlock

PERIOD IN WHICH CHILD WAS BORN

STEP 1: Determine period in which child was born

CITIZENSHIP OF PARENTS AT TIME OF CHILD’S BIRTH

STEP 2: Determine parents’ citizenship at time of child’s birth

PARENTS’ RESIDENCE & PHYSICAL PRESENCE PRIOR TO CHILD’S BIRTH

STEP 3: Did U.S. citizen (USC) parent meet residence or physical presence requirement prior to birth? (If yes, child was a USC at birth)

CHILD’S RETENTION REQUIREMENT

STEP 4: Did child meet retention requirement (if any)? (Child lost citizenship on date it became impossible to meet requirement)

Prior to

May 24, 1934

Either parent a USC [2] USC mother added by Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections Act of 1994, Pub. L. 103-416, 108 Stat. 4305 (October 5, 1994).

USC parent resided in the United States

Not Applicable

On or After May 24, 1934

and Prior To

Jan. 13, 1941

Both parents USCs

At least one USC parent resided in the United States

Not Applicable

One USC parent and one alien parent

USC parent resided in the United States

5 years residence [3] Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee. in the United States or Outlying Possession (OLP) between ages 13 and 21 (must start before age 16) [4] See former Section 301(b) in the INA of 1952, Pub. L. 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 236 (June 27, 1952). The child’s residence must also start before the INA of 1952’s effective date, December 24, 1952.

OR

5 years continuous physical presence in the United States between ages 14 and 28 (must start before age 23)

OR

2 years continuous physical presence in the United States between ages 14 and 28 (must start before age 26)

OR

Exempt, if at time of child’s birth, USC parent was employed by U.S. government or specified organization

On or After Jan. 13, 1941

and Prior To Dec. 24, 1952

One USC parent and one alien parent

USC parent resided in United States or OLP for 10 years, at least 5 years of which were after age 16

Special provisions for parents with honorable service in the U.S. armed forces:

(1) Between Dec. 7, 1941 and Dec. 31, 1946, 10 years of residence, at least 5 years of which were after age 12

(2) Between Jan. 1, 1947 and Dec. 24, 1952, 10 years of physical presence, at least 5 years of which were after age 14 [5] Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee.

5 years residence in the United States or OLP between ages 13 and 21 (must start before age 16) [6] See former Section 301(b) in the INA of 1952, Pub. L. 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 236 (June 27, 1952). The child’s residence must also start before the INA of 1952’s effective date, December 24, 1952.

OR

5 years continuous physical presence in the United States between ages 14 and 28 (must start before age 23) [7] See Act of October 27, 1972, Pub. L. 92-584, 86 Stat. 1289. The child’s residence must also start before the Act’s effective date, October 27, 1972.

OR

2 years continuous physical presence in the United States between ages 14 and 28 (must start before age 26)

OR

Exempt, if at time of child’s birth, USC parent was employed by U.S. government or specified organization (exemption does not apply if parent used a special provision in column 3) [8] Absence of less than 12 months in the aggregate during the 5-year period does not break continuity of residence or physical presence. Absence of less than 60 days in the 2-year period in the aggregate does not break continuity of physical presence. Honorable service in the U.S. armed forces counts as residence or physical presence.Retention Requirements•A child is relieved from the retention requirements if, prior to his or her 18th birthday, the child begins to reside permanently in the United States and the foreign national parent naturalizes.​•The Act of October 10, 1978, Pub. L. 95-423, repealed retention requirements prospectively only. Anyone born on or after October 11, 1952 (not age 26 on October 10, 1978) was no longer subject to retention requirements. Since the amending legislation was prospective only, it did not restore citizenship to anyone who, prior to its enactment, had lost citizenship for failing to meet the retention requirements.

Both parents USCs

At least one USC parent resided in the United States or OLP [9] Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee.

Not Applicable

On or After Dec. 24, 1952


​and Prior To
Nov. 14, 1986

Both parents USCs

At least one USC parent resided in the United States or OLP [10] Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee.

Not Applicable

One USC parent and one alien parent

USC parent physically present in the United States or OLP for 10 years, at least 5 years of which were after age 14 [11] Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee.

Not Applicable

On or After Nov. 14, 1986

Both parents USCs

At least one USC parent resided in the United States or OLP

Not Applicable

One USC parent and one alien parent

USC parent physically present in the United States or OLP for 5 years, at least 2 years of which were after age 14 [12] See former Section 301(b) in the INA of 1952, Pub. L. 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 236 (June 27, 1952). The child’s residence must also start before the INA of 1952’s effective date, December 24, 1952.

Not Applicable

Footnotes


1 [^]

A child must meet the definition of child under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). See Volume 12, Citizenship & Naturalization, Part H, Children of U.S. Citizens, Chapter 2, Definition of Child for Citizenship and Naturalization [12 USCIS-PM H.2].

2 [^]

USC mother added by Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections Act of 1994, Pub. L. 103-416, 108 Stat. 4305 (October 5, 1994).

3 [^]

Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee.

4 [^]

See former Section 301(b) in the INA of 1952, Pub. L. 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 236 (June 27, 1952). The child’s residence must also start before the INA of 1952’s effective date, December 24, 1952.

5 [^]

Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee.

6 [^]

See former Section 301(b) in the INA of 1952, Pub. L. 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 236 (June 27, 1952). The child’s residence must also start before the INA of 1952’s effective date, December 24, 1952.

7 [^]

See Act of October 27, 1972, Pub. L. 92-584, 86 Stat. 1289. The child’s residence must also start before the Act’s effective date, October 27, 1972.

8 [^]

Absence of less than 12 months in the aggregate during the 5-year period does not break continuity of residence or physical presence. Absence of less than 60 days in the 2-year period in the aggregate does not break continuity of physical presence. Honorable service in the U.S. armed forces counts as residence or physical presence.

Retention Requirements

A child is relieved from the retention requirements if, prior to his or her 18th birthday, the child begins to reside permanently in the United States and the foreign national parent naturalizes.

The Act of October 10, 1978, Pub. L. 95-423, repealed retention requirements prospectively only. Anyone born on or after October 11, 1952 (not age 26 on October 10, 1978) was no longer subject to retention requirements. Since the amending legislation was prospective only, it did not restore citizenship to anyone who, prior to its enactment, had lost citizenship for failing to meet the retention requirements.

9 [^]

Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee.

10 [^]

Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee.

11 [^]

Includes periods spent abroad while employed by the U.S. government or an international organization as defined in 22 U.S.C. 288, or as a dependent, unmarried son or daughter, who is member of the household of such an employee.

12 [^]

See former Section 301(b) in the INA of 1952, Pub. L. 82-414, 66 Stat. 163, 236 (June 27, 1952). The child’s residence must also start before the INA of 1952’s effective date, December 24, 1952.