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Does your child qualify for American citizenship?

There are two common ways a child can qualify for automatic United States citizenship. The first is that any child born within the country gains United States citizenship the moment they are born. The second is that any child born abroad to an American citizen also automatically qualifies to receive United States citizenship at the time of their birth.

It's important to note that once an individual acquires American citizenship, there's very little chance of it being withdrawn from them. Generally, the only instances in which it may be removed from them is if they engage in an act of treason or swear allegiance to a country that does not recognize dual citizenship.

There's also no requirement for an individual to have ever resided in the United States in order to be considered an American citizen, provided they meet the criteria above.

There are some restrictions to the citizenship by birth option. Children of foreign government workers or diplomats are precluded from receiving automatic American citizenship, even if they are born here.

In contrast, any American-born child of an immigrant, whether legally or illegally here, qualifies for automatic citizenship at their birth. Any of their future offspring would qualify for the same as well.

It's through the process of acquisition that any child born to at least one American parent abroad also qualifies for United States citizenship. This policy extends to apply to adopted children of Americans and also the offspring of a foreign born child.

Over the course of history, Congress has modified American citizenship laws. Depending on what year you were born, you may be subject to different burdens of proof when claiming your right to United States citizenship. In learning more about your case, a Norcross, Georgia child immigration attorney can advise you as to whether or not you appear to have a valid claim for citizenship in your case.

Source: FindLaw, "U.S. citizenship through parents or by birth," accessed Oct. 13, 2017

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